Often taken for granted, maps will be an essential element for gathering intel, navigation and planning in a SHTF world. Have you ever thought about the effort and resources it took to make a map? Cartography has got to be a difficult thing to do after a SHTF event. Who has time to draw maps when you are fighting off zombie hordes or biker gangs just to get to a clean water supply?
GPS is going down so don’t count on your Garmin for navigation. I doubt the US will have the resources to keep the civilian GPS satellites flying when they have limited resources just to keep the country running. Forget google maps too. The Internet has an infrastructure (somewhere) and without Cisco and the cable companies maintaining the cables and switches, there will be no Internet (I don’t know how I will make it!) So it is back to the good ole paper maps!
Here is the good news … maps are usually cheap (or totally free if you belong to AAA) and they take up very little space in your car, G.O.O.D. bag or other SHTF stash. When you think about what it would cost to prepare a detailed map of just your own town or city after SHTF it makes NO sense not to stock up now. Maps have a long shelf life and even maps that are 20 -30 years old will give you 90% of what you need.
Make sure you have a detailed map of your city in ALL your SHTF bags and vehicles. Keep a couple extra in your home. When you start using them a lot they will get worn. A map will be critical for planning any sort of operation outside your home such as resource gathering. Ever seen a military CP (command post)? They are full of maps! Maps are essential for planning any sort of coordinated exercise. Get maps for all the areas that you may travel in. Get one for where you work, where your parent’s or brother lives (mistress?) whatever. Keep those in your vehicles. If you have a retreat, be sure to have maps for your city and your retreat area and everywhere in between. You never know when you are going to have to hoof it!
If you are on foot a map and map reading skills will be very handy. Avoiding cities and tracing the outskirts of a populated area are a proficient way of making your way while trying to remain undetected. Be sure you buy a couple compasses. Not the electric kind that have an ipod attached from the Sharper Image. Get an old fashioned mechanical compass. Have some fun with it to practice. See if you can navigate home with the kids one day after going on a walk or coming home from baseball practice.
Remember information is power in today’s world and it will be after the S hits the fan. Take out a cheap and easy insurance policy and get yourself all the relevant maps you need. They may be worth their weight in gold someday!