Stay in Touch Bring the right equipment (and power) to stay connected.
>> Upgrade for off-the-grid coverage
Transform your phone into a satellite communicator with DeLorme’s inReach for Smartphones app (startup $250; subscriptions $10/month; inreachdelorme.com); it allows two-way messaging with pole-to-pole coverage. Or, add SPOT Connect to your SPOT GPS tracker to send texts, emails, and Facebook and Twitter updates through your smartphone (startup: $170; subscriptions: $100/year; findmespot.com). If you’re going overseas, unlock your phone (check with your service provider; for a fee they’ll often provide an unlock code). When you arrive, you can buy a cheap SIM card ($10 to $30) to connect locally.
>> Stay charged
Leave your phone off except at each daily high point or when in towns, when you can attempt to connect to the network by powering on in phone mode. Carry a 10-ounce Solio Classic2 battery pack and solar-charge panel ($100; solio.com), which stores enough juice to charge a smartphone 2.5 times.