Like it or not, we are growing more dependent on our mobile devices with everyday that passes. At 35 years old, I am old enough to remember how to read a map since digital maps didn’t exist when I was a teen. I’m also old enough to remember going to scouts and learning how to build a fire with nothing more than a piece of flint and a rock.
As times change and evolve, technology has replaced some of the skills of days past. If you’re the type who relies on your smartphone for just about everything, you better have a back up plan for the off chance that we lose power. Massive earthquakes, disastrous wild fires, and uncontrollable flooding are all a common theme this year.
One of our writers, Gerson Noboa lives in Ecuador where they have received more than their fair share of earthquakes. His cell service went down after each earthquake, as users flooded the lines, but data was still accessible for him. Data allowed him access to the news and apps like WeChat where he could communicate with the world beyond Ecuador.
Since we are so heavily dependent on our technology, you should consider updating or creating an emergency kit to support your devices. We’ve gathered a bunch of items for those rare occurrences when you might just need one or 300 more hours of battery life.
Chances are pretty slim for most of you, but you cannot predict the future. I was raised in scouts and was always taught to be prepared. I can tell you that being prepared isn’t always cool when it comes to going on vacation, but when it comes to a survival situation, being prepared is the most important factor in making it through in comfort versus simply surviving. And if you’re ever caught in a disaster situation, you’ll be glad that you picked up some of these items.
EasyAcc 20000mAh Rugged Outdoor Power Bank with IP67 – $49.99 at Amazon
- IP67 rating for water resistance, shock proof, and dust proof
- 20000mAh power rating
- Multi-Functional Flashlight: Covering common, flash and SOS lighting modes
- Power lights, CPAP machines and TVs anywhere with built-in AC inverters
- Chainable with other Goal Zero Yeti 400 for longer runtimes
- Safe for indoor use; refuel from wall, car or sun car charger and solar panel sold separately
- 1.5 ampere USB outlet, 12 volts outlet and 300 watts pure sine AC inverter included
Lumsing Harmonica Series Dual-USB Portable Battery – $11.99 at Amazon
Priced at just $12, the Lumsing Harmonica portable power bank is worth stashing in your emergency preparedness kit. It’s affordable and has a low discharge rate. You can even keep one in your car.
- 5.4 x 2.3 x 0.8 inches
BioLite Wood Burning Campstove – $130 at Amazon
- Powers most USB-chargeable devices including smartphones
- For 20 min. of charging with a strong fire gives you about 60 min. of talk time on most smartphones.
- During a full burn, the CampStove can boil 1 liter of water in as little as 4 min. 30 sec.
- CampStove weighs about 2 lbs. and is about the same size as a 1-liter Nalgene water bottle
- An internal starter battery helps kick-start the fire before the stove begins generating its own power
Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit – $98 at Amazon
- Directly charge a smartphone in one hour
- Charge up removable AA/AAA batteries from USB or sun
- Built-in LED light runs for 150+ hours per charge
- Kit includes Nomad 7 solar panel and Guide 10 Plus power pack
- 4 AA rechargeable batteries included
- Adjust brightness levels to save on power; maximum run time – 48 hours on low
- Power up from Goal Zero solar panels (solar panel not included), plug into any USB, or turn the crank for light anywhere
- Boost a tablet or recharge a smartphone to stay connected
- Legs fold up for easy portability
American Red Cross FRX3 Hand Crank NOAA AM/FM Weather Alert Radio with Smartphone Charger – $42 at Amazon
- Receives AM/FM & Weather band Alerts
- Charges your smartphone via USB
- Multiple power options; rechargeable batteries, hand crank, solar power, and AAA batteries
- LED flashlight & emergency beacon
Eton Scorpion ll Rugged Portable Multi-Purpose Digital Radio – $45 at Amazon
SureCall EZ 4G, Plug-and-Play Cell Phone Signal Booster Kit – Learn more at SureCall
- Sets Up in Minutes – Simple Plug and Play Install
- Boosts Voice, Text and 4G LTE Signals for All North American Cell Carriers
- Reduces Dropped & Missed Calls and Improves 4G LTE Data Speeds
- Covers 1-2 Rooms of a Home or Small Office, up to 2,000 Sq Ft
- Supports Multiple Users Simultaneously
goTenna turns your iPhone or Android into an off-grid communications tool, enabling you to text & share GPS locations on detailed offline maps. goTenna is lightweight, weather-proof, and easy to use. goTenna is sold in pairs — 2, 4, 6 or more! — so you can stay connected to at least one friend (and anyone else using goTenna).
Each pair comes with 2 micro-USB charging cables. goTenna apps and offline maps are free to download. goTenna comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
BioLite NanoGrid – $100 at Amazon
- Comes with (1)BioLite PowerLight and (1) BioLite SiteLight Set
- Battery can fill 3 smart phones, or run the light for up to 72 hours
- Dimmable lighting modes with emergency strobe setting
- USB rechargeable: charge from an outlet or BioLite stoves
- Light range: 10 m (33 ft) – lantern; 100 m (328 ft) – torch
Now for some basic essentials, and some of my favorite survival gear:
KA-BAR Full Size US Marine Corps Fighting Knife – $68 at Amazon
- 1095 Cro-van steel
- 7″ Straight Edge Blade
- The most famous fixed blade knife design in the world
- Leather Handle, USMC Fightning Knife
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter – $20 at Amazon
- Award-winning LifeStraw has been used by millions around the globe since 2005
- Removes minimum 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria (>LOG 6 reduction) and surpasses EPA standards for water filters
- Removes minimum 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites (>LOG 3 reduction) and filters to an amazing 0.2 microns
- Filters up to 1000 liters of contaminated water WITHOUT iodine, chlorine, or other chemicals
- Comes in a sealed bag, perfect for storing for emergencies
SurvivalSPARK Emergency Magnesium Fire Starter – $8 at Amazon
- NEVER BE CAUGHT IN THE COLD: High quality all weather fire starter is windproof & weather resistant
- LIGHTS UP TIME & TIME AGAIN: Strikes up to 15,000 times to make a fire when you want or need it most
- ALL IN ONE EMERGENCY TOOLS: Magnesium fire starter stick, large scraper, compass, whistle & lanyard
- COMPACT & CONVENIENT: Fire starter rod is 5.5″ to easily fit in cars, survival kits & camping gear
SnapLight Industrial Grade Light Sticks – $12 at Amazon
- SnapLight industrial grade green light stick for providing illumination for up to 12 hours
- Measures 6″ long and provides 360 degrees of illumination
- Hook and gate top for hanging or attaching the light
- Chemiluminescent substance is non-toxic and plastic body is phthalate free for safety
- Five-year shelf life from date of manufacture for a maintenance-free alternative to other lighting
Wise Food 5-Day Survival Backpack – $64 at Amazon
- Portable Stove Including Fuel tablets
- 32 Servings of Gourmet Meals
- 5 Water Pouches