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Do you keep maps in your BOB or GHB?

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  • Do you keep maps in your BOB or GHB?

    Two items that seem to be prevalent in a lot of Bug Out Bags and Get Home Bags are maps of the area, and a compass. I completely understand, and agree, it is imperative you have maps if you are going into the woods, or wilderness, maybe hunting or hiking, or if you are traveling far away from home. Do you really need a map of your home town? Why would you need a map or a compass in a Get Home Bag? Maybe I have had the luxury of traveling my state extensively for work. I have been in every part, and would not feel lost or need to seek direction that would require a map or a compass.

    What do you do? What maps, if any, do you keep in your Get Home Bag? In a get home scenario when would a map be helpful?
    The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you are stupid, and make bad decisions.

  • #2
    Great topic!

    I do carry a compass and maps, although, when I'm out I use my GPS. I guess I'm old school. I use Forest Service and BLM maps. BLM has excellent maps for little money. (Of course, you right coast people don't have much BLM land! Haha!)

    Maps are important. They will have terrain and elevation data I use when I hike. Compasses keep you in the right direction. If you have ever done land navigation at night, a compass will make all the difference from walking in circles. I've been there! Haha!

    I guess this is a cultural thing. The east side of the country doesn't have very much wilderness. Here in the West, we still have areas where few people have been, especially up in my neck of the woods.

    -Buggy
    I'm not a fatalist. I'm a realist.

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    • #3
      Morgan, I do keep maps (topo's) of my area in my kits and vehicles. I also have map lay overs that can only be seen using a UV flashlight. These can show my caches, safe houses, etc. without my worrying that someone might see them on my maps. Even my layovers are coded and only my family understands the code. I keep these not so much that I might need them, but because I want my family to be as taken care of as possible when I'm gone. The dullest of inks is better than the brightest of memories.

      Dale

      PS - Both of my daughters would have a long ways to travel (longest is northern FL to WV) in the event of a severe SHTF or worse a TEOTWAWKI and I have tried to do everything I can to improve there odds of surviving and coming home.
      Judge no one, until you have walked in the same mud and spilt the same blood. Him, I call brother.

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      • #4
        Dale: Your situation and Buggy's make perfect sense, and I agree with keeping maps for that purpose. Those are great examples of when to keep and use them. For the sake of discussion I am thinking more of a Get Home Bag you keep in the car, almost an EDC Bag you would have with you in town, or at work. Basically local. From my own experience I am 2 miles from work. An easy walk. No hills. No water to cross. No highway. From my house I could almost hit my office with a rock. More than 95% of my time is spent within a 5 mile radius of my house. If I include my second job 99% of my time is spent within a 20 mile radius. I don't need a map in my Get Home Bag. This is also the road well traveled. I am confident that I could be blindfolded, and dropped anywhere within that 20 mile radius, and within 5 minutes I would know where I was and how to get home. When you think about where you spend most of your time I would bet most peoples' situation would be very similar.

        It just seems unnecessary to me to carry a map to get me home from the same place I drive to every day. IMHO.
        The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

        Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you are stupid, and make bad decisions.

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        • #5
          Morgan, In your situation I would agree with you and see no need for a map. Even for myself locally, I never need a map and my local is a great deal different than yours. My closest town is 15 miles away and has very limited shopping (1 Walmart, 1 Lowes and a hand full of small local stores) and almost all of that is new (built in the last 15 years). I've joked with my family that if a local gets lost in our area, they must have been coon hunting drunk and passed out. LOL! Most here would still be able to wake up, look around and head home. I love these mountains.


          Dale
          Judge no one, until you have walked in the same mud and spilt the same blood. Him, I call brother.

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          • #6
            After the 2013 Moore, Ok tornado, people returning from work to their homes were unable to identify the lot or even the block they lived on because so much had been swept clean of all but foundations or slabs.
            Being a native Okie I am a firm believer in tornado shelters whether they be underground in the form of basements, cellars or purchased buried shelters or the alternative safe rooms. If your family was in an underground shelter you may have a hard time finding your lot to see if anyone is in it.
            I have since kept sort of a treasure map as how to find a house in a development without the usual visual clues and/or street signs. Something like 4th intersection from entrance, turn right, 3 blocks, turn left, last lot on that block. Of course you have to have a known and identifiable starting place. So a map of a large section including your destination would be useful.

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            • #7
              I'd use a printed map not only to find my way, but to get off main highways (or at least have that option). Also, maps tell where local resources are available of various sources. Also, they allow info about distances between places.

              I've never actually done so, but thought that having a stack of 50 or 100 printed out maps of various sizes would make a handy resource for post SHTF use. Giving to others to build a community and as a trade item or good-will gesture, but also, in a grid-down situation, to allow outside aid to come in and be more effective.

              I'm thinking post-Katrina type situations, those coming in would need to have such.

              Maybe keeping the maps in some plastic page protector sleeves would be a nice touch, too.

              Last but not least, if you were the guy who had a stack of such, it would sort establish that you had your act together. Might want to be careful about how much of you handed them out as that could draw unwanted attention, but if you saw that someone new to the area seemed trust-worthy, having as set of maps ready to go would be one way to reach out to them and establish that you had your 'stuff' together.

              Or whatever.
              Been there, done that. Then been there again several times, because apparently I never learn.

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              • #8
                I have both topical and road maps working from our home to our retreat. All are on paper. But I now use a amazon fire 7 tablet which I down loaded all the same maps and have it on my disk. Much lighter if we have to walk.

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                • #9
                  I only go to town for supplies once a year, sometime twice a year total if medical crap is needed. So my whole life is right here on the homestead. In the last seven months I have never been more then a mile from the cabin.
                  Last edited by Sourdough; 04-26-2018, 07:09 PM.
                  One day you eat the chicken.....next day the left-over chicken.....next five days you eat chicken feathers, head and feet.

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                  • #10
                    I too carry maps in my bag.. regional, state and even nautical... be sure to highlight the train tracks on each one.. they make for a great way to get to where you are going without a lot of people in your way.. they also go through mountains and over rivers.. but are off the beaten path.

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                    • #11
                      This is an excellent topic. We keep paper topo maps in the bugout bag. Something else to think about is if a natural or manmade disaster occurs then the cell phone towers and GPS system will be shutdown and dedicated to the military and or civil authorities. This means that your GPS isn't going to work. If this happens our plan is either before the cell towers are down or if they return intermittently is to change the recorded message on the cell phone with status, time, location and direction then turn off the phone to conserve batteries. This way loved ones will know our status, if we need help and where we are headed.

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                      • #12
                        I do carry maps, though this is one place I'm currently out of date. Since we moved back to PA I've had trouble finding topo's and have been lazy about getting them updated. Growing up I'd just hit the local hiking shop and they'd have several of the usgs topo maps covering say a 50 mile aea. Now I can't seem to find them anywhere local and when I've asked at a few places around I get the "oh let me show you this great GPS"... Argghhh...so any good places to check out to get USGS/ Forestry/ etc? Even on-line I was having issues finding a link to a govt site that might sell them.

                        As to usefulness Morg, guess that's up to you. I grew up in a small area and was over all kinds of the back roads but I guarantee you I don't know where every little road, path, stream, etc went within a 20 square mile block nor where all the "official" trails were. If you do great, but under stress and say in middle of the night, how clear will your memory be? about somewhere you haven't been in 15 years. Was it a right or a left at the old church or maybe the old broken oak tree you used as a visual que got cut down and removed 15 years ago... As for the most common get home situations where cell/ gps service is up, an electronic GPS or Google map or like Rich said, maps downloaded to your device are cheap and take up no room. And lets say maybe it isn't a typical day or workday. Maybe you're at the airport picking up someone or your at the Doc's; let's say you're now 50 or 100 miles from home. How well do you actually know every street, train track, waterway, neighborhood, between point A and point B. Even if you know 2 or 3 routes, what happens if you can't go that way and have to go another? maybe you have to leave your vehicle and go on foot or bike.

                        Kind of brings to mind the "1 is none, 2 is one, 3 is for me" mantra. How many levels of preparedness do you want?
                        I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you!

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                        • #13
                          CountryGuy , I also prefer topos and have been finding it more difficult all the time to find them. Some times I will visit a nearby National Forest office and they sometimes have them or will at least be able to tell you which sheets you need for the area you want, so you can order them on line. Other government offices that have land management as part of there duties often have topos (If not for sale, then as a reference.). I miss access to military maps.

                          Dale
                          Judge no one, until you have walked in the same mud and spilt the same blood. Him, I call brother.

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                          • #14
                            I have maps of every area I go to but you'd be surprised-maybe you wont- how many people in the UK rely solely on sat navs in their cars, the amount of people I have seen stuck in our narrow country lanes around here, one woman had her car washed away in a flooded ford just because her sat nav told her to go that way. I wont have one of these things on principal.

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                            • #15
                              I'd recommend a map and compass if only to guarantee your GPS and/or tablet and/or smart-phone hold up.

                              IMHO, a natural solar flare or CME is a more likely scenario than space-war, and hacking / spoofing GPS signals is likely to be lo-key criminality. Against that, the terrorist threat from spoofing maritime navigation in confined waters is real. Too many ships rely too much on their instruments, and weary watch-keepers may not notice another vessel has gone astray in time to avert disaster.

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