Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Map printed on shirt?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Gregory Petliski
(gregpphoto) - F
Map printed on shirt? on 04/02/2011 00:41:41 MDT Print View

Ok, so what if you printed a map on your t-shirt, upside down so you could view it without taking it off? Obviously this would only be for well traveled trail navigating, as you would need to remove the shirt to take a bearing. But for the day hike stuff where you want a map as more of a backup and a reference, I think it would be super rad and save weight.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Map printed on shirt? on 04/02/2011 00:58:11 MDT Print View

Great idea. But then you wash it a couple of times and watch the trail disappear before your eyes.

The other factor is that you can print maps on good paper with a lot finer detail than you can print on a cotton t-shirt.


Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Map printed on shirt? on 04/02/2011 06:34:43 MDT Print View

You could print a map on a bandana. The craft store near me sells blank bandanas. If it's on a bandana, you wouldn't have to pull your shirt up or take of a jacket to look at your map.

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
Map printed on shirt? on 04/02/2011 09:06:25 MDT Print View

Dharma Trading Company sells raw silk. A silk bandana or scarf would be very nice, lightweight too.

Gregory Petliski
(gregpphoto) - F
RE on 04/02/2011 10:38:10 MDT Print View

Well I wasnt thinking cotton, more polyester. Would it still fade from poly? Like I said, not meant for serious navigating, just for quick references. If printed upside down, all you'd have to do is look down at your chest haha.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Map printed on shirt? on 04/02/2011 11:04:37 MDT Print View

For some reason, they seldom use polyester fabric to do t-shirt transfers. Nearly always, 100% cotton is used. I'm not sure exactly why. Cotton will absorb the ink/dyes better, and it won't melt quite like some synthetics will.


/A .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Re: Map printed on shirt? on 04/02/2011 12:58:00 MDT Print View

I had a fairly detailed graphic printed on a l/w wicking poly shirt via silk-screen and it ended up being highly durable. It was done at your standard mall-fare t-shirt graphic outlet...I just brought the shirt in and they charged me around $9, or something like that. It should work fine for a map. Maybe I will try that, but print it upright on one of my hiking partner's (a.k.a. wife) shirts.

Edited by biointegra on 04/02/2011 13:00:25 MDT.

Gregory Petliski
(gregpphoto) - F
Re: Re: Re: Map printed on shirt? on 04/03/2011 10:51:15 MDT Print View

That would work even better! I'm a solo hiker so I've learned to do things by meself.

Ken K
(TheFatBoy) - F

Locale: St. Louis
Scale? on 04/03/2011 15:14:43 MDT Print View

The problem is, as you put on the pounds, the scale on that t-shirt map gets out of whack.

The bandana maps have been done. Seen them for JMT, PCT, and AT. Here's a company that does national parks:

Terry Trimble
(socal-nomad) - F

Locale: North San Diego county
Map on durable bandana or T shirt map on 04/12/2011 16:04:42 MDT Print View

If you get a white all polyester T shirt or cloth and take the topo map to a printer who can do custom multicolored or one colored heat sublimation printing they can print the topo map on the shirt and it will out last silk screening. Plus it cooler because it dyed into the fabric verse screened on top of the fabric.
The guy at the mall that will custom print a photo on a mug ,calendar,Hat, T shirt is using a sublimation heat printing.
It only works on polyester fabric. I use to work at athletic shoe shop back in 1985 and we also offered custom heat sublimation printing on T shirts and hats. We used a machine called a express machine that looked like regular copy machine with different color toner cartridges. I could do different color printing of words and images with cut and pasting the images on to a sheet of paper.
It was fun to do but very time consuming we were kind of on the ground floor of sublimation printing.

Alec Farmer
(feltproductive) - F
Bags with maps on 04/23/2011 09:17:37 MDT Print View

Hi Guys,

I often read this forum - its full of amazing ideas! It is interesting that this topic came up - I run a company making messenger bags for cyclists, and we have just released a set of bags that have maps printed on the liner, upside down, so when you get lost, you can swing your bag around and just find out where you are! There are printers around now that can print on basically anything (wood, metal etc..) so there is no reason not to print on whatever you want. If ink wont hold, you could always screenprint using a medium that will adhere to the fabric in question.

We started out by looking at soliders in the world wars, who had silk maps sewn into their clothing in case they found themselves lost in enemy territories, but t-shirts is a great idea - you would form a set of t-shirts from each trail you walk!

Anyway, feel free to have a look at our bags here:

Alec Farmer
(feltproductive) - F
Tyvek on 04/23/2011 09:19:09 MDT Print View

It also might be worth mentioning that you can print on tyvek - light, waterproof, hard to tear - great for maps, surely? Plus you could make windshirts from it...

Gregory Petliski
(gregpphoto) - F
re tyvek on 04/23/2011 11:25:04 MDT Print View

WHOA. Did not consider how many applications Tyvek could be used for! Gotta look into this.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re:: Map printed on shirt? on 04/23/2011 11:36:20 MDT Print View

I like the bandana option. I've done century bike rides where they handed out bandanas with the route printed on it. Now, very detailed topo maps might be a challenge to print crisply, but the bandana was just fine for an illustrated route.

A fun project!


Matt Lauterbach
(Loudbay) - F
Ripstop... on 04/25/2011 13:15:14 MDT Print View

I've been on the hunt for a printable ripstop. I think I'm getting close, although not very light. 1.9 oz ripstop w .75 oz poly coating that can be printed on one side. Comes in 60" width that will have to be trimmed to 54" to be printed on. Someone could print on a 60" piece, but my printer is 54". (Sign Shop).

I would figure out a way to start hammock camping without my family, just to lay back and stare at USGS maps on my tarps.

Please pray for my wholesaler...


Edited by Loudbay on 04/25/2011 13:15:48 MDT.

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
Map printed on shirt? on 04/25/2011 14:24:43 MDT Print View

Try PolyArt synthetic paper. It's the rip-proof plastic stuff used for the waterproof USFS maps.

Matt Lauterbach
(Loudbay) - F
Paper. on 04/25/2011 16:13:09 MDT Print View

I've got tyvek, and a few other water resistant papers. I was looking for a ripstop nylon that could be sewn into gear. Poncho/Map, Tarp/Map, Sack/Map, etc.

Walter Underwood
(wunder) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Bandana or Handkerchief Map on 05/30/2011 11:40:59 MDT Print View

A friend of mine made river maps on bandanas for a while. Turns out it is not a new idea. Here is a map of Washington DC on a handkerchief from the late 1700's. I saw it at the Newseum in DC.

Handkerchief map from the 1700's

Noel Tavan
(akatsuki_the_devil) - MLife
tyvack on 05/31/2011 13:42:02 MDT Print View

You could print it on tyvak and use that as groundsheet.

Chas Ho
(i_charles) - F
Bandana or a miniaturized map.. on 06/09/2011 10:35:08 MDT Print View

I like bandana idea or else a miniturized map in a magified viewer thingy.