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Sandwich bags and magnets


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I now have a small Oxford tank bag to put my mobile phone and a power bank in for navigation if I need it, but before I reviewed that I figured I should do a review of what I've used for navigation until now.

Namely, a sandwich bag with some magnets




Cheap yet really effective.

In another life I've taken part in audaxes (long distance bike rides against the clock). They often use route sheets with basic instructions such as:

TL SP Cheddar = Turn left when you see the sign post for Cheddar

2nd @ RAB = when you get to a roundabout, take the 2nd exit

R@T = when you get to a t-junction, turn right

R @ TL = when you get to some traffic lights, turn right

SO @ The Royal Oak PH = when you see the Royal Oak pub, go straight on (pubs are good for navigation as they have easy to spot signs!)

If you want to extend it further, places you actually travel through can be written in capitals, places you'll just see on signs in lower case. So you can mentally tick off the places you travel through, and if you happen to go through a place that's not in capitals... well... you've done a whoopsie somewhere.

You'll be amazed how many miles you can do with these basic directions. Just think, if you're on an A road for a while you can just say


Follow SP A303

...which may take you an hour down the road (if you joined the A37 in Bristol it would be another 33 miles before you found the A303)

The sandwich bag was border line free. I mean, I had to buy the bags but I had them anyway. Totally waterproof, which was a bonus when I went to Taunton for a Biker Down course in pouring rain the whole way (the directions in the pic were for getting home from the session, from Glatonbury I knew where to go to get home).

Magnets I also managed to get for free from a work colleague, but you can pick them up for a couple of pounds or just steal them from the ones on the fridge.

Sure there are more swish solutions to the navigation problem, but if you don't have a sat nav (or it has gone kaput) then this may work for you. The only time it really falls over is in busy cities as it's hard to make the directions easy to follow.

But a waterproof navigation solution for a couple of pounds max? Can't beat it :thumb:

(I did consider putting this review in the sat nav section, but decided that as it doesn't actually use satellites to help you navigate it didn't really count).

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I like it in the way I like the farmer approach (if you can fix it with a stick and some bailer twine the jobs a good’n) but I’m far too lazy to spend the time writing it all out.

I use this-


and this process-

1.Stick phone on bike.

2. Tell google maps where I want to go.

Do I get lost using that method? Hell yes but I don’t mind getting lost so it’s a win :thumb:

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An atlas in the pannier works for me.......more satisfying to read than jabbbing at a GPS - though I must admit a combination of both seems to be the way forward. But Yeh - the direction sheet and map in a placcy/tank bag always seemed to work........

Just a lot easier, these days.....

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