From our friends at Survive2balive thanks for the article GA.
I posted the first article of the Intro to Land Navigation a few days ago. That article provided a brief overview of a very important survival tool, the compass. You can read that article here:
Becoming familiar with a compass and all of its applications can prove to be a life saving skill. To be completely reliant on today’s modern conveniences is easy to do. GPS technology has made finding our way easy and the skill of using a compass or interpreting a map has been relegated to a very small percentage of the population. The compass can identify what direction you are traveling but can not tell you where you are, but when oriented with a map, a skilled pathfinder can identify exactly where they are located and successfully navigate to very specific areas.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying modern technology is bad or ineffective. I personally own a Garmin handheld GPS that I religiously take with me on hunting trips. It is convenient, easy to operate and easily slides right in and out of my gear. However, things break and devices fail (although this unit has always preformed perfectly) and if I were to become totally dependent on this technology I may find myself in a real bad situation if it does fail. Remember Murphy’s Law? Murphy was a smart guy. When I am out hunting I leave the GPS in the pack as a back up and rely on land navigation skills in order to keep skills sharp.
In my opinion, maps are a must have for any preparedness plan. Do you have a pre-determined location you intend to bug out to if the S*** hits the fan? If so, do you have maps for the route and alternative routes you will need to travel to get there? Are you completely familiar with all the physical features of your property and the area surrounding your home? If you had to leave on foot, would you be able to find your way while avoiding major roadway systems or population centers? There are a whole bunch of sound reasons why folks should have hard-copy maps in their possession and if you had no answer for several of these questions, you may want to invest some time into acquiring maps and the skills needed to use them effectively.
There are several different types of maps available. Here’s a brief description of some of the more common types that may have some value in your preparedness planning:
Road Map: These are the maps that are really hard to fold! Road maps can be purchased at service stations and other retailers. We get ours from the local AAA store. Road maps indicate major highways and larger surface streets. They will also provide the user with major interest points such as airports, hospitals, parks, etc…Road maps are designed for use while traveling in a vehicle and not designed to provide details in physical properties. I recommendacquiring road maps to any area where you live, bug out to, and the areas in between your home and planned secondary location.
Political Map: Politica
l maps are void of any geophysical or topographic information. Political maps indicate state and national borders along with locations of cities. Political maps will show some natural features such as rivers and lakes but do not have a great deal of application in land navigation.
Climate Map: Climate maps show just that…climate. These types of maps give a person an idea of what type of temperatures and precipitation can be expected on average in a certain geographical area. A map of interest to people putting a preparedness plan together is an agricultural hardiness zone map. While this map may not be very useful for land navigation, it certainly is necessary if growing food in your self-reliance pursuits.
Physical Map: This type of map illustrates the physical features of a given area or region. Physical maps will show major physical attributes such as mountains, rivers, bodies of water, etc… The physical map is normally presented in different colors and color shading changes to show relief. Most physical maps will display lower elevations in green colors, higher elevations in brown, and water in blue. The physical map is good if you are traveling long distances and need to understand what type of terrain you will be traveling in.
Topographic Map: The topographic map is similar to a physical map in that it shows the navigator physical landscape features of a certain area. The topographic map is different however because they use contour lines instead of colors to show changes in the landscape. Contour lines on topographic maps are normally spaced at regular intervals to show elevation changes (e.g. each line represents a 100 foot (30 m) elevation change) and when lines are close together the terrain is steep. By contrast, the low elevation, flat coastal areas show contour lines that are spread apart. The topographic map is the best suited for land navigation. A large scale map (which means a topographic map that shows small areas in greater detail, think of it as more “zoomed-in”) is best-suited for this purpose.
Of course there are other types of maps out there but the maps outlined above have the greatest application within a preparedness strategy. The next article in the series will explain how to use the compass and map together to successfully navigate. In the meantime it may be wise to acquire a few maps of your surrounding location and anywhere else you intend to travel in the event of crisis.
Spe Labor Levis GA