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There are a few things you’ll want to make sure you have before setting out on a long hike. Proper footwear is a must, for example, as is a sufficient supply of water.

Especially if you’re heading into the mountains of Japan during the summer months, a hand towel is something else you’ll definitely want to have with you. The high humidity means you’ll be working up quite a sweat, and having something to wipe yourself off will go a long way towards making your day outdoors more enjoyable.

Of course, even more so than being drenched in sweat, getting lost is an easy way to ruin your day out. Thankfully there’s now a way to prevent both of those problems with a towel that doubles as a map.

While the product’s name might not be especially clever, Creative Design’s Handkerchief Map itself definitely is. Three different areas are currently planned for the series, with the first, focusing on Mt. Fuji, available now.

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Printed on the surface of the 50-centimeter (19.7-inch) square towel is a map of Japan’s most iconic mountain, making it just the thing for visitors on their way to its peak during the official summer climbing season. Two different versions are available, the 1:25,000 scale towel above, and a 1:50,000 design that covers the surrounding area.

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The Handkerchief Towel boasts a number of advantages over ordinary standalone examples of its component parts. It’s made of microfiber, making it both more absorbent and faster-drying than cotton or silk handkerchiefs. The towel’s large size also means it can also double as a bandana to keep the sun off your head or neck.

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Being made of cloth means there are no worries about it tearing, wrinkling, or becoming water-damaged like a paper map, either. Folding it up and sticking it in your pocket is also a snap.

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With Japan being a mountainous country, alpine hikers’ options aren’t limited to Mt. Fuji. To help multitasking mountaineering Tokyoites, Creative Design is also planning to release two more Handkerchief Maps in mid-August for popular trails in the outlying highlands of Tokyo. One will feature Takao and Jimba, while the other will provide directions for visitors to Mitake and Okutama (both will be 1:25,000 scale).

The Handkerchief Towels can be ordered online here. Each retails for 1,980 yen (US$19.60), which we feel is a small price to pay to keep the sweat out of your eyes and find your way home.

Source: IT Media
Images: Yahoo! Japan