News Story Shows Importance of Basic Navigation and Survival Skills

A recent new story out of Nevada shows us that even basic navigation skills can be an important safety skill. (article continues after the video)

Sadly, many people have become so dependent on automated navigation that they don’t think twice when Google Maps or Apple maps suggests a different route. In most cases, Google Maps won’t lead you astray, but like any system, it can fail. In this case, the software had incorrect information about a desert road programmed into it, but instead of finding a good road, people found one that damaged their cars and got them stuck.

It’s a pretty easy problem to avoid, fortunately. And, you don’t have to go through a military or Boy Scouts orienteering course or go back to using paper maps.

The most important thing is knowing how to actually use your maps software. If you’re accustomed to using a voice command to tell your software where you want to go and then listen to turn-by-turn directions, there’s not much keeping you from falling in this trap. But, if you’re a curious person who likes to poke around in software to see what it can do, you’d know that there are ways to check ahead and make sure you don’t get into trouble.

Probably the most important thing is to use the “satellite” mode that shows you aerial imagery. If Google Maps suggests a route off the major interstates and U.S. highways, it’s good to zoom in and take a close look at the road. If it looks narrow and iffy, then don’t go that way. You should probably do this before any trip to understand the roads in an area you’re going into.

It’s also good to use a dose of common sense. If you’re blindly following directions and don’t pay attention to road conditions, some very bad things can happen. If a road starts looking less like a gravel road and more like something you’d take a Jeep on, you probably don’t want to take your crossover or sedan on that.

Finally, it’s a good idea to be able to figure out where you are on a map without GPS. You can practice this by turning the GPS on your phone off and then trying to figure out where you are on the map. If you can’t do that, you’ll need to pay more attention, look for landmarks, and know what the last town you went through was. Making a habit of paying attention to the things you pass and know what’s next is key to avoiding too much reliance on GPS.

Featured image: a screenshot from Google Maps.

About Civil Defense League

My mission is to help people go beyond preparedness and start managing the hazards faced by your family, your business, and the organizations you’re a part of.

If you find what you’ve learned here or anything else I’ve done for you to be valuable, be sure to drop something in the tip jar!

Free Online Training

We offer training in a variety of preparedness topics, including:

  • Basic Preparedness Skills
  • Defensive Skills (Including Firearms)
  • Electronics and Communications
  • Mitigating Political Violence
  • Other advanced topics coming soon!

You can find the free training here!


In addition to online training, I offer consulting service to individuals, businesses, and groups who want to bring their emergency preparedness to the next level.

Home Forums News Story Shows Importance of Basic Navigation and Survival Skills

Viewing 0 reply threads
Viewing 0 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.