I was talking to a fellow on the phone the other day about bug-out bags. He indicated that he had read somewhere lately that he should mark his map with three routes to his BOL (Bug-Out Location) and asked what I thought of the idea.
I indicated that, at least in my opinion, that it didn’t sound like a sensible OPSEC (Operational Security) idea. In a bug-out situation there are many conditions that could cause your map to fall into the wrong hands.
It could be lost or even taken by force, to name a few. In the wrong hands, you’ve just revealed where you are going and that place most likely has your supply of food, weapons, ammo and other self-reliance items. Other members of your family might even already be there.
My thoughts were that it’s not a bad idea to have alternate routes to you BOL, predetermined in the event of detours. But you don’t want to advertise them. I believe in running your routes, before you need to use them and memorize those routes. In executive protection, the advance team and drivers always run various routes such as the hospital, airport, etc., so they are familiar with possible detours and become comfortable with the routes. The same should occur with Bug-Out routes. But in the event a family involved and something did happen to the main leader, a map could come in handy. So, upon further thought on the matter, I felt if you really wanted to mark a map, then you should do it covertly.
What I came up with was the use of a fine-point UV (Ultraviolet) marker to make your markings, then use an UV light to see the markings. I happened to have used this technique for other purposes over the years so I knew it would work in this situation. I also have a couple of different small UV lights that could easily be carried or concealed in a pack.