We’re very pleased to have the thoughts of Fiona Russell, journalist and blogger to give us some insights this week, about what she feels about maps and how useful they can be for ideas, inspiration and the beginning of great stories in the outdoors. If you like walking, running, skiing and a wealth of activities surrounded by countryside and often wander off the beaten track, you’d love to read her guest piece below on our own Maps International blog.

Here are her thoughts on our new Peak District Rock Climbs map and some more stunning scratch prints she’s put some really good use to.

Take it away, Fiona!


I love a map for so many reasons. We have dozens and dozens of maps on shelves and in wooden map boxes all over our home. There are usually one or two kicking about at the bottom of a rucksack inside a waterproof map case and a few lying on windowsills and my desk, left behind from a spontaneous check of a place or route.

At a practical level, maps provide the guide for planning a route or an adventure. I never leave for a hill or mountain summit, or a new running or mountain biking route, without checking a map first. It’s usually an OS map, either the real map unfolded on the floor or the kitchen table, or, increasingly, an on-line map.

I take a map and compass for mountain walks, as well as making use of a navigation app these days. And I do have other maps, with scratch off panels, that allow me to keep track of the routes I have completed.

The Scratch Off Munro Bagging Print

Currently, I have a Scratch Off Munro Bagging print attached to the side of the fridge. Created by Maps International, it has been a source of much admiration from friends and family, as well as a motivator for finishing my round of the 282 mountains in Scotland with a summit of at least 3000ft. For the record, I have just 25 to go and I have greatly enjoyed walking them with my husband, friend and some of them solo.

The map allows you to scratch off the mountains you have summitted and complete col-our coded areas of Munros. The circle below, shows my last Munro, Beinn na Lap, still “unscratched”.

Beinn na Lap Munro Hill Bagging

The latest version has a place to keep a tally of the number bagged by updating with a dry wipe pen as you go along. I really like scratching off the latest summit – and then ticking off the same mountain on my online Munro bagging app. My next list for bagging is the Corbetts in Scotland – mountains with a summit of between 2500ft and 3000ft . I have been working my way through the list, many with my friend Ben, such as this outing: Three Corbetts: The Brack, Cnoc Coinnich and Benvane.

The all-new Scratch Off Peak District Rock Climbs

Scratch Off Peak District Rock Climbs

The new Scratch Off map of the Rock Climbing in the Peak District also looks appealing. As a keen climber, Hubby G is always looking for the info and details on different crags and in new locations.

This scratch off rock climbing poster details 239 exciting and challenging crags across the UK’s Peak District. You can use the information displayed on it to plan trips and each crag shows the approximate number of routes, face direction, the type of rock, whether there are any bolted routes and whether there may be any restrictions to be aware of.

Each crag has a little diagram to give you an idea of the spread of the routes according to difficulty. So you could choose to work your way through different levels of route difficul-ty or choose the route depending on the weather and who you are climbing with.

Climbers are always keen on the details and if Hubby G is anything to go by they love to plan and plan some more and then tick off and record what they have climbed.

I am thinking this map will be the ideal birthday present for him!

The Scratch off Wainwrights Bagging Print

Maps International have another lovely map that I plan to make good use of when a friend moves to the Lake District later this year. The Scratch Off Wainwrights Hill Bagging print features the 214 Wainwright fells, including their heights, covered by a scratch-off latex on this map.

I will be starting the list from scratch (so to speak!) because I am fairly sure I have not walked a single Wainwright yet. Looking at the map gives a good overview of where the hills are located, as well as the height. I am looking forward to getting started with these and scratching off the panels as I go!

Maps as gifts and keepsakes

Framed maps have also provided keepsakes of memorable places, such as a framed map of a poignant location or a map made into a gift, such as a map flower in a bottle. I recently bought a framed personalised OS map by Maps International for a friend’s 50th birthday present. I also have my eye on wallpaper maps for a future redecoration project.

See Maps International for a full range of map and gift ideas


Follow Fiona at her blog at Fiona Outdoors