I’m old enough to remember when calculator watches were first released and we all thought they were the greatest thing since fire. It gave a person the power to do long division anywhere, without a pencil and paper. Advance some years and we all have the ability to have a computer in the palm of our hand anywhere, anytime. Current cell phones are more powerful than most computers 20 years ago and can have endless possibilities for use by Preppers, Bushcrafters, and the common man. There is a plethora of Apps for doing almost anything you want or learning about anything you want.
Below are what I think are some of the best Apps for learning, review, and keeping track of items. Some are available off line so even without a signal you will be able to access them, while some require a signal so use them now. Some of them are free with paid versions available, which I have paid for some of them for the extra abilities that the free version doesn’t have. These are in no particular order for what I like best or importance in usage. There are probably hundreds of Apps that have uses for being prepared, so if you have some that you like let me know below in the comments.
Nextdoor – This App is tailored for a person living in neighborhoods. The easiest way to describe it is Facebook on a local scale. It allows people to join based upon where they live and allows people to follow only specific neighborhoods of people. You can post messages, announcements like garage sales, or a neighborhood block party. It basically allows a neighborhood to organize whatever they want. Like Facebook it also allows people to put in there likes, interests, and hobbies so it can be easy to find people who are like mindedness easier. I would be surprised if anyone puts…..I’m a Prepper……in their personal information section, but you never know. I found it to be an easy way to learn a little about the people of your area without having to talk with them.
SAS – The SAS Survival Handbook is one of the best known and sold books about surviving in the elements and dangerous situations. This App is a digitized version of the book, but it includes videos, photos, and audio information for learning. Like the book it has information on everything from how to start a fire to identifying poisonous animals and everything in between. This App also downloads to your device so you can use it even when you are out of range or signals are overloaded. There is a lite version, but it is extremely lite so purchasing the full App is suggested.
Police Scanner – There are many of these available and I haven’t tried them all, but of the ones I have tried I prefer this one. This App gives you access to the police and fire radios from across the country. It can be very useful for gathering information about your area, or about another area in the country that you are interested in.
Next Radio – If you have an FM radio enabled phone, this APP will allow you to utilize it. It does require you to use earbuds and not a Bluetooth device for listen, because it uses the cable of the earbuds as an antenna. If you’re in a disaster where cell towers are down or overloaded, this will allow you to listen to local radio broadcasts for information.
Prepper – There are many of this type of App available and again I haven’t tried them all, but of the ones that I have tried I prefer this one. This App is designed to help you keep track of your items. It will keep track of an item location, cost, quantity on hand, and expiration date, just to name a few. If you set an expiration date you will get a notification when the item hits that date, informing you to change it out. There is a free version, but I purchased the full App, which allows for custom categories to be created and allows you to export the information to a .csv file format for use in Excel.
US Topo Maps – Title says it all. It gives you access to Topo Maps across the country. There is a free version available that allows you to set waypoints and record routes as a few things. There is also a paid version that is a little expensive, but it does everything that the free modes does, but it also allows you to download maps to your phone for use when cellular data is not available.
First aid – This App is a product of the Red Cross and has all kinds of information about treatments in a first aid situation. On top of that, it also has a hospital locator based upon your location, listing them from closest to farthest. The Red Cross is on board with being prepared so there is also a section for being prepared for emergencies from all natural disasters to preparedness for your pets. It has many lists for first aid kits, and classes available in your area. An all-around good App to have for the prepared person.
Useful Knots – As the title indicates, this App has many, many instructions for how to tie various knots. I was not a Boy Scout in my youth, so this App has been very helpful for learning to tie many knots.
FEMA – I like this App, because of the emergency alerts it can send you. Anything from weather alerts to major problems. As many know FEMA is pushing for people to be more prepared so they also have resources available to help people get better prepared, like safety tips, reminders, and building your own kit recommendations.
SOAP Note – For the medically minded this App is ideal for a trauma situation. It allows you to take notes on individuals and then send that information via e-mail or text to emergency responders. You can save this notes to your device for later reference also.
Dark Sky – A weather App that can be very local, because it allows you to send feedback about your local weather conditions and it based your weather upon compiles information and weather forecasts.
OsmAnd – A map App like Google Maps, but allows you to save maps to your device for later use off grid.
MyFitnessPal – If you are wanting to plan a menu based upon the items you have stored and want to know the calorie count, this is the App for the job. It has an extensive database of items for reference and if what you’re looking for is not there, you can add custom items.
I’m not advocating that you shouldn’t learn the skills instead of having them on your device, but it can take years to learn everything these Apps can provide for you. They are excellent for reference and conformation material, and while your board waiting in line somewhere…..you have plenty to read.
Stay active, pay attention, and get prepared.