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How to make a paper maps waterproof

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Paper maps get wet sometimes, and then pages get stuck together and ripped.

the best way to waterproof a map is to laminate it, however its not to flexible. If it doesn't need to be folded or only folded once this is the way to go.

To make a waterproof map that's practical you need to go with this method.


  • waterproof sealer (like Thompson Water Seal)


  1. Find a clean surface to place the map fully open
  2. Paint a full layer of the sealant over the entire map
  3. Paint the other side
  4. hang it up flat and let it dry for over 24h or more


After waterproofing, you map will be oily but it will hold up as well as a paper map in dry weather. I used this method on a one month backpacking trip in Iceland. It rain 5 out of 7 days, and the maps survived quite well. Some problems are the paper will rip, and the corners of the folds wear like normal paper. A way you can solve this is by using clear packing tape on the outside before waterproofing it. (untested)

Commercial Map Waterproofing ProductsEdit

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