Area Recon and Mapping- Static or Bug-out Planning

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Yard Dart, Mar 16, 2013.


  1. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    What I would like to ask is how Monkey's have addressed area mapping in their preparations? Are you doing this sort of planning including a detailed local/regional area recon and noting with maps as a tool for survival? I know as we get older our memory gets- let's say forgetfull. Under stress you can forget the basics in an emergency situation or evacuation by foot or vehicle. If you do not have a plan in place and reminders, notes, sketches and good maps depending on your need, your families safety and well being including security could be jeopardized. If you are compromised, captured or killed does your team have that detailed knowledge as well or that loss of Intel may jeopardize their survivability?

    These maps would be for use in either a post SHTF area detail for static bug-in's or in a bug out scenario where you need to have planned with travel routes, danger areas and resources such as food, water, shelter, fuel, spare parts, tools and all things survival oriented. With copies in both your bug-in kit as well as part of your BOB for quick and easy reference. A good point to note is- acquire all items in your prep now, including tools and spare parts- lack of preparation in advance could be your down fall. The basis for my map planning and recon consideration are on how to operate and survive under a martial law or a total collapse of law & order situation. Where do you get resources for re-supply missions (how do you move them back to your AO), how do you by-pass check points and danger, how do you get to external family and friends to pull the team together, do you have co-op plans for your neighborhood's security (range cards, hasty defensive barriers) and food resources (community garden's, hunting grounds and so-on) how does that fall into your map plan- all valid items to contemplate and prepare for.

    In a bug-out what is your primary, secondary routes and additional routes if available and have you actually walked them and recon'd in detail to ensure the plan/route will work for whatever your end objective may be? Where are the choke-points, large population areas to avoid (sites such as schools that are typically used by the .gov for HQ's, rally points, food distribution and relief camps), bridges and un-passable terrain for whatever reason. Abandoned structures, caves, and areas with good cover that you can build a shelter that may fall within your routes including availability of water (stream, lakes, ponds, irrigation canals and such). In our area wildlife such as deer and elk have a pattern of sorts, that we know of, and will use these areas as part of our renewable food source planning. They routinely graze and bed in traditionally un-huntable areas around here that would be available if needed later on. Have you studied your local edible plants to able to identify them easily and do you know where the naturally growing food sources are- have you plotted them? It is better to know these area now than to expend energy and resources trying to find them later.

    Living in the regional Seattle area we have lot of obstacles to navigate such as large bodies of water, bridges everywhere, and very mountainous terrain when moving out of area mostly East. You can not swim across a river or other bodies of water most of the year in the event of a downed bridge or secured by hostile forces. The water is very cold and runs too fast to swim or forge across . Hypothermia is the number one killer for people out here when they go in the water. You fall out of a boat on the Puget Sound you only have minutes to get back in or you are not going to make it. What is your plan if confronted with this type of obstacle that has to be crossed and can you navigate around it?

    Maps used for this purpose can be created or purchased in many forms: local area sketches- used primarily for close in area detail; highway/roadway maps; city detailed maps for urban/suburban areas where available, as well as topographic for cross country use. There are on line satellite maps available as well to give much more detail in a localized AO.

    Once your maps are created there are many ways to keep them safe and dry- remember that aspect as well. A wet map without protection will soon be useless.

    Plan now and execute- all success should be based on good planning and not luck.

    Note*** A recent thread discussed knowing what resources were in your neighborhood. Unfortunately the thread started under the incorrect and wrong premise of potential scavenging off of your neighbors resources in a SHTF scenario. The intention of this thread is not along that same premise and if it comes across that way I apologize in advance as that is not the intent. Survival to maintain your families and co-op team's security and maintain property including what preps you have in a static location or while in movement for buggin out is the primary concern to plan for.
     
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  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I would, and have, used Google Earth as a starting point. As a general rule, you can print out in as fine a detail as you want. (I have used them to "scout out" fields of fire and escape routes without leaving my desk. Note that on the ground is pretty well required anyway since GE isn't updated too often and trees obscure some details. But it is an excellent start.) Secondarily, the USGS has all the maps, charts, and other stuff that is invaluable for planning purposes, just order them up and they come by mail. Double check me on this, but I think you can get them on waterproof "paper" as well. Do NOT rely on GPS to remain in service or go unspoofed if things go pear shaped. Get to know your compass, map reading, and land marks. (Note that GE also gives elevations, nearly as easily as USGS charts.)

    In all probability, check points won't be known until tripped into or over. Choke points should be pretty obvious with a bit of thinking, that's the first place to expect checks.
     
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  3. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    I reccommend 2 options...

    1. contact your county GPS office and get the county maps with the overlays you want... water sources, all roads and paths, etc...
    2. contact your state forestry office... their maps have most of the items you want already on them... cheap as well...
     
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  4. Silversnake

    Silversnake Silverback

    I am in the same general area as you, but farther south. I don't plan to bug out for much of anything since I bought this place as a homestead bugin location. The Ranier lahar is going to flow well north of me, I am too far inland for tsunami, earthquake won't mean anything to me, my area won't flood, there are no active train tracks for hazmat spills near me, etc. Forest fire might be the only thing, but a logger is coming in a few weeks to push things back a ways for me, so I don't really see that as a threat anymore.

    That said, I have US. state and world maps 3'x4'. I have a US atlas. I have a detailed topo of the WA, Oregon and Idaho. If I have to bug out, I have no good plan for crossing the Columbia, the Snake or any other rivers. Getting home from work would be a challenge, probably 2 days walk cross country. I know those areas like the back of my hand in the dark. I have used GE to map out my local area including all the homes and farms within 5 miles. I have the imagery saved on computer. That said, I prefer hard copies of everything, because tech always fails.
     
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  5. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    You can download USGS Maps in .Tiff, and .JPEG formats, and then add your own details, and then save them as .PDF Files, and print just those things you would like to have on them for specific uses.... This is real handy for noting Locations of things, that you may NOT want to share with others, and yet be able to Print out a copy, for Your, your Families, or your Groups use, depending on just what you want to give out to the recipient. This allows you to customize the Printout, for the specific need, while archiving a lot of other Data that fopr OPSEC reasons may not want to share outside, specific groups. .....
     
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  6. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    A lot of us are not so fortunate to have the homestead sorted out. Deffinately food for thought on the local circumstances each of us may face. I for one live in an area where my bug in would need to be reinforced, which is part of my strategy. But there is the potential for bug out due to whatever circumstances and the area went into major chaos, that would leave us compromised in some nature. We are pretty close to Rainier and have blast zone concerns but out of the lahar area. Flooding is no concern and earthquakes are only a structural concern other than the normal loss of services. Structural fire is another concern for us, if other houses are burning there is the potential for spread of fire with wind.

    I have a similar issue with getting home- it would be a two days hike. I encounter all sorts of issues on that trek and have been trying to plan that route as well, due to only two reasonable road ways to travel initially without going around the world... per se. By foot it would take a good BOB to properly made that cross country trek as I encounter some elevation and in the winter could be difficult if not prepared correctly.
     
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  7. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    I reccommend that those planning to bug out by foot take a weekend and try itn out... one of the routes that i had checked out was almost impassible when i tried it.... logging in the area changed a previously scoutedroute to a mess when the logging allowed run-off into an already swampy route... additionally deep disking and plowing kleft major signs of passage....
     
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  8. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    When the twin towers went down, they closed all bridges and tunnels, shut down the mass transit. and my sister had to walk 10 miles home, alone, and covered in dust from the towers. She worked very close to them. Since then, I have been thinking of that walk. and the best I have come up with, is an electric scooter, or electric bicycle. All other forms of powered transport, were shut off. I would have like to spare her that trek.:(
     
  9. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    Those were very sobering videos showing people evacuating the city on foot!! With that kind of recent reminder, definitely the kind of thing we need to consider and prepare for. SHTF comes unexpectantly in many ways. :(
     
  10. Beano

    Beano Monkey

    If anyone needs any assistance in this department, it's my specialty and I can get maps/charts for anywhere. I would be more than happy to help out my fellow monkeys. Sequester has cramped print capability, but digital is unlimited. Same goes for analysis if terrain and calculation of best routes.
     
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  11. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King Site Supporter

    I am fortunate in that my current residence "in the city" (of about 35K), my home/BOL and 3 backup BOLs/cache sites are alls in the same county within a radius of about 25 miles...and I know the intervening area pretty well. The fact that the current res, home and 1 backup are on the same river, with the current res upriver of the other 2 makes it all easier.

    The county is also about 50% USFS or BLM land so there are very good printed maps available at the local ranger's office.

    As a note: USFS maps with plastic overlays are a great way to keep personal information (pref routes, cache locations, etc)...just make sure you memorize how to orient the overlays on the map rather than marking the map.
     
  12. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    I know the area around me like the back of my hand but I still always carry a DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer for my state in my vehicle. One never knows if I'll be an hour away when the SHTF or if I get called to deploy to some corner of the state.

    When on vacation or traveling out of state I always carry a DeLorme Atlas for each state I'll be in or near. Get these through Amazon and they are 13-19 bucks for each state. They have every road though some city streets aren't labeled. The scale is usually 1:150,000 but I have some that are 1:126,000, 1:156,000, 1:184,000 and 1:200,000. My Alaska book is 1:300,000 and 400,000.

    These have lat/long coordinates but sadly do not have UTM/MGRS coordinates. Still it is wonderful to have some kind of topo/road map for the whole state in a handy book that easily fits the pocket on the back of a car seat.

    I also have an app on my phone with maps for most of my state stored on my phone. Topomapsapp.com. So even if the phone system is down, if my phone is alive I have these maps. Goggle doesn't permit that (though there are some work arounds) and if you have no network you are generally hosed with Goggle. Topomaps also gives you grid coordinates in MGRS and UTM and has crosshairs to position over a location and read the grids. Uses WGS84 as the horizontal datum.

    AT
     
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  13. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    Regional maps would be important to have and a great idea.... if you found yourself out of the normal operational area you frequent, this would be needed to get you where you need to be.
     
  14. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I have the Delorma USA Maps on the MacBook, and a GPS/USB Puck for it that will work without external Data Connections. If the Data Connection is available, then my iPad2, my iTouch, or Momma's iPhone, or iPad3 will be used for navigation in the USA. If we are on navigable US or Canadian Waters then the MacBook has a complete set of NOAA Charts, and Software. (OpenCPN)
     
  15. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    If you have specific areas that you are consistently near... work out compass headings and add d them to your maps.. include off sets to account for obstacles. set up "waypoints" or known land marks with correcting headings... this will allow you to navigate faster and with more accuracy in times of stress. If your route is through heavy woods with out a lot of underbrush... when you walk it use a hammer , nails and florescent paint and mark routes around obstacles (fords, swamps, etc0 and the above mentioned way points and/or caches... it might just save you life...
     
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  16. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Bear in mind that marks, blazes, surveyor's tapes and the like can and will be seen "by others" in forage mode. OPSEC dictates that such things have to be invisible to all but those knowing they exist, and knowing what to look for. Maps and charts, if you have them, should probably not be marked at all in case they are lost or misplaced. (Or mark them with a memorized offset, which I don't recommend.)
     
  17. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    I carry a small, fold-up bicycle in the back of the rig when I work across town. A three speed, it has a rear rack. Even if I have to RON, I can get across town and to home in a matter of a couple of hours. Anchorage has a ton of bike trails in addition to the roadways, so there is some choices.
    I can walk at about 3 MPH, in nice weather, ride at 8+ MPH without carrying a load.
    Winter, of course, is a different beast altogether.
     
  18. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    I Recommend that the marks only be made where you take specific compass bearing from not blaze a trail...
     
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  19. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    Personally, I'd rather trust my land navigational skills be good enough (which mine certainly are) to be able to know or establish where I am and to find home without a need for pre-established marks that may be removed, altered or missed. If I am in territory that I frequent enough to make it worth my time to pre-mark several hundred or thousand locations so I'll know my location if or when I happen upon one, then, I'll know the area good enough that determing a rough compass headings won't remotely be a problem. Alternatively, If only a few dozen marked locations are being suggested, then I'd need to chart or remember where those locations are to find one. But if I can find that location, then that means I already know where I am without a blaze mark so what's the point? But's that just me.

    AT
     
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  20. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    What do these points define?
    blazes. blazes 3.
    with a simple kite string and nothing left as a marker. nonsense marks (if found) will point to nothing. (blazes, nails, rocks, trees, what have you)
     
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