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Where to Get Free Maps and Apps; and Map Reading

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We rely on GPS but we also should have physical maps; not just road maps but topographic maps of our area. There are places to download free ones. Also free location and navigation apps that can be very useful. Do you know how to read a topo map?

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Where to Get Free Maps and Apps; and Map Reading

  1. 1. Map Reading and Where to Get Free Topographic Maps and Free Navigation Apps
  2. 2. Most of us rely on GPS, whether in our car or via our “smart phones”. However, that requires a number of things to be working: The GPS satellites. Cell phone coverage for the phone. Power. It is always safe to have a physical backup that is only reliant on you and that you know how to use. Why Do You Need Topographic and Road Maps?
  3. 3. There are 30 GPS satellites in geosynchronous orbit. To get an accurate fix, your device needs to receive from three for latitude and longitude. Four to get that plus altitude. Satellites are vulnerable to EMP and to being destroyed. Why Do You Need Topographic and Road Maps?
  4. 4. Download the contour map for your area for free, then print it out, or order the map sheets. Click here for USGS free downloadable topo maps. Click here to order maps from USGS. Map
  5. 5. Learn how to read a contour map When you look at a topo map, you immediately see that it’s different than your road map. Features on it include: Roads, buildings, boundaries, railways, power transmission lines. Water: lakes, rivers, streams, swamps, rapids, kraken, etc. Relief: mountains, valleys, slopes, depressions, ridges, knolls, gnomes, etc. Vegetation: forested or clear areas, orchards, vineyards, Ents, etc. Toponymy: a fancy word for the names of the various things on the map. Use the map legend to learn how to use the symbols, colors and lines on the map. Scale is the relationship between size on the map and in the real world. Everything always looks a lot closer on a map than when you’re walking. Reading a contour map
  6. 6. Legend It gives you a guide to the various symbols on the map. The types of roads will be defined in the Legend. Contour lines This gives you an idea if elevation. If you trace a contour line on the map, you are tracing a line of equal elevation. If you walked that line, you will not go up or down. Check the legend for the contour interval—this is critical. There’s a big difference between a 10 meter contour interval and a 50 meter one. As you go from one contour line to the next, that is the contour interval difference. The closer lines are, the steeper the terrain. When they’re piled on top of each other, that means a cliff. Do not walk off it. If they are very far apart, that equals relatively smooth terrain. Notice how counter lines always dive in toward streams and rivers. Reading a contour map
  7. 7. The key to using a map is orienting it to the terrain. While there are many field-expedient ways of doing this, the easiest is to orient using a compass. Next easiest is to use roads or easily identifiable terrain features around you. Depending on where you live, you might have useable boundaries that can keep you oriented. For example, in Boulder, CO it is easy to tell which way is west: just look for the big mountains. On Hilton Head Island, the Atlantic is east, the Intracoastal is west. Reading a contour map
  8. 8. Always put your contour map in a waterproof map case. A rule of survival is: what can get wet, will. Click on image to get the one below. Note it has a “dummy cord”. Always tie critical things off to you. Another rule of survival is: what can get lost, will. Map
  9. 9. I have the one below tied of to my survival vest. I also have various smaller, survival compasses on different gear. Compass
  10. 10. Keep a road map in your car. The image below is of the two maps I keep in my Jeep, safe under a rubber map just behind the driver’s seat. The state map of TN has contour maps for the entire state and surrounding area. I recommend getting the one for your area. Click on the image to get the Road Atlas. Road Map
  11. 11. To understand how GPS works, check my slideshare on that topic using the link at the end. Knowing how GPS works will improve your ability to use it. GPS
  12. 12. Apps are very useful; some can be life-saving. Some caveats on relying on Apps: Your phone needs to be charged. Your phone could be damaged in an emergency situation. You need to have your phone with you. Some Apps require you be able to access a network. I have all these location apps on my iPhone.
  13. 13. After downloading any App, make sure you register and add contacts as required. It’s too late to do it when you need it. All Apps listed are FREE, unless otherwise noted. My listing of these apps doesn’t indicate endorsement, but I’m doing this, along with product descriptions, to give you access and information. I recommend you have a physical copies of my two books, one for preparing, the other one for the actual emergencies, on hand.
  14. 14. Family Locator-GPS Tracker for Android. GPS Tracker for Android. Family Locator simplifies life in the digital world by making it easy to stay connected to the people who matter most. With Life360 you can: • Create your own groups, called “Circles,” of loved ones, friends, teammates -- whoever matters most and chat with them in Family Locator for FREE. • View the real-time location of Circle Members on a private family map that’s only visible on Family Locator • Receive real-time alerts when Circle Members arrive at or leave destinations (Eliminate disruptive “Where are you?” texts) • Track stolen phones or lost phones
  15. 15. Emergency Alert System for Apple. Alert, track and notify loved ones as well as 911 in an emergency situation. Silent Beacon provides you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you and your loved ones are able to instantly connect. The emergency alert system for the digital age.
  16. 16. Road ID eCrumbs App (Apple and Android) for Apple and Android. This is one I use when off by myself running, biking or hiking. It’s a way of alerting people by email and text if something happens to me and I stop moving for a certain period of time (mine is set for 5 minutes). The all new Road ID App is a great tool for runners, cyclists, hikers, and walkers. With amazing features like eCrumb Tracking, a Stationary Alert, and a custom Lock Screen creator, the Road ID App is your perfect training partner. With the ability to track your workouts in real time, your friends and family can stay better connected whenever you head outdoors...delivering peace of mind like never before.
  17. 17. Compass An interesting tidbit for Apple Compass: it has a second page that is essentially a level and gives you accurate readings on inclines. Google Earth (Apple) (Android)
  18. 18. Print Book
  19. 19. The book on the left is how you prepare NOW. The book on the right, is your guide to surviving an emergency or catastrophe given you’ve prepared. The handbook in the center is a discounted, distilled version of both books with the most important basics - click on cover for any. Print Book
  20. 20. I highly recommend getting at least one print copy of the survival manual. During an emergency you can’t count on an eBook. It’s pocket-sized— shown next to my trusty, old Ranger Handbook. I keep one in the glove compartment of each car, in every Grab-n-Go bag and also give them as gifts— the gift of life. Click on image for print version Print Book
  21. 21. New York Times bestselling author, graduate of West Point, former Green Beret, and feeder of two yellow Labs, most famously Cool Gus. He’s had over seventy books published, including the #1 bestselling series Time Patrol, Area 51, Atlantis, and the Green Berets. Born in the Bronx and having traveled the world he now lives peacefully with his wife and labs. Sort of. Free book below available HERE www.bobmayer.com