UV For Bug-Out Security

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 B.O.L. (Bug-Out Location). He asked what I thought of the idea.

I indicated that, at least in my opinion, it didn’t sound like a sensible Op-Sec (Operational Security) idea. In a bug-out situation there are many situations 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 have just revealed where you are going, and that place most likely has your supplies of food, weapons, ammo, and other self reliance items. Other members of your family might even already be there.

My thoughts were that it is not a bad idea to have alternate routes to you B.O.L. predetermined in the event of detours, etc. But you don’t want to advertise them. 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 have a couple of different small UV lights that could easily be carried or concealed in a pack. 

This photo shows a fine point UV marker, a Streamlight Stylus with UV LED,
and a Micron Freedom with UV LED. 

This photo shows a map of an area where a B.O.L. could be. This map already has three
routes marked to a location using a UV marker.

This photo shows the marked route using Micron Freedom with UV LED.

As you can see, this is a great way to make markings without other people being able to see them. This can be used for other Op-Sec purposes as well. Let’s say you have some information that you want to carry with you, but don’t want it to fall into the wrong hands. This could be phone numbers, lock combinations, or other personal information. You could write that information in an innocuous location on something that you have on you. A piece of paper in your wallet, etc. What I like to do is write inside a small book, in a location that I won’t forget. You could use odd pages, or always start on page 12, etc. Use a system you will remember.

This is a page from the Emergency Pocket Survival Guide which is very small and thin booklet.
It could be carried in almost any survival kit or pack. 

This photo shows how information could be concealed on a page of an innocuous book.

This could also work for information kept at your home or B.O.L. Just use any book setting up on your book shelf and add that information you don’t want people to see with a UV marker.

Now some people have said that now that I have revealed this technique it isn't any good. I disagree, as this technique has been used forever, in various ways, and with various invisible inks. Not everyone will have read this, or have a UV light to check.

Anyway, I thought this information might be found interesting to people who want to mark their maps with various routes to their B.O.L. without it falling into the wrong hands, and for securing other private information.

Check out our U.V. Marker HERE and our U.V. Lights HERE & HERE.

We hope you enjoyed this article and will help support our efforts by checking out our products. As always, Be Prepared To Survive!

Copyright © 2013 by John D. McCann