Face it, you really don’t go anywhere without your smartphone. The cold glow of its screen is likely the first thing you see in the morning, and the last thing you see at night. Our phones are with us at work, at play and, if we’re all honest, in some places than they probably shouldn’t be. The one place where it could pay to have your phone ready to go? Anytime you head outside and — heaven forbid — find yourself in a survival situation. Then, there’s a chance it may turn into a lifesaver.
“Survival is all about using the resources at one’s disposal to meet basic human survival needs,” says Creek Stewart, survival expert, and lead instructor at Willow Haven, his outdoor survival school in Anderson, Ind. “When you carry something everywhere you go, it’s foolish to not consider it as a survival resource.”
Get Outside: Satisfy your wanderlust (and Instagram) with the best vehicle rooftop tents
From smart survival and navigation apps to fire-starting, mirror-signaling and even a makeshift spearhead, there are plenty of ways a smartphone can help out if you find yourself in a tight situation outside. To make sure you’re properly prepared, here are eight ways your phone can help you out of a bind in the great outdoors.
That’s all the advice we’ve got for would be survivalists with nothing but a phone for company. While many of the tips will mean the phone won’t survive the experience, they may mean you will, and that’s what matters.