Looking for a map case

G

Guest

Guest
I am looking for a new map case and have some specific design criteria in mind.

I’ve been using a inexpensive Sealline map case, the medium 13.5 x 16”. That nicely accommodates a quarter-folded 1:24000 topo (11” x 13.5”) with an inch to spare on either side.

http://cascadedesigns.com/sealline/document-cases/hp-map-case/product

The size is the only good thing I have to say about the Sealline map case. The case is floppy flimsy and the thin multi-fold vinyl and Velcro closure is awkward to get apart and hold open when switching to the next map.

The best I’ve seen is the discontinued Gaia map case. It was the same size and clear on both sides, but the clear vinyl was stiffer, and the edges were stiffer still, with thick nylon (or ? webbing) around the entire perimeter.

The criteria I have in mind for a map case, in descending order of importance:

11” x 13.5” or larger clear window to accommodate quarter folded topos.

Clear window on both sides to reduce the number of times I need to open the case and rearrange maps. That criteria unfortunately eliminates all of the Cooke Custom Sewing map case/thwart bags, and I don’t need or want to store anything in the case except maps (and maybe some pre-printed tide charts).

http://www.shop.cookecustomsewing.com/product.sc?productId=14&categoryId=7

http://www.shop.cookecustomsewing.com/product.sc?productId=15&categoryId=7

Stiff enough that it doesn’t flop around in the wind or droop over the front thwart or sail mount with part of the map hidden from view. This probably entails some kind of webbing or other stiffening material around the perimeter.

Easy to access, extract and rearrange maps. The Sealline is a huge PITA to get open, insert maps and re-seal. The perimeter stiffening would probably eliminate that hassle.

Some kind of grommet or tie-off points on each corner, or at least a couple of corners.

Waterproofieness actually comes last; I’m not looking for something watertight if I pin the canoe, but for protection from rain, paddle drips and gunwale splashes.

That Sealline map case is the only piece of gear I use that I dislike, and I hate it more with every trip. There’s got to be something better.

Suggestions?
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
596
Location
Aberdeen, MD
Mike,

I use exactly the same one, and like it. Not "a lot", but it does what I need it to do. I typically clip two corners to my backpack and it just kinda sits there in front of me.

Bear with me as I tell a long story... it all comes together in the end, but I have to explain each part first so the end will make sense.

When I was a tank platoon leader in the military, somehow/somewhere, we used to have these gigantic ziplock-type bags... they were about 32"x 48", maybe 48x60... either way, I remember one particular exercise where our maps were 6 sheets wide and 12 or so long... I seem to remember assembling about 20 mapsheets in a rectangle, then folding it into thirds both ways to make it fit... after about 4-5 days, you'd have to rearrange the folds, but the large case enabled you to do it fairly easily. This is kind of what you already have and don't like, and my point is I feel your pain.

We also had a "map stand" welded on the right side of the commander's cupola (a raised hatch with periscopes). The stand, made entirely of metal (bar iron and sheet metal) was angled up at about a 30* angle, so you could stand in the hatch with your arm comfortably off to the side and your hand just kinda naturally fell on the map. the flat surface was about 2' x 3', so you had to fold the giant map case mentioned earlier around to center yourself on it, and we got short bungi cords (18" black rubber ones, I think) that strapped it all down. you could travel down the highway or wherever without it blowing off.

Prior to my tanker years, i'd been an infantryman... this was a wet, dirty business conducted at low speeds. Typically, our maps were cut into small chunks and pasted to 3x5 cards, then laminated. another technique we used was to accordion fold our maps into 36 sections, 6x6. you then cut along certain folds and got a map that would kind of fold up and could be read like a book, but the "pages" folded in all directions. hard to explain in words, but it's on youtube. This all made the maps waterproof and less floppy, but I fear it would be too small to help you, though the accordion folded one I use now is about 14" square. Also, not everyone has access to a good laminating machine, which is necessary to get it to work well without tearing the map up in a stiff wind.

Anyway, after tanking, I became a staff puke, and for that, I made map boards for use in a jeep/hmmwv... this involved a piece of roughly 24" x 18" 1/4" plywood and some clear acetate, or, better, two pieces of 1/8" plexi-glass. To use the plywood, you mounted the map on the board with double stick tape to hold it in place, then laid a piece of clear flexible acetate over it, then sealed it all shut with army duct tape. you could then draw on the board with a grease pencil/china marker, and we frequently added info sheets to the back side as needed. The plexi-glass idea was similar, but more fitting to what you want to do... we would cut two sheets the same size. we'd lay one down, and place various info sheet-related items on it, face down. for us, it was things like status report formats, blank radio frequency/callsign cheatsheets, and other handy information. For you, it could be things like the tidal tables you mentioned, solunar tables for fishing, sunrise/sunset info, or a 10-day weather forecast. The map we wanted went on top of that, face up. The last piece of plexi-glass went on top of that. You then clipped about 8 or 10 1/2" binder clips around the edges, 2 to the short sides, 3 to the long ones... this kept it all safely together... you could also "hinge" the top side with tape to make it more waterproof. Anyway, given the shelter a typical staff guy had, it wasn't hard to swap map sheets out. I think this is your best solution.

If you are the least bit handy, i'm sure you can find two metal clamps to clip to a thwart at an angle, like the map-holder I mentioned on the tank. attach these to a piece of plywood, or weld them to a thin piece of metal sheeting, and set the plexiglass mapboard on top, held in place with a bungi to keep it from blowing away, and I think you've got the solution. or just set it up against your backpack and stretch a bungi over it, without the 'stand'.

Hope that was clear enough to understand and that you find some value in it.
 
G

Guest

Guest
New Map case

New Map case

In my own version of Occam’s Razor I neglected to use the simplest solution first – visit Blue Mountain Outfitters and see what map cases they carry.

They still had the discontinued Gaia map case in stock.

http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/C...top/P5291114_zpsfefe9e1d.jpg.html?sort=2&o=17


The best I’ve seen is the discontinued Gaia map case. It was the same size and clear on both sides, but the clear vinyl was stiffer, and the edges were stiffer still, with thick nylon (or ? webbing) around the entire perimeter.

The criteria I have in mind for a map case, in descending order of importance:

11” x 13.5” or larger clear window to accommodate quarter folded topos.

Clear window on both sides to reduce the number of times I need to open the case and rearrange maps.

Stiff enough that it doesn’t flop around in the wind or droop over the front thwart or sail mount with part of the map hidden from view. This probably entails some kind of webbing or other stiffening material around the perimeter.

Easy to access, extract and rearrange maps. The Sealline is a huge PITA to get open, insert maps and re-seal. The perimeter stiffening would probably eliminate that hassle.

Some kind of grommet or tie-off points on each corner, or at least a couple of corners.

Waterproofieness actually comes last; I’m not looking for something watertight if I pin the canoe, but for protection from rain, paddle drips and gunwale splashes.

The Gaia has a 12 x 16 window, clear on both sides, webbing stiffener on all sides, easy access, corner D-rings and clips and a novel cord system around the perimeter for retrieving the map case for closer inspection while leaving it still attached to the deck or thwart.

I could have saved myself a lot of fruitless searching if I’d just gone to BMO in the first place.
 
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