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How we need to prepare


Mapping and Route Planning

This is a repost from a comment in the Survival UK Forum.
(c)2011 Northern Raider

When preparing to move to a RETREAT or even on EXPEDITION TRAINING you must make careful notes of certain important factors in planning your journey, Also when in location at your base or retreat you need to record for future use some vital information.

Listed below are some of the most important items that should be included on your maps.

  1. Primary route to and from your home or retreat.
  2. Secondary route to your destination.
  3. Escape paths and alternate routes along your route to avoid hazards/ambushes/checkpoints/bad weather etc. etc.
  4. Water and possible food supplies /and pre-arranged caches along your routes.
  5. Water supplies around your retreat are they likely to remain that way are they pure? (Potable)
  6. Escape routes from the retreat in case of bad weather or overwhelming opposition.
  7. Natural hazards, bogs, rivers, marshland, large forests, old mine workings, rock faces etc.
  8. Manmade hazards, bomb sites, fallout zones, mine fields, militarised zones, refugee camps, check points, known patrol routes, telecoms sites, (TELECOMS SITES = communication sites EG radio masts, communications/radio / microwave relay towers and broadcasting masts, telecommunications facilities, military network communications masts, broadcasting stations both civil/military and commercial etc. etc.)
  9. Towns with populations exceeding available resources for self-reliance, etc.
  10. Strategic targets, Bridges, factories, refineries, garrisons, police stations, airports, chemical and steel plants, reservoirs, road and rail junctions, marshalling yards, power stations, etc.
  11. Climatic hazards depending on time of year.
  12. Opposition, police, military both foreign and domestic, paramilitaries, refugees, renegades, looters.
  13. Allies, Red Cross, civil defence groups, other survival groups that are friendly.
  14. Resources, Food stores, supermarkets, fuel dumps, grain stores, petrol stations and POL dumps, (Pol dumps = Petrol Oil and Lubricating dumps = fuel storage and distribution facilities, civil and military, petrol stations, oil storage facilities, refineries and crackers, wagon depots, rail refuelling depots, gas storage and distribution facilities, methane generator facilities (pig farms and ground fill sites), camping gas suppliers (butane / propane/map gas-calor-gaz-coleman-taymar etc.)
  15. Water supplies, tool stores, gun and sports shops, armouries, builders merchants, isolated shelters, farms, caves, tunnels, underpasses, fish farms, rivers and streams, colonies of cattle / small and large game etc.

A warning about Supplies.

Do ensure that when you approach sources of supplies that they are not already under someone else’s control, do not take unnecessary risks if necessary go elsewhere or try again another day.
Avoid confrontation and unnecessary contact until things get as normal as possible, be prepared to barter for supplies.

Recording Useful Resources

Identify and keep records of any useful resources that may be useful to your group or family after the disaster.

Some materials like coal or building materials can frequently be left in place and they are unlikely to come to any harm, unless of course such materials are going to be in short supply.

Identify the following in your area;

  • Recoverable sources of Firewood, Coal & Coke, Peat, Heating and fuel oil, Bottled Gas (butane and propane). Check coal yards, railway sidings, gas bottled refilling centers etc.
  • Petroleum Products, Petrol, Diesel, Avgas, Paraffin (Kerosene), Hypoid, Lubricants etc (Most petroleum products will need treating with preservatives) Petrol stations, refineries, transport depots etc.
  • Building materials, lumber, bricks, cement, and aggregates etc. Builders yards, DIY centers, quarries, building sites etc.
  • Water Supplies, Tanks, ponds, reservoirs, streams, wells (including capped ones) artesian and aquifer supplies, Water filtration and purification equipment and stockists.
  • Identify locations of fast flowing or fast falling water that could be used to turn generators, mills, etc.
  • Food stores, supermarkets, distribution centers, regional warehouses, grain stores, etc.
  • Free range herds of cattle, sheep, chickens, deer etc.
  • Rabbit farms, Rabbit warrens, Fish farms, angling clubs.
  • Tool stores, engineering suppliers, plant hire agencies, camping, caravanning and outdoor stores, sports shops, gun shops, gun smiths, boat yards, marinas, ships chandlers preserved railways etc.
  • Remote housing that is conducive to self-reliance, IE has things like functioning large chimneys and fire places, ultra insulated, double/ triple glazed, multi-fuel heating and cooking facilities, has a well or other clean water supply, solar panels, wind turbines, methane digesters, local supplies of fuel, defendable etc other facilities like outdoor residential centers, outward bound centers, alternative technology centers, camping hostels, retreats etc are worth considering.
  • Check out footpaths, bridle ways, navigable water ways, rail lines, broadcasting masts, radio masts, wind farms, etc.

Please remember that in survival INFORMATION is not only power, but a lifesaver as well.

9 comments to Mapping and Route Planning

  • Kenneth Eames

    This is an excellent article. Surveillance will be of great importance in a survival situation. Having a knowledge of the area where you will be settling in will be important for that situation. It is worth doing this in several different areas in case some other people have taken over your preferred site. Kenneth Eames.

  • mike

    Could i just add to the fantastic article by northern raider, travel only by night sleep during the day moving from one safe location to another. you need to avoid interest from other people of any description. travelling at night will increase your survival chances tenfold, as most people stand down at night army and police included, because even though the enemy may have night vision equipment, it only gets used if you hear a noise.
    Plus you can disapear more easily into the shadows. You may also need to avoid cooking of any sort and eat cold food until you reach your retreat as cooking can be seen and smealt from quite a distance. also cigarettes if you smoke, a ciggy can be seen from nearly a mile away DIRECT LINE OF SIGHT. Be carefull of smells, like body odour (sweat) and perfumed soap or aftershaves, I mention aftershaves and deoderants as people put them on nowadays without thinking, but its a dead givaway. Noise is also a big givaway, when we were on ops you pack your kit ready to go then you jump up and down to check for jingles or noise emmiting from your equipment.waterproof clothing can also rub together another giveaway. Wear cammo cream at night also as your face shines, and you still need to wear it if your black or chinese etc as its eliminates facial shine. No lights of any kind, no talking, maybe learn sign language if there more than one in your group, watch out for luminous dials and such like on watches and compases easily seen from a distance. cock and load all weapons slowly and as quietly as possible, the army is trained to listen for weapons being cocked or cleared etc, and is liable to get at least a round or two in your direction. Leave no tell tale sign of your presence, take all rubbish with you or bury it(quietly) the army’s also
    trained to listen for that as well. Eliminate your man (or womans) shape, its about silouettes at night theres nothing stands out at night more than a man with a gun or a womans boobys (side view). If you have a group make sure everones got a pencil and pad, to write things down, even whispering is a no no. make sure you plan an rv point in case you get bumped on your journey, or when your sleeping. If theres enough in your group, practice and utilise army tactics such as the defensive circle and fire and manouvere etc. I t also comes in handy to learn army speak as if you overhear stuff you can maybe use it to your advantage.

  • mike

    also just to add, if your groups got firearms, dont clean them all at the same time,you need active weapons in case of attack, and also when your stripping a weapon for cleaning put all the pieces into a sturdy bag we used our berets in case you get bumped, its then easier to pick up the container full of bits and run tahn trying to find a load of bits on the floor.

    • northern raider

      Very wise words Mike, especially for preppers who are not armed with firearms ( most of us) have you ever tried putting a crossbow back together in a hurry in the dark, I nearly ended up with one side of the prod stuck up my nose when the string slipped !!

  • northern raider

    C,mon Mike I’ll let you have the honour of doing SSSSS etc 🙂

  • Skean Dhude


    Experience always shows. Thanks for that. I can lose parts when I am in a bright light room working on a table. When I come to put everything back there is either something left or something missing.

    I’m hoping after an event these pixies are just as devastated as we are.

  • northern raider

    Forgot to mention hot rock cooking, IE you start a fire and heat up some river cobble and prefably some charcoal as well.
    Whilst the fire is doing its bit you go away to a safer location. Then when the stones are good and hot come back and bury the stones in a hole along with whatever food you want to cook ( wrapped up of course) back fill the hole over the rot rocks and food and go away again for about 6 hours.
    Then you can retrieve your food later without exposing yourself unneccessarily.

    • Skean Dhude

      I’ve seen that technique before. It is also useful for cold nights when you can use the rocks to heat your sleeping place. Taking care of course they are not too hot.

  • Ysbryd

    The Vietcong cooked on stoves made from recycled cans fueled by charcoal that was made before they set out on whatever mission they were on. Light and easy to carry it created very little smoke and was hard to detect.
    BEWARE RIVER COBBLES; wet river stones can shatter or even explode when placed in a fire, only use dry stones for stone cooking.
    Just to add a little to something Mike Mentioned. Most night vision systems available on the open market need to be used in conjunction with an IR light which will be visible to other night vision equipment designed to use that wavelength. Remember that they can see your light from much further away then you can actually see. Just like waving a torch around on a dark night.
    Night vision equip. that only uses ambient light tends to be beyond the means of the average prepper.

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