Why You Can’t Rely on Your Phone in Nature

If you are old enough, you may remember to carry your cards in the car and give your family the phone number of the place you are going to. But who does this these days when you always have a phone? Well, if you’re going on a hike or hike, you may need to revive some old school habits.

There are still places without a cellular connection

Gone are the days when we bought mobile operators, comparing coverage maps. If you stick with cities, it can seem like every place has a cellular connection and you can use any smartphone app anytime you want. But go to a remote area and you may find that your high-speed data connection is dropping. Keep going and your phone might lose its job altogether.

Without coverage, your phone can burn out your battery looking for a connection. Once you figured out that you are in a place like this:

  • Put your phone in airplane mode (or turn it off completely)
  • Plan to send text messages to your friends and family when you get home, instead of relying on messaging apps that need the internet. (Old school twitter users may remember that you can contact the service by texting 40404, and you can send direct messages that way if you like.)

You will drain your battery

In addition to finding the coverage area, using any GPS-enabled apps will also drain the battery. It’s not that GPS itself requires a lot of power, but most mapping apps will constantly send data back and forth, with your phone notifying the server where you are and the server sending back maps or other data.

To reduce your runoff, try the following tips:

  • Look for offline mode in any app (especially a map app) and download data when you’re in a well-connected location – ideally at home before you leave.
  • Turn on “low power” or “battery saver” mode and dim the screen.
  • Check which apps are using the most battery and close (or even uninstall) anything you don’t need.
  • Carry a power bank with the maximum amount of power you can carry. Something like this will be able to charge the iPhone about ten times.

What to do instead

Imagine that your battery runs out and you find yourself in dead coverage at the most inopportune moment. See how to use these archaic technologies (which any experienced person in nature will tell you everything about!)

  • For navigation : a map, ideally printed on waterproof paper, and a compass. (Before, how to go, find out how to use them .) In addition, learn to read the tracks in your area.
  • For communication : Satellite messaging devices can send text messages to people even from nowhere. Personal radio beacons-locators in the event of a real emergency will inform the rescue services of your location. REI has a guide to choosing and buying both devices.
  • For a flashlight : Take a real flashlight.

Before you travel, make sure someone at home knows where you are going and make sure you know their number. I was the person trying to make a pay phone call at a camping off the beaten track, so bring an apartment and / or create a calling card account before you go.


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