Tearing up a Map

Tearing up a Map
Lome, Togo West Africa
Friday, July 27, 2007

This is a save for a rainy day photos….

I paid 11 US Dollars or 5400 CFA for this map of Togo. It is not 90 percent trash, and 10 percent ok to use.

I have torn the map up into four sections; I am tearing up the map. Why, because I wanted to preserve sections of the country I have not visited. Every time I open the map, fold the map, stuff the map into my backpack, I slowly destroy the map. In an effort to save the portions for future use, I decided I need to tear it into pieces.

Now, I thought, I should have done this day one. I am going to tear my map up before I destroy them and not after. I can store the good portions of the map until I need them.

The daily usage of a map destroys a map, by cutting into separate sections I think I can elongate the time of a map.

Note, any person traveling for two weeks does not have to worry. I like my digital on the computer maps, but they are next to worthless when I am in the middle of the road and lost, I need paper. One good option is to print out copies of sections of a country and carry.

Tear it up before you destroy it. This map cost one third the price of my guidebook, this is a travel budget expense, the guidebook has maps also, and the reason to buy a guidebook.

Tearing up a Map


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You could also laminate them if you find a shop that does it.

This is a good idea. When I was in India/nepal I had one huge map of the whole subcontinent that I bought in the UK. It was a really great map, but of course it was huge and fragile.

My own solution was to apply scotch tape along both sides of each of the folds to add strength. This lasted me fine through my trip, but made the map thicker. However, if I want to keep the map until I am old for posterity, I don't think it will work. Scotch tape goes brown and brittle over time.

Tearing up the map seems like a good idea. Ioften though it would have been easier if I had a book-style map like a UK road map.

The lamination idea is good, however does not work on about 80 percent of the planet where you need it, or too expensive, and difficult to find.

They do sell some 2-inch wide clear scotch type tape and would work.

I think Ash hit on the BIG reasons or problems.

KEEP the map for Souvenir or
DUMP the map as junk?

I am a dump the map person, however I would guess about 95 percent of people want to hold on to all the what I would call Junk to keep as Souvenirs. The best is a book map or an already laminated map. Maps should be purchased before you go to countries, as they are hard to buy here in the 80 percent part of the planet or majority.


Great Idea. Reminds me of a set of digital Chilean road and topo maps I have that is broken into nine pieces.

Your totally right, you gotta have paper when your on the road. Provided access to a decent printer is available, I'm a fan of the digital and print method. Quality may suffer a bit when compared to a "real" map, but you can customize digital ones over and over.

The individual Togo map pieces in your photo still look to be a fairly good size. Judging by your foot in the photo they must be around 11x17" ??


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