Lost with nothing but your phone? Use it to get rescued.>> Text your last known location, condition, and SOS to your entire address book.
>> Call 911. Emergency calls will go through if detected by any network.
>> Preserve batteries. Turn your phone on for five minutes a day to seek reception.
>> Flash a signal with the screen. Hold your fingers in a V-shape at arm’s length, pointed at your target. Tilt the phone until the screen reflects light at the V; rotate it so the
light alternates between your fingers, flashing your target (see right).
>> Ignite a fire. Learn how to spark a removable three-pin battery (common in flip phones) at backpacker.com/cellfire.
How Far Will It Go?
Know your signal’s best-case distance—and what will reduce it.
Mirrors Bright, sunny days are best. Cloud cover, rain, fog, and nightfall may cut signal range by 80 percent or more.
Lasers Night offers the best conditions for an SOS (daylight visibility drops to 3 miles). You must hit your target spot-on to flash it.
Max range: 3/4 mile
Whistles Blowing over water or packed snow amplifies sound; sand, slot canyons, wind, and forests dampen it.
Better Than Screaming No signaling device? Try this: In an open area, lay three large, bright items 50 feet apart in a triangle shape or line.
HEY! OVER HERE! Click Here To learn how to wolf whistle, aim your signaling device, and survive the backcountry
a little longer with Ted’s instructional and gear-test videos.