Expedition kit – Ordnance Survey

I think every journey warrants an OS map, even some familiar ones — especially so when the nearest shop is an six mile hike along a windy footpath and then a ferry to the next island.

An Ordnance Survey map reveals a mass of information enabling its user to identify curious objects on route.

A 1:25,000 scale OS map details historic (and prehistoric) earthworks and remains, contours, terrain, water sources, woodland and more including every building, its shape and its aspect.

Since 1791, Ordnance Survey has been a world leading tool in which to place ones confidence – most recently enabling the UK to become the world’s first nation fully digitally mapped.


When sea kayaking, it is often more useful to use a nautical version of the same as coastal zones and tidal and intertidal features are more detailed.

Nautical charts, as referred to by maritimers, show water depths, navigational hazards such as sunken ships and exposed masts, buoys, tides, currents, harbours, ferry routes and shoreline characteristics.

Belt + braces

However, using the area’s map and corresponding chart in tandem can work well – especially if one must shore to find fresh water or height to attain cellular reception.

Rain stops play

Despite the OS app allowing for maps to be downloaded to be viewed on devices during periods with or without cellular signal, I often prefer a water proofed paper map which can be printed for each member of a group, can be scaled to the required level of detail and, most importantly, doesn’t sulk in the rain or run out of batteris.

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