Print Waterproof Maps On Garbage Bags

Instructables user hpstoutharrow was sick of storing his hiking maps inside a plastic bag, so he decided to look into ways to print on plastic. He ended up finding a way to print simple maps onto garbage bags using an iron and an ink jet printer.

The process itself requires several sheets of printer paper, a large clear plastic kitchen bag, a white plastic garbage bag, an ink jet printer, and an iron. There are a lot of steps involved here to ensure you get a good print, but it works by using the heated iron to bond the paper and the plastic together. You print directly on the plastic and seal it with the iron again.

You're not going to be able to get a highly detailed topographic map using this method, but it's a cost effective way to print your own waterproof maps. Hit up hpstoutharrow's guide below for a full walkthrough on the process.

Print Waterproof Plastic Maps [Instructables]


    Or use a laminator?

      I used to live with outdoor ed students, and thats what they did. They also got those big national park maps laminated for their big trips.

    laminated maps fall apart with repeated folding. A better idea is to spray maps with clear plasti dip. Waterproof and flexible.
    or use a gps

      GPSs for the most part ain't waterproof.

        Outdoor GPS'es (Garmin Oregon etc) are indeed waterproof. Highly so.

        granted a road navigation gps isn't waterproof, but my Garmin Dakota is an outdoor unit and is waterproof and can fit tens of thousands of square kilometers of maps

    Just print on transparencies... Maybe even greaseproof paper would probably work.

    Or this, which I found useful as a graphic designer. One would assume best results at home with a laser printer:

    NEVER rely solely on gps. Oh and ipx7 isnt "waterproof". Also there are different qualities of laminate. Get the "librarian" quality and your map should last 6 months or so with heavy use.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now