An essential safety tool for communication and navigating

Credit: Bellingham Herald

Cell phones are an essential safety tool in the backcountry. If you have cell phone service, you can call 911 in an emergency.  Modern smartphones are developing the technology to call for rescue via satellite in emergencies.  Smart phones also have mapping and GPS capabilities, which can help rescuers locate you or help you navigate through terrain. Cell phone battery life is limited in cold temperatures; it is helpful to carry a backup battery and keep your phone somewhere close to your body for warmth, but away from your avalanche transceiver to prevent interference. Keep in mind that high points, such as ridges or peaks, are often the best places to get a cell signal. If you witness an avalanche accident from above, consider calling for emergency response before descending to the rescue scene.

Smart phones have mapping and GPS capabilities to help you navigate or direct rescuers to your location. Credit: Gaia

Some of the most recent cell phones have the ability to text or call emergency services using satellites. With this technology, you don’t need to have cell phone service to initiate an emergency response. Credit: Apple

There are numerous apps that are useful for identifying and navigating in avalanche terrain.  Credit: OnX