“Every time I go out I take a SplashMap,” Steve Layte, Outdoors Professional

After first reading about SplashMaps in Trail Magazine Steve bought his first fabric map from the National Park Centre in Betwys Y Coed.

Steve on a DoE expedition

Steve on a DoE expedition

“Immediately I could see the potential” says Steve who runs Yr Hen Felin in Cynwyd for Northampton District Scouts.

“We literally get through loads of paper maps each year; they get soaked, ripped and generally abused.”

I still Love this video: that’s how the girl looked, imagine how the map fared?

“Even laminated maps don’t last forever,” he added observing that the constant folding tends to create splits into which moisture creeps and destroys the print. “So a map on fabric had a great appeal!”

Steve then came directly to SplashMaps and took advantage of our personaised 1:25 000 Ordnance Survey maps on fabric. “I ordered the first maps for the centre to cover the Berwyn and since then every time I go out I take a Splashmap.”

As part of the centres support for the local community Steve and team also help run Corwen Walking Festival. “For this we ordered SplashMaps showing the area that we cover for the festival.”

One of our largest map to cover the greatest extent of Southern Snowdonia

Steve’s map is one of our largest maps to cover the greatest extent of Southern Snowdonia

Then Steve took the extra step to get a bespoke map specifically designed for his assessors role for the Duke of Edinburgh award. “David and his team have been really helpful in designing around our needs when we asked for Bala to Barmouth on one map,” says Steve who is a gold D of E assessor for the Snowdonia Network, covering southern Snowdonia and the Berwyn. “Quite a few of the groups that I assess use the stunning Welsh countryside in this area.”

Steve began to start looking at other uses for the maps, coming up with an original way to help in assessing the typical four days walk from Bala to Barmouth .

“When I do a pre-expedition check I take a copy of the SplashMap for the area the team will be walking and simply ask them to draw their route on it using a washable felt tip pen,” says Layte. These pens are provided with each order. “This gives me lots of initial information about the team and indicates how well they are prepared.”

Using a washable pen to find your way

Using a washable pen to find your way

Using this method Steve can also see how much or little the young people in the team have complied with the route card as opposed to relying upon supervisors. “This is not a pass or fail activity but a way of carrying out a simply check over whether the team know their route. I can give them a SplashMap and one of the pens and ask them to carry out this task. The joy of the SplashMap is that you can then simply wash it and it’s ready for the next group.”

It does not stop there either. Now Steve has SplashMaps in his hands he’s exploring further uses to reduce the load on the DoE award trekkers. “I have not tried it myself yet but just think, if you could use your fabric map as a towel you wouldn’t have to carry a towel. Again it’s lightened your rucksack”. More ideas from our customers here.

Steve continues to build his collection of SplashMaps and we’re delighted that, thanks to him and a growing number of Scout leaders and DoE assessors, the next generation of DoE award winners will have greater confidence in their adventures with SplashMaps guiding the way. “Splashmaps have proved to be a superb way of having a map and David has been more than helpful in allowing us to have a map that is bespoke to what we wanted and produced to a very high standard and with superb detail.”

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