While many survivalists firmly stand against using modern mobile technology in a survival situation, there are methods that you can implement that will transform any smartphone, tablet or mobile device into a personal library rich with information that could assist you in your survival. While mobile devices should never become your primary means of retaining information, these devices can be transformed into vast libraries of knowledge that can be used to aid you in your survival. When you have a digital repository of survival documentation, you can become less-reliant on bulky paperback books that can take up valuable space in your survival bag.
Why Utilize your Mobile Device as a Means of Retaining Survival Information?
When you create a survival bag, saving as much space as possible is essential when you need to retain items that will immediately keep you alive. In the past, those who went into survival situations may have relied on binders or traditionally bound books to help guide them through an unfamiliar situation. These types of field manuals are available for free online. The manuals or survival guides you download can help save your life when you are confronted with a unique survival situation. It is not always possible to prepare for every unique situation. Having a collection of literature that is pertinent to any survival situation can help you make decisions that could ultimately save your life.
What is needed to Securely Set Up Your Device as a Survival Guide Repository?
A low-tech privacy peripheral such as the OFF Pocket: There are several peripherals on the market that are designed to completely block cellular, GPS, voice, Wi-Fi, data, Bluetooth and any other type of mobile communications signal from your device. While operating your mobile device in airplane mode turns off your device’s ability to connect to any type of broadcasting network, it has been speculated that government agencies could possess stealth methods that show the contents of your device even when it is operating in airplane mode. Using a low-tech peripheral such as the OFF Pocket ensures your mobile device does not give away your coordinates unintentionally.
Generating power that can be delivered via USB: Solar chargers for USB devices are now being mass produced and the quality keeps going up while the price keeps going down. Most solar USB charging apparatuses can be used with over 90 percent of mobile devices on the market today.
Procuring a hand crank generator for USB devices is also an effective means of keeping your device powered up. There are different types of hand crank generators available and they can also be procured in the $40 to $100 range.
There also are several portable batter power devices on the market, that can charge a device multiple times, like this one.
Finding A Reliable Storage Method: SD memory cards are readily available on the marketplace and it is preferred that you use this method of storage. Most mobile devices can support a mini or micro SD memory card. Experts suggest that SD storage devices have a life expectancy of at minimum 10 years when stored appropriately. Most new chips come with plastic cases that shield the chip when not in use. Did you know that an SD card was once found to be usable after being in an airplane crash? It is not recommended to store any of your data using cloud services such as DropBox. In the event of Wi-Fi signals not being available, any information stored in the cloud would become completely useless because you will have no means to access it.
You can also utilize your mobile devices internal flash memory. A helpful tip is to uninstall any unneeded apps that take up the flash space on your device. This will help preserve your battery and privacy. The extra space you get can be replaced with your favorite recreational reading materials or music. It is important to remove your SD cards after you are done viewing your files. This reduces the risk for the data on the SD card to become corrupted. If you have a choice in how you format your SD card, try using the FAT32 method as this involves less overwrites as opposed to the NTFS file system and this will preserve the life of your chip.
Power Saving Mode: Most modern mobile devices have features that allow you to use your device in power saving mode. Power saving mode dims the screen and allows a fully functional device to often last several days on a single full charge. This is ideal if you are viewing PDF or text documents. You may want to ration out the use of your mobile device to preserve its longevity. If you turn the device completely off after using it for 10-15 minutes, you can potentially go weeks without charging your device back up. If you use your device to listen to audio, ensure that the volume is at a low setting and use ear buds as this will also help preserve battery life.
Free Survival Resources: If you have decided to use your mobile device as a survival guide repository, you probably want to know where to find freely available, trusted survival literature to put on your mobile device. Below are links to download free, public domain survival documentation to load on your mobile device:
- FM 21-76 US Army Survival Manual (277 Pages) – The best practices of survival in any type of situation imaginable.
- Edible and Medicinal Plants (112 Pages) Full of pictures and examples that help you decide which plants can assist you in your survival.
- A Comprehensive Guide on Backyard Composting (8 Pages) – A rich piece that teaches you how to be resourceful when growing your own crops.
- Guidelines on How to Find Food and Survive any Dangerous Encounter (126 Pages) – From dog attacks to escaping animal traps, this guide gives you survival tidbits that can be useful in a unique situation.
If you are familiar with using torrents, you can also download large caches of these documents all at once. You will need to search for these on your favorite bit torrent tracker website. This will save you time from having to download them from different places and let you sift through the information at a later time.
Since PDF is the document format that most of these docs are presented in, it is recommended that you have multiple apps installed that are designed to open PDF files. There are several free resources that can be found in the Google Play or iTunes store.
The newest Kindles, Android devices, iPhones and iPads all have power saving functionalities. The popular brand names tend to have better support, longer battery life and more functionality.
What Else Should I Consider?
It is not recommended that you store or watch robust media such as movies or games on your mobile device. Using apps and media such as this will quickly drain the battery of your devices. If you do not have a back-up battery and your battery dies, your device essentially becomes a brick until you can procure another mobile device.
Since the battery cells will eventually wear out in your mobile device, you may want to anticipate this failure by purchasing an after-market battery that could serve as a spare. Implementing the after-market battery could extend the overall lifespan of your device. It is important to evaluate your own specific needs because your risk profile may not require you to purchase apparatus to block incoming and outgoing mobile signals to your device. You may want to substitute this for a case that will completely protect your device from the elements.
As previously stated, it is not advisable that you use your mobile device as a primary means of storing all of your important documents and survival guides. It should be viewed as a back-up that is used rarely and only for times when you can rapidly read information. As a primary means of organizing survival data, the best idea would be to create a binder that contains hard copies of documentation with excerpts from various guides that depict your most likely survival scenario.
For example, your survival needs would differ greatly if you lived in Canada as opposed to living in Southern Mexico. You may only need to reference a couple sections of a survival guide because your unique situation may not require you to ever know about tropical survival skills. Prearranging this information ensures that your core documentation is always readily available to you and your mobile device is being used for more of what it was originally meant to be: A luxury device that helps you as opposed to being a necessity for life.