These maps should always be in your bug-out bag just in case SHTF

Nowadays, just about everyone is connected to the Internet. This convenient little facet of modern living has gifted us access to helpful tools like GPS apps. But what happens if your area is suddenly thrust into a survival situation? What do you do when the Internet goes down and you’re left without a GPS to guide you? Turn to maps, naturally, but not just any maps. Any prepper worth their salt will have these maps in their bug-out bag.

Must-have maps for preppers

  • City or town maps: Whether you live in a bustling cityscape or a quiet town, you need to have a highly detailed local map. Even those who claim to know the ins and outs of their neighborhood can get turned around by disasters making streets inaccessible. Getting out of dodge should be your priority and it’s best done with a local map in your hands. (Related: Prepping for the unexpected on the go: 10 must-haves for your glove box.)
  • State maps: For regional problems, state maps are a must. These will give you an idea of your state’s major roads and highways so that you can plan your route accordingly. Going from this, you’ll also want to stock up on extended area maps or maps of the states surrounding yours.
  • Topographic maps: For larger-scale crises, you need to have topographic maps with you. These are basically comprehensive and accurate charts of a certain area’s geography; namely, the locations of natural and man-made features. Though intimidating to look at, topographic maps are commonly used for hiking, fishing, surveying, urban planning, and so much more. You’ll get plenty of use out of topographic maps, especially if you’re forced to go off the road.
  • Forest service maps: You may know them as fire roadmaps. Whatever you call them, forest service maps are incredibly useful because they show logging and fire roads, which can serve as alternative routes for you. According to, hunters can also depend on forest service maps to show them the closest trail while out hunting.
  • Hunting maps: Those who plan on hunting and fishing while in the wilderness should have hunting maps with them. Even if you have no intentions of seeking out game, hunting maps can still be useful, particularly if you don’t have a topographic map. As per, typically depict road closures, property lines, and terrain, albeit less refined.
  • River maps: There may come a time where you’ll have no choice but to travel by river. As such, you should already have river maps on you to save you the hassle of charting the river blind. All navigable rivers in the country have river maps, and each one will show you the river’s topography and terrain, as well as potentially hazardous areas.

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Naturally, there’s no point in having all of these maps in your bug-out bag if you can’t read them. So if you’re a map-reading newbie, make it a point to learn some skills as soon as possible. Check to see if there are any map reading courses being offered near you. Learning with other people can make picking up new skills that much easier. Additionally, you’ll also want to invest in a map reading compass to aid you in navigation, and a waterproof map holder to keep your map dry in terrible weather.

Ensure that your bug-out bag is sufficiently equipped for any situation by visiting today.

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