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Old 09-05-2019, 03:52 PM
infntryman86 infntryman86 is offline
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I use 1/100k and 1/50k maps I had made from Mytopo custom maps. They will do MGRS and in any style so I chose military style maps since that is what i am used to. Though if you are in an urban area topo maps become cluttered and less useful.
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Old 09-06-2019, 03:20 AM
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I use 1/100k and 1/50k maps I had made from Mytopo custom maps.
Are they centred on your house?
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Old 09-06-2019, 04:07 PM
infntryman86 infntryman86 is offline
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They are centered on my property I have to bug out too
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:05 AM
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ioda006 ioda006 is offline
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I use 1/100k and 1/50k maps I had made from Mytopo custom maps. They will do MGRS and in any style so I chose military style maps since that is what i am used to. Though if you are in an urban area topo maps become cluttered and less useful.
Can you help me understand how MGRS could help? I realize it will help give accurate coordinates, but what sort of use cases would that have?
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:49 PM
Astronomy Astronomy is offline
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Other than the practiced familiarity that many of us have from employing that grid scale while serving in the military, it's the overall ease of using a Base-10 metric grid (configured in meters/kilometers). Just quick to plot things to the nearest meter, ten meters, or decimal fractions of kilometers.

This also translates well when using optic mildots (and the mil-relation formula) for range/object-size estimations. And for interoperability with the rest of the metric world. For instance, in the military, you employ a pace count measured in meters... not yards. A common frame of reference useful when talking to (or coordinating with) folks outside of the USA. As well, military maps provide certain tactical details/features not depicted on USGS civilian topo maps, their contour lines are more accurately depicted (critical for cross country/brush busting route planning across slopes), the map datum is more precise (derived from better projections), and the entire package allows more accurately triangulated plots from the printed grid lines (usually 1km x 1km... and printed uniformly equidistant from both N-S & E-W). Every grid square is printed the same size... it's like playing the board game "Battleship".

Useful for things like plotting caches, linkup/rendezvous points, tiny water sources, calls for fire, un-surveyed landing zones, booby traps (or trap/snare lines), intersection/resection problems, flash-to-bang plots, gun lines, defensive sectors of fire, dead drops, positions, vehicular routes, obstacles, etc. And above all, the easy means to convey very precise and standardized locations to other people (using a scalable set of numbers). Verbally, written, or transmitted. Quick to very accurately plot using a protractor on a paper map. It takes a lot of the "swag" out of plotting non Base 10 map scales or the need to plot hours/minutes/seconds... when precision on the ground is quickly needed.

Think of a military MGRS map as being a mildly "accurized" version of a standard rifle. It's an accurate, fast, and precise tool for folks operating under stress, operating in the dark, and needing to employ a single measuring system across a wide variety of pursuits (electronic communications, cross-country movement, weapons/personnel dispositions, logistical support, intelligence sharing).

Outside of aviation/nautical navigation scenarios, the MGRS system offers speedy convenience and accuracy to ground users who don't really need Lat/Long plots. Although military maps support those plots as well.

For recreational hiking, it probably only rarely matters. But in an uncertain world, the military metric mapping system provides a common/handy mapping frame of reference for mutually supporting actions among folks dispersed far & wide. Which is why militaries use it. In 2002 Afghanistan, I routinely used Soviet military maps of that area. The only accurate ones available for many places in that landscape. Guess what? Russkie metric scales and easily employed by our guys. Different map colors and military symbology, but the map scales were familiar and readily usable by our forces. Thank God.

Truth be told, not many people (outside of sailors, aviators, surveyors, and some outdoors adventurers) are familiar or comfortable with plotting lines of Longitude & Latitude. But untold millions of government workers & military veterans have been exposed to at least the rudiments of the military's grid reference system. So it's something you could probably train/refresh more people to use in a hurry.

After decades of constant military metric navigation practice, I still tend to think in terms of meters/kilometers... not yards/miles. Whether hiking or driving.

Last edited by Astronomy; 09-09-2019 at 06:53 PM.. Reason: Expanded comments.
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:20 PM
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Useful for things like plotting caches, linkup/rendezvous points, tiny water sources, calls for fire, un-surveyed landing zones, booby traps (or snare lines), intersection/resection problems, flash-to-bang plots, gun lines, defensive sectors of fire, dead drops, positions, vehicular routes, obstacles, etc. And above all, the easy means to convey very precise and standardized locations to other people (using a scalable set of numbers). Verbally, written, or transmitted. Quick to very accurately plot using a protractor on a paper map. It takes a lot of the "swag" out of plotting non Base 10 map scales or the need to plot hours/minutes/seconds... when precision on the ground is quickly needed.
Wow what a thorough response! Thank you so much. I've been learning about MGRS a little and how to use it - the basics seem pretty straightforward and I can now see why this is useful.
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:54 PM
Mule Skinner Mule Skinner is offline
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I have a DeLorme "Atlas & Gazetteer" of my state.
It shows county roads and water features (rivers and lakes).
Even city streets show there, but are too dense to be useful.

Using country roads, one could pretty much cross this entire state
without going through a city, which I regard as valuable.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:11 PM
firewallsrus firewallsrus is offline
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I study maps and aerial photos the way other people read books and watch movies.

In the cased of the smallest area map. I suggest 1 mile radius. It would be good to have a very accurate map of this area, but you'll have much of the map in memory if you are regularly walking the area and studying the details of this map and google aerial photos of the area with the following in mind:

If I was one or two takers, what route am I likely to take through the neighborhood? (This should be done for all directions. You should be thinking in terms of what a stranger would see and how they would interpret their view.

If I was part of a hungry hoard coming in from the nearest population center, what would be my likely approach path and direction?

In both cases, are there common paths or choke points where your surveillance resources can be best deployed? You can't predict everything, but you can study the map and photos and make some good guesses.

Where would a stranger likely set up to watch your place? What steps can you take to be notified in such case or perhaps offer concealment that appears to be cover, but is easily shot through to give them a false sense of security?

Finally, what are as many low-key bug out paths as I can find for whatever means of travel might be available?
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:53 AM
Mule Skinner Mule Skinner is offline
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I study maps ... the way other people read books ...

--Me too.--
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:30 PM
infntryman86 infntryman86 is offline
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Can you help me understand how MGRS could help? I realize it will help give accurate coordinates, but what sort of use cases would that have?
MGRS is much more accurate and easy to relay across a radio to other members of your team. It also is easier to write down and if you miss a digit you are not that far off. Example an 8 digit grid will still get you within the same area as a 10 digit will
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