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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. How to Read a Topographic Map. Where to Get Free Navigation Apps and Free Topographic Maps THE GREEN BERET PREPARATION AND SURVIVAL GUIDE
  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. A solar flare could interrupt GPS signals. There are places where there is no cell coverage and if you don’t have the maps already downloaded, you have nothing. 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 or on image below for USGS free downloadable topo maps. Map THE GREEN BERET PREPARATION AND SURVIVAL GUIDE
  5. 5. For better results, there are several topo map Apps, for not much cost, you can buy. The key to using them is to make sure you have the maps you want to use downloaded beforehand. Map THE GREEN BERET PREPARATION AND SURVIVAL GUIDE
  6. 6. Location Apps 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
  7. 7. 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. Reading a contour map
  8. 8. 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. Seriously. Reading a contour map
  9. 9. Legend It gives you a guide to the various symbols on the map. The types of roads will be defined in the Legend. Reading a contour map
  10. 10. 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.
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. MotionX MOTION X for Apple I use this app to track my runs, bike rides, kayaks, and hiking. It’s $1.99 but well worth it. You can get coaching alerts. Also, I often download tracks for single track for biking or off-road for my Jeep and use them via this app. Click on image for link. Remember— if going out of GPS range, download the map tiles before you go.
  13. 13. Location Apps 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.
  14. 14. 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
  15. 15. I have the one below tied of to my survival vest. I also have various smaller, survival compasses on different gear including in my Jeep and in my various Grab-n-Go bags. Compass
  16. 16. 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
  17. 17. Is covered in detail in both my survival guides. Some keys: The sun rises in the east, sets in the west. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, the sun is arcing across the sky to the south. If it’s sunny, put a stick in the ground and mark the shadow point; wait 15 minutes and mark the next shadow point. Midway between them is a north/south line. Learn the basic constellations where you live such as the Big Dipper. Water runs downhill. You can usually follow streams to rivers to civilization. Field Expedient Navigation
  18. 18. To understand how GPS works, check my slideshare on that topic using the link below or at the end. Knowing how GPS works will improve your ability to use it. This is another free slideshow on my web site. GPS
  19. 19. Location Apps 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.
  20. 20. Print Book Free downloadable Powerpoint slideshows on survival, history writing, and interesting information is available HERE THE GREEN BERET PREPARATION AND SURVIVAL GUIDE
  21. 21. The guide on the left is a complete preparation and survival guide. The one on the right is a pocket-size manual focusing on survival essentials. SURVIVAL GUIDES
  22. 22. New York Times bestselling author, graduate of West Point and former Green Beret. He’s had over 75 books published, including the #1 bestselling series Green Berets, Shadow Warriors, Time Patrol, Area 51, and Atlantis. Born in the Bronx and having traveled the world he now lives peacefully with his wife and dogs. For free eBooks, audio, slideshows and more go to: