It's a true terror to lose your way while on a bug out. It’s a scenario for all to prepare for. Once you lose your path, you might run out of food and water. There’s no easy way to say this, but it will end badly.
Hopefully, you will find someone who will give you a ride or show you the right path, but that is risky business as you never know what sort of person you will bump into.
Just to be safe, you should have all the things that you need in a bug-out bag. A good bug-out bags guide will have all of the essentials in order.
One of the most important things that you need to carry along with you is maps. And not just one because you need quite a few to survive.
Now you might be asking yourself why you need tangible maps when you have a phone, but you might be out there for days, rendering your phone useless.
Read on to know about the eight maps that you need when you are out on a bug out.
Even if you bug out in the outdoors far away from your city, keep a city map. It will show you your path back home. Furthermore, it will show you alternate paths when the one you know is off-limits. You might take pride in knowing your city, but it still doesn’t hurt to carry one along. It might save a lot of time if you go for shorter paths. You should carry the maps of neighboring cities, too. You might have to go through them the hard way if you find yourself with no money.
Country maps cover huge areas and offer you a lot to explore. The fall between city maps and state maps in terms of area coverage. Some roads are not on state maps, especially rural ones. Country maps, on the other hand, do cover these roads. Once you are out of the city, you need to know where to want to travel. That is where the country map comes in handy. The country is big, and you will have a lot of ways to reach your destination.
State maps cover more areas than country maps. You will find the highways and interstates of states. This will give you a better idea of routes. So if you are going far, keep a state map with you. The state map won’t give you detailed information about areas. Instead, it guides the greater direction of your journey. A state map will give you sound knowledge about the main roads. You might end up going to places you never planned out once you have full confidence in navigation.
Fire Road Map
If you bug out in the wilderness, you need fire road maps. A forest service map is another name for this sort of map. It shows you snake-like roads that go through the forests. Fire road maps also cover other public lands. When you are logging in the national forest, exploration is only safe when a fire road map is at hand. It will show you how to get out of complicated mazes of the forest. The more areas you can navigate, the more you can explore. Once you master reading maps, you will be a free spirit with the liberty to bug out anywhere.
Topographical maps are essential for a bug out in the outdoors. It’s not the sort of map that shows you where the roads are. Rather, it will show you geography. This helps you pick the type of area you will be traveling through. It especially comes in handy when you decide to go off-road. You should know the geography of the places you pass in advance. Topographical charts can get difficult to understand. It would be a waste if you had one when necessary but you were not able to read it. So, learn to read a topographical map in advance.
Photo maps don’t usually come with a sheet full of information. Instead, it shows you what the area looks from above. The photos are from satellites. You will get an idea of the topography from studying photo maps. It comes in handy if you are looking for a specific landmark that mapmakers miss out on. For instance, if there is a lake ahead that you need water from, a regular map won’t help. You need a photo map that shows you everything from a birds-eye view. A good example of photo maps is Google Earth. It has charted almost everything on earth from satellites. If you are going to bug out in a new location, print out that area from Google Earth.
Hunting maps are available for people who are enthusiastic about hunting. The game and fish department of the state put them out. The map will show you where you can and cannot hunt. By following the map’s guidelines, you will be on the safe side of the law. Even if you are not hunting, hunting maps can still be useful. You will be able to see the terrain, property lines, and road closures. However, the hunting map does not have as much detail as a topographical map. Whatever the case, it’s always better to stay out of hunting zones unless you intend to hunt.
A river map will tell you about dangerous spots in rivers. You might not be only traveling by land. Lucky for you, there is a map for every river in the US. Well, at least all the navigable ones. The river map will tell you which direction the rivers are flowing. Also, they show you if the rivers go on to connect with other water bodies. If you are going to travel by water on your adventure, keep the right river maps with you. And make sure that you take all the right safety measures while in water.
Travel smart, and travel with maps. You never know when you are going to lose your phone or the battery runs out. You will not be able to rely on GPS all the time. When you don't know where you are, the maps that you take may save your life. It will guide you when you need extra help. Eventually, taking you to your destination, maps do not fail you. Make sure that you carry the city, country state, river, and hunting maps with you. You should also carry fire road maps, topographical maps, and photo maps. Always be aware of your surroundings. You will find your way as long as you have your brain and maps to guide you.