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Author Topic: Bug Out Route Planning  (Read 1832 times)

Offline ForgedPatriot

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Bug Out Route Planning
« on: November 30, 2012, 09:14:24 AM »
Just thought I would share what we are doing on our end to prepare for a potential bug out of our family to a safer location, and what kind of route planning we have been doing. The first thing on our agenda was to get a really good paper map (don't rely on digital maps or your ipad, etc.). We went with the Texas Atlas & Gazetteer. It has alot of information in it, and shows all Farm to Market roads as well as smaller county roads (which is important to know). Below is a link to the map we use (it has proved to be very accurate).

http://shop.delorme.com/OA_HTML/DELibeCCtdItemDetail.jsp?item=312&section=10042

Incidentally, we are also using these maps (along with a resource book from Joel Skousen) to determine the best place for us to buy land for a bug out location. I have made copies of the actual map pages and have highlighted certain areas, within a certain distance from me, that adhere to certain criteria (population, availability of water, topography, etc) that will be the areas that we will look for land to buy (we are late bloomers to the prep community due to my wife just getting on board!).

Once we pinpointed areas that look suitable to our conditions, we have started to not only look for land in those areas, but we have started to take several day trips to those areas. Along the way we have been marking such things as the following to later put on out final maps:

  • Water sources along our route
  • Actual road mileage between different points along our route
  • Any abandoned or temporary shelters along the route
  • Pipeline corridors that are favorable to our route
  • Railroad crossings that are favorable to our route
  • Populations of towns we go near
  • Restaurants, stores, etc. that may be a potential resupply
  • Location of law enforcement stations in towns
  • Location of clinics, doctors offices, etc. that may be a potential resupply
  • Location of mechanics shops, garages, meat processors, etc. all for potential resupply

There may be a few more, but you get the idea. we are looking for all of these things ahead of time and will be marking them on the master map. I will then be taking the finished map and making it into multiple small maps and using a numbering system on them. They will also be laminated for weather protection as well as to be able to mark on them with a grease pencil for any kind of planning (raid, ambush, scouting, best defense etc).

Anyway, that's where we are at currently. Any suggestions are welcomed!



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Offline cptd

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2012, 07:41:33 PM »
I live in Georgia, and my father in law here retired recently from Georgia Power, which provides most of the electricity here. He was able to give me a map of all of the electrical easements in the state. I keep copies of certain parts of it in my BOV because in some parts of the state, these easements run uninterrupted for many kilometers, and in the event of road closings, traffic jams, or roadblocks they might provide a way to bypass certain choke points. The electric companies have to keep these things clear of trees and other debris because they have to be able to drive their trucks down them to inspect and repair the overhead lines.

I'm pretty sure it's illegal to go cruising down the easement, so I wouldn't recommend testing it out, but it might make a good alternative in the event that you absolutely had to get out of town and the traffic was crawling. As long as you know where these things eventually intersect with other roads and highways, you could incorporate them into your planning as fallback options.

Online nelson96

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2012, 09:05:44 PM »
That is very smart . . .  both of you.
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Offline otowner98

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2012, 09:10:55 PM »
I live in Georgia, and my father in law here retired recently from Georgia Power, which provides most of the electricity here. He was able to give me a map of all of the electrical easements in the state. I keep copies of certain parts of it in my BOV because in some parts of the state, these easements run uninterrupted for many kilometers, and in the event of road closings, traffic jams, or roadblocks they might provide a way to bypass certain choke points. The electric companies have to keep these things clear of trees and other debris because they have to be able to drive their trucks down them to inspect and repair the overhead lines.

I'm pretty sure it's illegal to go cruising down the easement, so I wouldn't recommend testing it out, but it might make a good alternative in the event that you absolutely had to get out of town and the traffic was crawling. As long as you know where these things eventually intersect with other roads and highways, you could incorporate them into your planning as fallback options.

Good plan.  One small caution.  I remember watching Survivor Man and Les was following High Tension lines, but cautioning that they can lead to dead ends when they cross things humans can't - large rivers, swamps, canyons, etc.  Combine knowledge of where the easements run with a good topographical map, and you should be in good shape.

I seem to remember people using the utility easements to travel being alluded to in "Lights Out" as well as the TV show "Jericho".   "NUTS!!"
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Offline flippydidit

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2012, 10:08:02 PM »
+1 for "Nuts!"

Many utility (power, telephone) poles have steel plates attached to them which are labeled with numbers.  Sometimes the numbers are the Latitude and Longitude for that utility pole.  Think of it as a “Poor Man's GPS”.  Utility poles are not the only locations for these data plates.  Some can be located on power boxes, overpasses/bridges, transformers, elevation bench-markers, etc.  Of course, if you don't understand how to use Latitude/Longitude navigation techniques, they will be nothing more than useless markers.

I also recommend checking into other "routes" less considered.  These are some examples:

Railroad tracks
Logging roads
Gas lines
Power transmission lines
Waterways (rivers, channels, irrigation, aqueducts, etc.)
Secondary/arterial roads
Sewers
Forest management/fire roads
Game trails
Hiking/jogging trails
Bike paths
Horse trails

Keep in mind that otowner98 is correct.  Some of the power lines and other options can lead you to a "dead end".  Other options maybe extremely hazardous (such as crossing a train trestle bridge, or going into a train tunnel).  Consider your options and do what you can now to determine your best routes.  As stated previously, many of these "routes" are illegal to traverse while we have Rule of Law, so check local laws.
Nate
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"One of these centuries, the brutes, private or public, who believe that they can rule their betters by force, will learn the lesson of what happens when brute force encounters mind and force."
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Offline ForgedPatriot

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2012, 06:08:11 AM »
I live in Georgia, and my father in law here retired recently from Georgia Power, which provides most of the electricity here. He was able to give me a map of all of the electrical easements in the state. I keep copies of certain parts of it in my BOV because in some parts of the state, these easements run uninterrupted for many kilometers, and in the event of road closings, traffic jams, or roadblocks they might provide a way to bypass certain choke points. The electric companies have to keep these things clear of trees and other debris because they have to be able to drive their trucks down them to inspect and repair the overhead lines.

I'm pretty sure it's illegal to go cruising down the easement, so I wouldn't recommend testing it out, but it might make a good alternative in the event that you absolutely had to get out of town and the traffic was crawling. As long as you know where these things eventually intersect with other roads and highways, you could incorporate them into your planning as fallback options.

That is a great resource, I wish I was able to get a hold of one of those for my area. I saw another comment after yours that made a good point about knowing if the easement would lead you to a dead end. I work for a Pipeline Company, and we have the same thing basically only it's called a ROW (Right Of Way). Google Earth or Bing maps helps out ahead of time with all that. Use every resource! Thanks for sharing!
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Offline ForgedPatriot

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2012, 06:17:06 AM »
+1 for "Nuts!"

Many utility (power, telephone) poles have steel plates attached to them which are labeled with numbers.  Sometimes the numbers are the Latitude and Longitude for that utility pole.  Think of it as a “Poor Man's GPS”.  Utility poles are not the only locations for these data plates.  Some can be located on power boxes, overpasses/bridges, transformers, elevation bench-markers, etc.  Of course, if you don't understand how to use Latitude/Longitude navigation techniques, they will be nothing more than useless markers.

I also recommend checking into other "routes" less considered.  These are some examples:

Railroad tracks
Logging roads
Gas lines
Power transmission lines
Waterways (rivers, channels, irrigation, aqueducts, etc.)
Secondary/arterial roads
Sewers
Forest management/fire roads
Game trails
Hiking/jogging trails
Bike paths
Horse trails

Keep in mind that otowner98 is correct.  Some of the power lines and other options can lead you to a "dead end".  Other options maybe extremely hazardous (such as crossing a train trestle bridge, or going into a train tunnel).  Consider your options and do what you can now to determine your best routes.  As stated previously, many of these "routes" are illegal to traverse while we have Rule of Law, so check local laws.

Great advice! It's funny, because while we were travelling the roads scoping out the area we saw a few train trestles and I told my wife that we would avoid crossing at that location at all costs....she wanted to know why. Train trstles are very narrow, and it is hard to get your footing. The only way off one is a drop into the water, or worse down to a dry river bed, etc. I would not use one to cross simply because it would maximize someones chances to get at me....it would leave me too exposed for too long a period of time. What if a train came along?  :o  My thinking is this, if it gets bad enough for me to have my family evacuating somewhere, then we will most likely be in a WROL (Without Rule Of Law) situation in a number of places. All bets are off, and I will use whatever means necessary to get my family to safety....but that's just me  ;D  There are a number of RR Tracks that I had no idea that they ran so far in the areas I am looking into, so they are a great resource. Great examples BTW, thanks for sharing!
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Offline idelphic

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2012, 04:21:09 PM »
I can't figure out if what I want to do is the wrong way to go about it or not.. But one of the things I have to work with, like many is two vehicles, multiple packs and kits... and of course limited funds.

But I see the large format being difficult to work with, and not water proof..

So how do you handle that issue?
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Offline flippydidit

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2012, 10:47:01 PM »
I can't figure out if what I want to do is the wrong way to go about it or not.. But one of the things I have to work with, like many is two vehicles, multiple packs and kits... and of course limited funds.

But I see the large format being difficult to work with, and not water proof..

So how do you handle that issue?
Nate
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"One of these centuries, the brutes, private or public, who believe that they can rule their betters by force, will learn the lesson of what happens when brute force encounters mind and force."
— Ragnar Danneskjöld, from Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)


Offline flippydidit

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2012, 10:52:56 PM »
I can't figure out if what I want to do is the wrong way to go about it or not.. But one of the things I have to work with, like many is two vehicles, multiple packs and kits... and of course limited funds.

But I see the large format being difficult to work with, and not water proof..

So how do you handle that issue?

Divide that map into equal grid pieces physically (4x4, 8x8, etc).  Those individual "puzzle pieces" can be individually laminated and stored in a smaller map case.  They are easier to manage, and you only need to work with the one that covers the area you're currently in.  No need to manhandle a big map.
Nate
Military/civilian gunsmith

"One of these centuries, the brutes, private or public, who believe that they can rule their betters by force, will learn the lesson of what happens when brute force encounters mind and force."
— Ragnar Danneskjöld, from Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)


Online nelson96

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2012, 11:42:02 PM »
Concerning maps, and I guess it depends on what the area is like, where you are going and how you plan to get there. . .  I use "fire maps" (can be obtained at the regional Forest Service office) because they show great detail, including trails, fences, old roads no longer used, and water sources.  This is what I use for the areas I hunt.  I also do what Nate is suggesting, I break them down in to separate zones so that they are more manageable for each given area.  Then I travel those areas (by vehicle or by foot) and add my own detail that may be missed or unclear.  If a road is blocked I label that too, along with determining if I could figure a way around the blockage if need be.
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Offline ForgedPatriot

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2012, 08:07:52 AM »
Divide that map into equal grid pieces physically (4x4, 8x8, etc).  Those individual "puzzle pieces" can be individually laminated and stored in a smaller map case.  They are easier to manage, and you only need to work with the one that covers the area you're currently in.  No need to manhandle a big map.

This is exactly what we will be doing. I have a laminator at work that will do the trick. I have multiple people that will be using the same maps, so once I get everything on it that I want and feel I need, I will get them ready.
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Offline ForgedPatriot

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2012, 08:09:35 AM »
Concerning maps, and I guess it depends on what the area is like, where you are going and how you plan to get there. . .  I use "fire maps" (can be obtained at the regional Forest Service office) because they show great detail, including trails, fences, old roads no longer used, and water sources.  This is what I use for the areas I hunt.  I also do what Nate is suggesting, I break them down in to separate zones so that they are more manageable for each given area.  Then I travel those areas (by vehicle or by foot) and add my own detail that may be missed or unclear.  If a road is blocked I label that too, along with determining if I could figure a way around the blockage if need be.

Fire maps.....I had no idea, what a great resource. Will have to see if I can get some of those in my area. Thanks for the tip!
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Offline ForgedPatriot

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2012, 08:35:52 AM »
Well, I had to send off an email to the Forest Service to see if they have any fire maps in my area, but I was able to find Hunter Camp Maps for the National Forest's in my area. They are actually a pretty good resource. They show designated hunters camps, campgrounds, hiking trails, etc. all on public lands. I will call the Ranger station in my area to see what they can tell me as well.
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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2012, 09:59:55 AM »
I think the 'fire maps' might be hit or miss by region.  I worked for the forest service for 11 seasons over five different ranger districts on three different forests and never saw a 'fire map'.  What we had was a forest map, which has minimal detail because of the large area it is covering (often 1.2-2.6 million acres), 4x4 roads (only 'system' roads that are authorized for legal travel, not backwoods tracks), rivers, and some peaks.  The primary purpose was to narrow down the fire's location to a township, range, and section (and ideally, corner of the section since a section is 640 acres) so resources could be called into the right location.

Forest maps are one useful tool, but personally, I like my Delorme software and the ability to do very small areas to a high degree of detail and very large areas that still display topographic relief.  I have four maps printed off in the cars, one highly detailed of the area within 20 miles of my home, one that covers about a 50 mile area with less detail and two that cover the majority of my state (a north of I-70 sheet and a south of I-70 sheet).
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Online nelson96

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2012, 10:28:13 AM »
I think the 'fire maps' might be hit or miss by region.  I worked for the forest service for 11 seasons over five different ranger districts on three different forests and never saw a 'fire map'.  What we had was a forest map, which has minimal detail because of the large area it is covering (often 1.2-2.6 million acres), 4x4 roads (only 'system' roads that are authorized for legal travel, not backwoods tracks), rivers, and some peaks.  The primary purpose was to narrow down the fire's location to a township, range, and section (and ideally, corner of the section since a section is 640 acres) so resources could be called into the right location.

Forest maps are one useful tool, but personally, I like my Delorme software and the ability to do very small areas to a high degree of detail and very large areas that still display topographic relief.  I have four maps printed off in the cars, one highly detailed of the area within 20 miles of my home, one that covers about a 50 mile area with less detail and two that cover the majority of my state (a north of I-70 sheet and a south of I-70 sheet).

Plus 1 for Oregon then, I can get a very detailed Fire Map that also gives topographic relief.
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Offline fred.greek

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2012, 10:34:55 AM »
For at least some places in the US, you can download not only free topo maps, but free aerial image “maps” at:  www.store.usgs.gov
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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2012, 12:18:32 PM »
Plus 1 for Oregon then, I can get a very detailed Fire Map that also gives topographic relief.

It certainly would be something useful.  I suspect that Colorado's multi-decade absence of fire led to complacency, but since the 2002 Hayman fire the attitude is changing.  Suddenly the 'asbestos forest' isn't so fire retardant anymore. 


My latest tool/toy for navigation is the BackCountry Pro app for Android phones.  I can pre-download four different layers of maps including topos and color aerials for free (it's a $7 app).  Once downloaded, you don't have to have a cell signal, just a GPS signal for your location, waypoint marking, or route recording and you can toggle between layers.  It also lets you download when you have a wifi connection to save data costs using your network.
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Offline ForgedPatriot

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2012, 09:02:10 AM »
It certainly would be something useful.  I suspect that Colorado's multi-decade absence of fire led to complacency, but since the 2002 Hayman fire the attitude is changing.  Suddenly the 'asbestos forest' isn't so fire retardant anymore. 


My latest tool/toy for navigation is the BackCountry Pro app for Android phones.  I can pre-download four different layers of maps including topos and color aerials for free (it's a $7 app).  Once downloaded, you don't have to have a cell signal, just a GPS signal for your location, waypoint marking, or route recording and you can toggle between layers.  It also lets you download when you have a wifi connection to save data costs using your network.

I will have to check that out! Thanks for the tip!
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Offline ForgedPatriot

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2012, 09:04:45 AM »
For at least some places in the US, you can download not only free topo maps, but free aerial image “maps” at:  www.store.usgs.gov

Thanks for the link!
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Offline ConcoursRider

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2012, 05:45:30 PM »
For at least some places in the US, you can download not only free topo maps, but free aerial image “maps” at:  www.store.usgs.gov

I've been playing around with their topo maps and unless I'm not finding the right ones, I don't believe they list the railroad tracks or the power line grids. Has anyone else had this issue?

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Offline Big_Al

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Re: Bug Out Route Planning
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2014, 06:08:40 PM »
A map is an excellent start.  We should also be thinking about putting together some checklists for packing, phone numbers to police, EMS, fire, and hospitals along the planned route, and basically getting into the weeds about the route.  Some ideas are better expressed as pics so here it goes.  The value of having checklists is it helps during times of high stress...  Cards such as these can easily be tailored to a civilian application. 





Below is a short video on Pre Combat Inspections/Pre Combat Checks.  Fast forward to 2:08 in video.  This type briefing could easily be formatted to route planning and bugging out.  We always took the time to explain the 5W's and ensured everybody knew the route and what to do in emergencies.  We never just jumped in our trucks and took off down the road.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10u92HLDbzc

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