The US Army maintains a complex known as the National Training Center (NTC) in Fort Irwin, California. There are a number of other “National Training Centers” operated by different government agencies, but it is the one managed by the Army which is most important to us. Army units are sent to the NTC to meet a timetable which is set years in advance.
Although the NTC is trying to impart several different lessons to the units visiting there, the primary one is about identification – locate the enemy and don’t let him locate you. Many of the simulated fights that they are going through are all about figuring out where the enemy is and what they are doing.
Knowledge is considered to be the most precious asset on the Earth’s face. Sure it’s at the NTC. Units that win the reconnaissance battle end up winning the following battle without fail.
The same lesson also applies to life, because death is the enemy we are attempting to beat. Basically, facts and experience are as important to the prepper who wants to survive as it is to the general who plans his strategy.
All the knowledge can be found on maps, including those that you are purchasing or maps that you can compile for yourself. There’s a lot of stuff out there that isn’t on any charts, but should be. So those maps need to be printed, because in the wake of an EMP, electronic maps, particularly those that are only available online, would be absolutely useless to you.
When There’s No GPS
We ‘re all so used to using our GPS to get around now, taking the same trips back and forth to the same locations, that we really don’t have any idea what’s around us most of the time. While there has been a time when people have an encyclopedic knowledge of routes, roads and places, most of us find it difficult to find anything but our usual hangouts without asking Google how to get there.
You can hardly find anyone in his glove box, who also has a road map. I had to order a town map online when I moved to the area I now live in. Even then, I struggled to locate one. But, if an EMP were to wipe out the internet and our telecommunications network, we’d only need some maps to get around.
Besides a road map of the city in which you live, you’ll want road maps showing the whole area you need to travel from your home to your survival retreat, as well as the area surrounding your retreat. Go for as much detail as possible for the maps, so you have the best available details. If you can find them, they are perfect for those book-type maps that were used to print major cities.
Topographic maps depict things differently than road maps do. Although they’re going to show highways, they’re doing so without any of the name. And actually, they can’t replace road maps.
Yet they provide a lot of details you won’t find on road maps, such as characteristics of the landscape, ground water and forests. The characteristics of the landscape will help you distinguish mountains, hills, canyons and rivers.
Topographic maps are important when traveling off-road. In addition to the landscape features they reveal “jeep tracks.” But it is really the features of the terrain that are the most important. You’ll be able to see if there’s an insurmountable cliff or riverbank along the route, important details to avoid being stuck on a road that doesn’t give you a way out.
Topographic maps will also give you groundwater which you do not know about otherwise. Although lakes and rivers normally appear on a road map, streams, ponds and canals in particular do not. And in order to live, a topographical map will give you important details you need to know.
Related: How to Prep With Seniors
As Far as Food Goes
Some are planning to add hunting and fishing to their food stockpiles; a smart idea if you can. Yet survival hunting isn’t like the fall sport hunt many of us do. There is an urgency with survival hunting to bag it and do so in as short a period as possible. Which means knowing where to go, so you have the best game-finding chance.
That’s why you want to annotate the best places for hunting and fishing, which are within a fair distance from your home and your retreat. You may also want to remember what kinds of game are available at each of those sites, as well as any seasonal information about that game.
Luckily, all of that information is accessible through the Fish & Game department in your state, as well as through hunting and fishing clubs and online communities. What you’re really going to do is dig up the information and compile it into a map you can use.
A resource map is another map of the collected knowledge you can bring together. Now, while things are all right, you’re going to want to start searching for the different opportunities around where you live. I’m not only talking about the kind of services you need to have to survive, but also about those you need to help restore society.
Our cities have warehouses packed with vital parts, machinery, resources and supplies. Most of it just ends up lying there, collecting dust, in an EMP’s wake. So if we are really going to restore civilization in the aftermath of an EMP, then we’re going to need to learn what’s going on in those specific warehouses. Most certainly, we’ll find just about everything we need.
Bear in mind that most of these warehouses are structures made of concrete. That transforms them into Faraday Cages. And, while our electronics will be fully fried by the EMP, if we can produce energy, there will be functioning electronics that we can use. We are all going to have to know where to find it.
Take a phone book and always keep it with this guide, even though several of the names of the companies listed in the Yellow Pages will be so insignificant that they will be worth it. But it can help you find stuff you haven’t already noticed on your map.
Your Private Treasure Map
When you have (and should) supply caches, then you need to make sure that you have maps showing where the treasure is stashed.
You might think of this as your own private treasure map, showing where your treasure was buried.
Never create a cache to locate your cache again without annotating its location on your cache map, along with the landmarks that you’ll need to search.
Of all your maps, this is the one that you most want to protect, to prevent anyone from seeing. Until you do, you never know who would remember what and be looking for it. Best not to let them know there is.
“Spiderweb” Evacuation Map
We all know we need a bug-out plan with a path from home to our retreat for safety. Yet that’s not enough I do not think. The Air Force has a term, called a spiderweb map, which they use when planning covert insertions and bomb raids.
It includes the intended route for the project, as well as a variety of alternate routes, including connecting legs from each leg of the main route to alternatives, so that, if necessary, a plan exists to change the path along the way.
Given the high probability of major traffic issues, as well as natural disasters wiping out roads and bridges, it makes perfect sense to use the same kind of network to build our bug-out route.
With each leg of the path we need alternatives, along with ways to get back and forth from our planned route to those alternatives should time come. Each leg should be scouted, with possible hazards marked on the map, and choke points.
That’s my map-list. Is there any that you added to your list that I skipped here? Which other way will you do?