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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Map holder

in: Orienteering; Gear & Toys

Jun 11, 2017 6:04 PM # 
I am a handicapped orienteer. Until today used I just used one crutch in order to have one hand available to hold map and compass. Now the day has arrived, I have to use two crutches to keep my balance. Therefore, I have no longer a free hand. Since I still want to do orienteering, I am looking for a SkiO-style map holder. Has anybody any experience with such a gadget outside SkiO, and where can I get one?
Jun 12, 2017 12:09 AM # 
I made a ski-O holder decades ago. No idea where it is now. Aluminium, aviation snips, clear plastic freezer bag, something that allowed two plates to rotate relative to each other while attaching them to each other, straps for wearing. There might have been something to hold it at an angle to the chest for easier reading without grabbing. Can you free one or both hands when stopped?
Jun 12, 2017 12:56 AM # 
Jun 12, 2017 4:42 AM # 
Yes, when I stopped for whatever reason, and I lay down the crutches, my hands become free. I have a hard time imagining your setup. Sounds complicated. Do you or anybody, have a picture? Meanwhile, I am trying to get a visual from the catalogs.
Jun 12, 2017 9:10 AM # 
I'm sure that I had a diagram that I worked from, but that was decades ago. I'll try to draw a sketch from memory. Not actually that complicated.
Jun 12, 2017 10:42 AM # 
I use two crutches or two trekking poles while orienteering too, so am interested in the idea of a map holder, but my experience over the last 2 years has been that it is safer for me to stop to read the map rather than try to try to read the map while moving - usually end up with the crutch tips tangled in grass, vines or leaf litter and have to stop anyway to avoid a tumble which could be the end of my orienteering career.

The only advantage of the crutches is it is a good spot to tape on the control descriptions (and my parkrun barcode)
Jun 12, 2017 6:35 PM # 
Jun 12, 2017 6:45 PM # 
You know, if you need to stop to read the map (likely the case if you can't hold it near your face while moving, which is hard without using a hand), then maybe a bag on a string around the neck is best (making sure that it's thin enough to tear if you catch it on something while moving). Simple, and probably as effective as something fancier for your use case. (I'll try to draw up my memories of my ski orienteering map holder of ages ago anyway, though the above photo probably shows a good setup.)
Jun 12, 2017 6:52 PM # 
The nice thing about a holder is that, even if you're stopping to read the map, it's still the way it was when you last looked at it, not folded or crumpled or rotated.
Jun 12, 2017 8:25 PM # 
True. But if you've changed direction, it's no longer oriented, so it's only a partial benefit.
Jun 13, 2017 1:23 AM # 
You can also look at it without touching it, which is useful if your hands are occupied with poles that make your fingers clumsy, or with crutches that you're hoping not to drop. You can just nudge it to rotate it. But yeah, it doesn't orient itself the way phone might.
Jun 13, 2017 1:33 AM # 
Or which hands often do.

If the map can be read from the holder, that's useful. If one needs to bring the map closer to the face, then you need to stop to free the hands. Depends how often of each. I remember ski o maps being more amenable to reading from the distance of a holder than foot o maps, but this will depend on the person. Maybe worth experimenting with some simple mock ups before buying or building, to get a sense of what it would be like.
Jun 13, 2017 1:36 AM # 
Somebody should lend Daniel a ski-O map holder to try out. It's summer, they're just sitting in the closet, and Daniel is a cool guy (though I haven't seen him in a long time).
Jun 13, 2017 1:44 AM # 
I would if I could find mine, and lived close enough. (I may have discarded it during a move.) Other people are likely have better ones though.
Jun 13, 2017 1:56 AM # 
Where are you living these days, Daniel?
Jun 13, 2017 2:35 AM # 
As an alternative thought - could you mount a small MTBO-style map holder to one of the crutches? They're all built to grip round handlebars anyway, so a crutch shouldn't be an issue. Might depend on what type of crutch, and making sure it doesn't hit your body along the way...
Jun 13, 2017 4:38 AM # 
I used the "Anderson" map holder from this DIY site for a one-off ski-o last year:

If your map memory is Ok, that might work.
Jun 13, 2017 7:53 AM # 
The Anderson model looks like what I made decades ago, or extremely similar.
Jun 23, 2017 6:47 PM # 
Hi JJ,
Sorry for not answering sooner. I am still with QOC. I saw you at our Cunningham Falls SP meet at Easter (4-16-17). I was running part of the registration table, However, I got busy with something and when I looked up, you were gone and not available to talk to anymore. On the other hand, you may not recognize me anyway, since I have a bushy beard with moustache.
It looks as if the "Antoine Model" is most appropriate, as it is the cheapest anyway. If I can get my hands on an MTBO holder, and try to attach it to one of the crutches as "Juffy" suggested.
Thanks to all for the input.

This discussion thread is closed.