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Have you used a Harveys map?

Updated: Feb 20

Harveys map

I was taught to navigate using the Ordnance Survey maps, generally the yellow Outdoor Leisure series, a little bit of the 1:50’s (which haven’t changed much) but also the old green Pathfinder maps - who remembers those? So when I was given my 1st Harveys Map many years ago, I actually just put it in my map box….”who’d use one of those and that can’t be waterproof?” I thought at the time. Far better to use a huge unwieldy laminated map with County Parishes on!

At some point I realised that every part of a Harveys map is actually walked during its creation and some of those random paths on the mountains are actually on it rather than because its a public right of way that hasn’t existed for 20 years! Plus the area it covers is considered rather than just fitting into the UK Grid system and needing 2 maps for an area!

They are beautiful maps to look at which are simple to understand, once you’ve retrained your OS head! I really like how the shape of the hills isn’t hidden under layers of symbols, but still gives you the level of precise detail in a more simplistic way, it’s the little things that stand out when you’re on the hill - the fence that is maintained or just the remains are there. The differentiation of colours between the contours on the 1:40 series is a brilliant planning tool, it’s so easy to see the high mountain routes or the low valley walks. There are plenty more good reasons to use them, yes the contours are 15m apart, but Harvey’s explanation of being able to see the steep ground and not clutter the map is valid (the terrain on Skye is a good example)- although my 15 times table is still poor!

I normally cut / print and then laminate small sections of maps to use in the mountains, I just can’t do this to a Harveys map, it feels like I’m about to ruin a piece of art!

It truly is a walkers / mountaineers map and I would whole heartedly recommend you to try one


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