In this day and age, it is said there are smartphone apps for solving just about any problem you may encounter. Just download, install, and you have the essential apps to survive the unexpected.
A couple of years ago, we posted an article on how to use your smartphone or cellphone as a survival tool. It showed how a broken or dead phone can help you survive. Just a few months back, we proved even a perfectly working phone has the capability to save your life in the most extreme SHTF situations, where there is absolutely nothing else you have on your person at the time. Here are just a few examples of survival smartphone apps that provide you with the data you need to survive.
Smartphone Apps: Using Technology to Your Advantage
1. Smartphone Apps for Illumination: Flashlight
One of the most basic needs for survival is having a flashlight. And like most smartphones, you can download “Flashlight” and Brightest Flashlight for iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Android, respectively. It’s as good as any modern flashlight! Mobile devices have developed really bright flash capabilities for today’s smartphones. Now, you’ll never be without a light source; unless, of course, you run out of battery.
2. Military Smartphone Apps: U.S. Army Survival Guide
Hesitant to go out in the wilderness because of lack of knowledge? Well, the 1,400-page U.S. Army Survival Guide app will tell you what you need to know and learn. This app will show you how to navigate if you get lost, build shelter, and treat an injury.
What was once a huge, bulky book has been distilled into a mobile repository of step-by-step instructions. When an Internet connection is unavailable and you can’t Google your way out, you’ll be thankful for this app. Just make sure you have enough battery to go a long way. Check it out: Apple iTunes.
3. Must-Have Smartphone Apps: American Red Cross First Aid
Getting injured in the wild is no laughing matter. It could be a matter of life and death. The American Red Cross’s First Aid app gives the user access to an extensive collection of first aid procedures. This will give you first aid knowledge in emergency medical situations such as burns, fevers, heart attacks, and broken bones. Make sure you download this app if you are very much into physical activity out in the wild.
4. Dropbox: Smartphone Apps for Document Safekeeping
One very important part of a disaster kit is your legal documentation, such as birth certificates, IDs, alternate routes, etc. Having a hard copy is good, but having a soft copy in your phone is smart. The Dropbox mobile app for Android and iOS will do just that! In an SHTF event, you can back up all your files to your phone as long as your Internet connection holds. Smartphone owners can now access their data from the comfort of their mobile phones.
5. BootPrint Pocket Survival: The Signal Finder of Smartphone Apps
With this app, you wouldn’t have to worry about climbing a tree or moving around in search of a signal. It will show you the exact location where your phone last picked up a signal. You can even use a compass on your phone so you don’t have to search through the map.
6. Smartphone Apps for Foraging: Wild Edibles App
Do you want to forage like Steve “Wildman” Brill? This is the app for you! The Wild Edibles app provides as much as 8 various images of over 200 wild plants you can locate, identify, harvest, and prepare so you wouldn’t end up poisoning yourself or getting sick.
7. Prepper Smartphone Apps: The SAS Survival Guide
This app also helps you identify safe edible plants and those that aren’t. It has over 400 pages on survival basics, such as where you can find water or how to start a fire, to identifying animal tracks and stalking them. You won’t even need to have an Internet connection to access the data. This is a great app with many survival features straight from the UK’s version of the Navy SEALs!
8. Smartphone Apps for Monitoring: Emergency Radio
In an emergency situation, it pays to be updated on whatever disaster or emergency your area is in. A bushfire, a hurricane, a police pursuit in the highway you’re driving in, and even traffic. You won’t always have an Internet connection to check social media out and see what’s happening. This way you get to prepare and anticipate your next move by listening to the emergency radio app straight from your device.
9. The Homing Device of Smartphone Apps: Guardly Mobile Safety App
In the event you can’t make a call, this app can relay your real-time GPS location and send them to the police or to pre-listed people you want to notify in case of a dire emergency. The app can also send out an extremely loud whistle to determine your location should they be in the area. You will need an Internet connection though in order for this app to work. Still, it will keep trying to do so until it gets a connection.
Downloading an offline map in Google Maps for a region you’re headed to will do wonders for you. It can provide turn-by-turn directions to your destination. You can also download the maps you need to access the navigation without an Internet connection. You can see your exact location using GPS even without a mobile signal. Here are the steps to do it:
- Search for your destination
- Drag out until you have a view of the whole area
- Flick bar at the bottom and choose “Save map to use offline”
11. Smartphone Apps vs Wild: Bear Essentials
Do you want an app that has been tried and tested by an actual survivor? An earthquake survivor in Haiti used this app, which contains a compilation of essential survival information from ex-British special forces Bear Grylls. He must’ve been truly glad he downloaded this one when it happened!
12. Proclivus: Knowledgebase of Smartphone Apps
You can have so many apps on your phone that’ll help you with almost every survival or emergency situation you can think of. Proclivus can ease up your jumping of one app to another because it is a compilation of the best survival information you can find on the web. And you don’t have to pay anything to get it! It does have in-app purchases for additional features, should you be interested.
13. Knots 3D App
Learn a step-by-step process on how to tie more than 80 different types of knots in incredible detail! Since it’s 3 dimensional, you can twist the knots to know how it looks like from different angles. It’s a great way to practice and perfect your knot-tying skills!
Living Survival shows a video of the 25 survival & preparedness apps for iPhone or Android:
With the advancement of technology and constant discoveries of other new ones almost on a daily basis, there’s just so much you can do with your smartphone! If you like to go hiking or outdoors, choose the ones you think you need most based on your location and lifestyle. No one wants to be in a survival situation, it is best to be prepared than regret not having it if it happens.
What do you think about this list of smartphone survival apps? Let us know in the comments below!
Up Next: Top 10 Apps For Preppers
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The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2014 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
I’d also add the Knots app. In survival situations, knowing how to make the right knots can be a lifesaver.
So let me get this straight. Ultimate catastrophe strikes. The world is in chaos. And my smartphone will work???
Those apps are downloaded WITH the 400 pages [the way I’m reading it], so yes, they should work if your battery is up to the job.
You can buy fairly cheap hand cranked and solar powered radios that will also charge your phone. So if you build some redundancy in your survival system i.e. multiple ways to charge up in an emergency, then yes. Your phone will work.
unless an EMP has toasted your electronics.
…in which case everything electronic will be toast. Your car, your refrigerator/freezer, your tv, your electric cookrange, your phone, gads, even your electric toothbrush.
Great, IF you have an iPhone.
We have Android phones. AND close to 50% of all phones sold now-a-days ARE Androids!!!
UP DATE THIS ARTICLE to give the other half of all Americans a chance to SURVIVE TOO!!!!!!
Most Apps are compatible on both platforms (yay capitalism!). It’s simply the perception that iPhone has a larger grasp on the mobile market that lends to them being in product demos. They are also known for their minimalist design, and no branding on the front display/casing, making them ideal for companies that do not wish to simultaneously plug a tech giant. I have an android powered phone (HTC One M8) and it works quite well with a few of these apps (others I have not tried). Give it a go and see how it works for you!
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”
I just went to the play store on my android and typed in the name of the app=- worked like a charm for all but the bootprint one- couldnt find it
If the SHTF, there damned sure won’t be cell service. Jus sayin
Depends on what “shit” hits the fan. Not all disasters will take out the phone networks. Jus sayin… back.
How many Gigabytes for all these apps take? The issue I had with my last phone was not enough room.
if the Chinese or some other country uses an EMP your phone will only be a paperweight or fishing line sinker.
the sas survival book was NOT based on the seals version, it’s the other way around everything the seals know is based on what the SAS taught them.
Spot on with this write-up, I really think this website needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be back
again to read through more, thanks for the advice!
I am missing an app for organizing your food supplies. I do not know what to use on iOS but for Android there is MyHoard (see bit.ly/1mzQza2).
I am using it for my food supplies. It works really nice!
Remember that conserving battery life and functionality without internet access is key in an emergency or survival situation. I would not recommend your cellphone as a flashlight for survival. It will run your battery down quickly. Battery power that could otherwise be used for texting loved ones or reading Survival resources, etc. Not to mention, why risk exposing your $500+ device to higher risk for damage or loss. Carry an EDC flashlight instead, only adds a few ounces to your pocket or purse. It gives better brightness, throw, and runtime.
Dropbox is a great tool to keep your resources available on your device but remember to select the “make available offline“ option for each file to be sure it is accessible when internet connectivity is unavailable. OneDrive offers a similar feature.
What ever happened to Proclivus?