Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
We all know the reasons why a smartphone should not be relied upon one hundred percent in a survival situation, but as long as the phone has power and the screen remains functional, it can be a tremendous resource. Everyone has their opinion about the role a smartphone has in a survival situation, but the one thing everyone should be able to agree on is that a smartphone is a great resource because it can hold so much valuable information.
Nowadays, a basic smartphone has enough memory that it can store hundreds and even thousands of survival books and other related documents that could literally save your life during a survival situation.
If you are interested in putting this kind of information on your smartphone but are unsure of where to begin, then you are in the right place. In this article, we will be taking you through the process of preparing your phone, providing links to useful information, and keeping your phone going even during a grid down situation.
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Downloading Supporting Programs
There are supporting programs such as Adobe Reader that may be required to have on your phone in order to download and view certain files. The site that has the survival information you are interested in will most likely tell you what kind of reader you need.
If your phone does not already have this supporting application, don’t worry because they are very easy to install.
Follow the steps below if you have an android phone:
- Go to the page on your phone that lists all the installed applications.
- Scroll down and select the Google Play Store (or just Play Store) icon.
- When the play store opens, there will be a search bar at the top of the screen.
- Click on the search bar and type in the program you are looking for. For example, if you are looking to install Adobe Reader, then type that into the search bar and click on the search icon.
- A list of applications will then show up in the search results. Find the one you are looking for and click on the green “Install” icon.
Follow the steps below if you have an iPhone:
- Go to the page on your phone that lists all the installed applications.
- Find the App Store application and open it by clicking on it.
- Find the search bar and type in the application you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for Adobe Reader, then type that into the search bar and hit search.
- After the list of results shows up, simply choose the application you are looking for and click on the download icon that looks like a blue cloud with a downward pointing arrow.
Downloading an eBook about survival topics is just as easy as the previous section.
- On your phone, open the internet browser and go to a website that sells eBooks such as Amazon, Apple Books, eBooks.com, Barnes and Noble, or Google Play Books.
- Once you are on the site, search for the book you want, select it, and choose your purchase option.
- Sometimes these eBooks can only be viewed using a supporting application such as Kindle which requires an internet connection, which isn’t helpful in a survival situation. Within these applications, there should be an option to manage your purchased content and to download it. This will download the book directly to the phone and allow you to view the content without an internet connection.
Where to Get Free eBooks
Numerous websites offer free survival books, handbooks, guides, manuals, and other supporting documents that can easily be downloaded onto your phone. All you have to do is open the internet browser on your phone, type in “free survival books,” and you will come up with a list of sites that offer free documents.
However, if you do not want to spend the time thumbing through all those results, Urban Survival Site has already done a lot of the leg work for you. By clicking this link, you will be taken to a page that is full of free downloads, with topics including:
- General Survival
- Cooking Methods
- Energy, Fire, Light
- Food and Storage
- Health, Medical, Sanitation
- Nuclear, Biological, Chemical
- Official Manuals
- Self Defense Weapons
- US Army Manuals
- Miscellaneous Topics
Apps With Survival Information
Apps can be another great resource to download onto your phone because most smartphones already have the necessary software to download and run the app, which makes the process easy.
Simply go to the Google Play Store or the iPhone App Store, search for survival apps/manuals/guides, click on the one you want and click the “install” icon (for android phones) or the blue shaped cloud with a downward pointing arrow (iPhone).
Listed below are a few survival apps that were searched for within the Google Play Store to give you some ideas of where to start. If you are reading this article on your phone and want a closer look at the listed app, simply click on the blue headline and it will take you directly to the app.
- Offline Survival Manual – This survival manual covers topics such as building shelter, finding food, and making a fire. It also comes with helpful pictures and most importantly, after it is downloaded this app will work offline.
- Offline Survival Manual-Army Wilderness Guide – This app focuses on wilderness survival and bushcraft techniques. It is based on the Army manual that teaches about the jungle and off-grid survival. It has a lot of useful information, pictures, and the app will also work offline.
- Survive-Wilderness Survival – Unlike the previous two apps in the list, this option is a game. This won’t be something you want to have in a true survival situation but rather before it. It is a very simple and rather accurate game in which you are stranded in the wilderness and must make decisions, build tools, and find resources to survive. This game is worth checking out to get your mental wheels spinning or as a way of introducing the topic of survival to someone else.
Purchasing a Solar Charger
The last section here has to do with one of the most important aspects of your phone and a survival situation, and that is keeping a smartphone charged. If you become lost while on a hike, camping trip, or even if you are at home and the electrical grid goes down, you are going to need an alternative method for keeping your phone battery charged.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is with a solar charger. This is a device that consists of one or several small solar panels that collect sunlight. That light is then used to create electricity which in turn is then stored in a battery. A smartphone can then be directly hooked up to the battery and charged no matter where you are.
A great option is the SunJack 15. This product consists of three solar panels and each one is about the size of a tablet. They are all connected and easily portable as each panel folds up onto itself. It comes with a removable powerbank, which is the battery, that can be used to charge a phone separate from the panels or a phone can be plugged directly into the panel charging port themselves.
Along the edges of the panels, there are holes in the material that allow it to be hung up by using small carabiners. This is a great feature because if you are on foot, it allows the panels to be hung on your pack open and they will continue to charge while you on the move. By doing this you will always have a charged powerbank ready to power your devices whenever you stop.
It is not a great idea to fully rely on a smartphone to get you out of a survival situation. However, they are a great resource to have and almost everyone has one, so why not use it to its fullest potential?
To get the most out of your phone, be sure to take the time to research books, manuals, maps, anything and everything that could be useful to you during a survival situation. Then, and this is the important part, download all that great information directly onto your phone so that it’s available even when your phone doesn’t have internet.
Hopefully this article was helpful to you and if you have any thoughts or questions be sure to leave a comment below.
P.S. Don’t forget to pick up a portable solar charger to keep your phone charged and ready to go!
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