It’s an dilemma as old as maps themselves. You need the information on a map but they are a pain to store and carry around. Our video shows the best way to fold the map for carrying and storage:
As usual if you aren’t a fan of the moving pictures there is a text version below.
We really like the 1/24,000 scale USGS maps but carrying it as a sheet is pretty awkward and will guarantee a short lifespan for the map. Carrying it rolled up protects the map better but is still hassle to carry.
Some people like to cut their maps down to get rid of things they don’t need like the white space around the edges and anything outside of where they are going. This is a bad idea. The information around the edges is very important to have even when you aren’t lost and even terrain far away from where you are hiking can still provide important landmarks for navigation.
The best option is to fold the map. Or I should say, the best option is to fold the map the right way.
Lay your map face up on a table. Note where the map name is located in the top left and bottom left corners.
Fold the map in half bringing the edge with the names over to the edge without the names.
Then fold this same edge half way back and do the same with the other edge so the map is now folded into long quarters.
Then fold it halfway back and do the same for the other side. Now you have a neatly folded map with the map name conveniently faced up no matter how you set it down.