There are a handful of communication devices geared towards the outdoors that can be used in an emergency. Examples include walkie-talkies, HAM radios, and satellite phones.
For one reason or another, most people will not invest in the above options but that doesn’t mean they will be left high and dry during an emergency.
Practically everyone has a smartphone these days that they carry around with them everywhere they go. Like everything else, the smartphone has its advantages and disadvantages. But since everyone has one it is worth talking about a few things you can do with your phone that will make you better prepared when an emergency happens.
Since the phone will likely be the only communication device you have, you will want to protect it as best as you can. A lot of people already do this to some degree but if you do not, then at a minimum, you will want to get a screen protector and a case (preferably a hard case). These two items will provide some level of protection against impacts and falls.
Although they are more expensive, there are hard containers available that fully enclose a phone. Containers like these will provide the best overall protection from impacts, spills, and moisture.
Many phones today have storage capacities in the range of tens to hundreds of GB, although 1TB of storage is available on the higher end. Even on the lower end of this spectrum, this amount of space allows a person to download important information directly onto a phone. Information such as maps, survival guides, and first aid information can and should be downloaded before an emergency so that you can have access to it even without a network signal.
Save The Battery
There are a lot of things going on in a phone that can suck the life out of the battery. During an emergency, you may not have access to a power source, so every single percent of battery life becomes precious.
A few things that you can do to save battery life include turning down the brightness of the screen, turning off wi-fi when you are not using it, turning off all vibrations, and putting the phone into battery saver mode.
Speaking of battery life…
Get an External Charger
Other than carrying around a phone, people also tend to carry their charging cable around with them wherever they go. This is fine during normal times when you have access to a wall outlet or a charging port in a vehicle. During an emergency, these options may not be available or they may not last, like in the instance of a vehicle battery dying.
Given how much we rely on our phones, especially during an emergency, it becomes incredibly important to have an alternative or backup means of charging it.
There are several charging options available for keeping your phone charged and here are two options that I have personal experience with.
The first is the Electricity Generating Wood Camp Stove. This stove uses the heat from a campfire to charge an internal battery pack which can then be used to charge small devices. It’s a pretty cool process that works, though admittedly it may not be the most practical method for all situations.
The second option is foldable solar panels that are easy to use, can be set up almost anywhere, and are lightweight and compact. They come in a range of different sizes and prices so you should be able to find one that suits your needs and budget.
We never know when or where an emergency will happen but it’s a good bet that when it does, your phone will be close by. To sum everything up:
- Be sure that your phone has physical protection
- Be sure you have downloaded important information
- Change settings to increase battery life
- Have an alternative charging source
By doing these four simple things, you will give your phone an increased ability to help you out when you need it. Thanks for reading and stay prepared!
If you have any thoughts or questions about the above article be sure to leave a comment below.
ABOUT THE AUTHORBryan grew up in the Midwest and spent every waking moment outdoors. Learning how to hunt, fish, read the land, and be self-reliant was part of everyday life. Eventually, he combined his passions for the outdoors, emergency preparedness, and writing. Bryan is a published author with Fox Chapel Publishing. In 2019, Bryan authored the book, Swiss Army Knife Camping and Outdoor Survival Guide. In March 2021, he released his second book, Paracord Projects For Camping and Outdoor Survival.