Redundancy & Navigation

You are going to read a lot about redundancy in your preps this week.  As you can tell, I can’t stress enough the importance of redundant planning.  Murphy’s Law says that if something can go wrong – it will.  Experience says Murphy new exactly what he was talking about!  That is why it is so important to build redundancy into your preps.

I won’t bore you with another hurricane war story, but I can tell you this…trying to find our way around Miami-Dade County after Andrew hit in August 92 was IMPOSSIBLE. If you have a similar situation where every street sign is gone and familiar landmarks are destroyed, how do you plan to navigate your way around?

Nowadays people rely on the internet, GPS, and smart phones to find where they need to go. I’m guilty of it myself and have to force myself to purchase a map on trips just to ensure practice.  What if you are smack dab in the middle of a SHTF event?  If the power is gone, the cell towers destroyed, and there’s no cable or internet, and you have to leave, how are you going to find your way out?  These are important factors to consider in your preparedness strategies.

Like Monday’s post I am going to offer a list of potential solutions that can ensure you have plenty of redundancy built into your navigational preps:

Road maps:  The good old maps that your dad used to have on family vacations.  Remember these?  I fondly recall sitting in the back seat and following along on the road map as we traveled across country.  Road maps can be extremely valuable to you post-SHTF.  If you are planning on relocating to a BOL or a family member’s home outside the area make sure you have road maps covering the entire travel route.  It’s also a good idea to have road maps for the county you live in and neighboring counties around you.

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Topographic maps:  Topo maps contain a wealth of information, which you should learn to interpret so you can make use of them.  Topo maps come in a variety of scales and each has its own unique use.  The most important map reading skill is the ability to translate the lines of a map into the actual shape of the terrain.  Unless you have had some class work and practical application in land navigation then please do not rely on this type of map. In the near future I am going to prepare an article detailing basic land navigation with a topographic map and lensatic compass.  However, this article is about redundancy and I would like to stay the  course.


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GPS devices:  GPS (global positioning system) navigation has been around for a few years and has become relatively inexpensive.  I personally own two different types of GPS, a hand held Garmin and a mobile Tom Tom. Both of these units have distinct benefits.  I strictly use the Tom Tom for traveling in the truck. That’s about its only use but it can be carried much like a hand held if desperate.  My favorite is the Garmin hand held device.  The hand held can be used in both the car and on foot.  The display is not nearly as large and colorful but it is much more versatile.  I always carry the hand held on hunting trips and when I travel.  The device takes a little more getting used to than its mobile counterpart but it can be a real life-saver.  A quality unit can be picked up for less than $100.00.


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Smart phones:  Sometimes I think I can run a small country from my iphone.  It certainly is an impressive device.  Most smart phones are equipped with maps and GPS capabilities. They are awesome for traveling and are convenient.  Here’s the bad part…if you’re relying on your smart phone if SHTF then you will be SOL. Cellular providers will go down. There will be disruptions of service. Murphy’s Law applies best here. DO NOT rely
on your smart phone for navigation in a crisis situation.Internet mapping sites:  Again, these are great during calm times but do not rely on these sites during a post-SHTF situation.


There are several other methods for determining direction but these are the basics.  Take a good hard look at how you will navigate during and after an event.  Do not rely on the technology that you use on a daily basis.  I recommend investing in maps and a simple hand held GPS unit. This will provide you with a sound foundation.

In the future we will describe and outline other more primitive navigation techniques but in the mean time please establish some redundancy with your navigation preps.

Tell us what you think.