You may be surprised, after reading all this disaster and emergency preparedness, to hear that your phone can be used as a survival tool. You know to have other alternative means of communication, so you may be wondering how to use your phone as a survival tool in case of emergency. We break down how to get the most out of this device.

You’ll have to do a little bit of preparation if you intend on using your phone as a survival tool, but that’s easy enough when you’re planning for the worst. Preloading some of these apps can mean life or death if you wind up lost and without any cell coverage or service.

Avenza Maps, some are free some need to be purchased, however, this is a great way to help you out if you are in an unfamiliar area or on an unfamiliar trail and become lost.

Top Maps, you may pay to download the app, but after that all the maps are free. Just download a map of where you are headed, and then you will be able to access it without an internet connection.

Army survival app, this app has a field manual on how to survive, breaking down edible and poisonous plants, dangerous animals, and so much more.

While those are great suggestions on how to use your phone as a survival tool if you are lost, there are other situations where you may wind up in a dangerous situation and your phone does not turn on. In this case, you will need to take your phone apart to use certain pieces to help you survive and get help. The useful parts you’ll want from your phone are as follows: the speaker, metal divider, wire circuit board, battery, and LCD screen.

You can use the battery and wires and some kindling from wherever you are to start a fire. You can use the battery to heat the wires, which can then be used to heat the kindling and start a fire. However, your wire will disintegrate very quickly, so make sure you don’t waste your shot.

The circuit board and metal divider can be sharpened against rocks and used as rudimentary knives and tools.

The screen can be used as a signal mirror by holding it up blow your eyes, and holding your other hand out in a peace sign. Line up the mirror so it reflects light onto your two fingers. Keep the light on your fingers, and align with the rescue craft that you’re trying to signal.

The speaker, wire, leaf and a puddle of water can be used to make a compass, because the speaker has a magnet inside it. Remove the magnet, straighten the wire and rub one end against the magnet. The end is now magnetized, and when you place it on the leaf floating in a puddle of water, it will align to point north.

You never know what you’ll need to use to help you survive in an emergency situation, so it’s important to be prepared for anything that life throws your way.

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