We’ve become so reliant on technology that, if the power grid fails one day, most of us will be left hopeless in the face of imminent danger.

I’ve stressed many times before that a bug out location and emergency plan are essential to your survival.

If disaster strikes or a last-minute call is broadcasted by the government, you’ll only have a limited time frame to move to safety.

Now, depending on the situation, you’ll either have to drive to your safe spot, or trek if road conditions are uncertain.

Either way, to not risk getting stuck on your way to safety, you’ll have to carry along a detailed paper map and know how to read it.

Besides the features revealed by regular maps, a paper map (topographic) will also show the contour lines of the nearby landscape.

These are essential to your escape for various reasons. They show the distance above sea level and are great at mapping the slope angle of any nearby hills or mountains.

This way you’ll have a clearer picture of the area, know where valleys and hills are, as well as where the steepest inclination is, so you can avoid it.

Just imagine trekking blindly and encountering an area that will double your effort. It doesn’t sound good in any case, especially during a situation where time is of the essence.

Although you may still be able to rely on your GPS in case SHTF, if the power grid fails or satellites start to malfunction for whatever reason, you will find yourself disoriented and desperate in the face of impending danger.

With the Sun entering its 25th recorded cycle, which happens every 11 years, its activity will increase exponentially and this could lead to severe consequences for our modern-day infrastructure and power grid.

So, in the near future, you might have to put technology aside and rely more on techniques used prior to this technological boom.

The detailed paper maps are the best thing to start with since they will prove crucial during the first moments of a natural disaster, and will still be very useful afterwards.

Reading the contour lines is not a tricky thing at all. This guy at Reality Survival & Prepping explains this in a very neat fashion, so make sure to play his video below.

Once you’ve mastered the reading of paper maps, you can rest assured that you’ll be more efficient than 90% of Americans facing a similar disaster.

The best part is that it’s free and takes only a few minutes to get the hang of it. You can try this newly acquired knowledge the next time you venture outdoors.

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