How your phone can save your life

Brandon Wilkes was hiking last year in the British Peak District when the disaster struck. The mountains were misty and his friend Ben slid down the wet trail as they walked along a narrow ridge with steep drops on either side.

“The most terrifying thing about this ordeal is not knowing exactly where we are,” Wilkes told Digital Trends in an interview.

But Wilkes’ phone saved the pair, and they joined the many people who are saved each year thanks to their cell phones. Experts say you can do a range of things to increase your chances of surviving by using your mobile phone more effectively.

Recently, a New Zealand skier described his rescue after falling through the rift, using his iPhone to signal for help. In an Instagram post on March 27, Tim Blakely described how the iPhone’s SOS feature helped save him. When you press the right buttons, the app automatically calls your local emergency number and sends them your location.

“The past week has been a flurry of feelings and self-reflection, and I really didn’t know what to do with this experience,” Blakely wrote.

In Wilkes’ case, he downloaded the 3-word address app, which is meant to give lifeguards directions to remote locations, after seeing a post about it on Twitter.

“After I gave the site to them,” he said, “we were able to put all of our focus and attention on Ben to make sure he was in the best condition we could get him into.”

Applications to prepare

A man and woman skiing across the country.

If you’re headed into the wilderness, you may want to first download some reading material to study your survival skills. Jeremy Scott Foster, CEO of adventure travel website TravelFreak, recommends the SAS Survival Guide app to would-be adventurers. “This app is the ultimate survival guide that everyone should have on their phone,” he said in an interview with Digital Trends. “It provides information and quizzes to help you develop your survival skills, it has a solar compass, and a Morse coder.”

Didn’t pack enough snacks for longer than expected in your country? Foster suggests that you should study the Wild Edibles app. “If you are camping outside or find yourself lost somewhere for a day or more and need food, this app will help you to know the plants in your area suitable for consumption and how to prepare them,” he said.

Tips to survive

The SpotX satellite texting software is located on top of the climbing equipment.

Survival experts say that having the right apps and a mobile phone can be a lifesaver when venturing into remote areas.

Don’t lose hope when things look bleak. Hikers get lost all the time and are rescued by their cell phones, according to survival coach Christopher Nergis.

“People who lost their phones simply called 911 and were able to be rescued. This is very common, and most of the time it’s not even in the news,” he told Digital Trends in an interview. and get lost.”

If you get lost, Nyerges recommends first checking your GPS on your phone before the battery runs out. “The real key is not to wait until you get lost, but to plan, know the trails, and carry essential equipment,” he added.

Dan Bird, president of the California Survival School, said you shouldn’t give up trying to reach rescuers even when it looks like you’re too far away for your phone to get a signal. In the United States, 911 calls are designed to pay across all available cellular networks.

“Even if you don’t show any signal, your call or text may still go out on another carrier’s signal bandwidth,” he told Digital Trends.

power up

Man's hand holding imuto 20000mah portable charger with small size external battery with flashlight.

Having sufficient strength is crucial when out into the wild. You may want to invest in one of the best portable chargers in case your phone runs out.

“Even if you have a phone signal, your phone doesn’t run out very often,” Bird said. “Keep your phone charged, and if you’re going to be working remotely all day, bringing an inexpensive battery charger can make all the difference.”

If your power consumption is low, try turning off battery-draining features, for example, closing unused apps, turning off Bluetooth and wifi when not in use, and putting your phone on airplane mode to help it not lose battery if you need to preserve it, Baird said.

Keep in mind that cold weather will drain the batteries. “Keep your phone warm next to your body to avoid losing the battery faster if it’s cold outside,” Bird said.

I won’t go hiking without my phone with me anymore.

If you can’t get the cell phone signal, try going up. Cell phone towers often operate on a “location line”; If there’s any cell service in your area, Baird said, you’re more likely to get to it by moving up a level to get an on-site line with cell phone towers.

“We’ve been in places where we lose the signal one mile in the woods at ground level but can get to the cell signal five miles away by climbing up the highest hill in the area,” Baird added.

If you spend a lot of time in remote areas, you may want to consider purchasing a satellite phone or a satellite transmitter. A basic satellite messaging device like the SPOT X offers the ability to send and receive SMS messages almost anywhere in the world and costs less than $300.

Even a satellite phone, which was once a tad expensive for everyone but can now be had for about $600. Bird uses iridium 9575 for expedition flights.

“We recommend the use of iridium network hardware for better coverage in remote areas around the world,” Baird said.

Wilkes said he learned a valuable lesson from his recent hiking experience. “I wouldn’t go hiking without my phone with me anymore,” he said. “So now if we go hiking we’ll always make sure to bring a power bank so we can make sure at least one of us has access to his phone if things go south.”

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