Mobile Phones

The mobile phone is one of the great inventions of the twentieth century. In an emergency situation it can be a real life-saver. On expeditions where the radios have failed due to bad weather or the location of the victims, a mobile phone has been used to raise the alarm. A group on Everest got into trouble as they started their descent after summitting. They tried many times to raise base camp but without success. The leader phoned his wife in Hong Kong on a mobile phone and reported their situation. She then alerted Kathmandu, who in turn alerted base camp, Everest and effected a rescue.

Some phones are better than others so it’s worth doing some homework; it’s also essential to check the network coverage with the service provider before going abroad. Keep one in the car, they are priceless when help is required and a cigarette lighter is a convenient charger for the battery, providing you have an adapter. Charging can be a problem in the wild so use your phone wisely, but small, hand-held manual chargers can now be bought to recharge batteries. With radios and phones it takes less power to listen than to transmit, so make your call and listen for a reply. If nothing is heard don’t despair. With all electrical kit water/moisture is the enemy. The transmitting side may be working but not the receiving side. Make short calls on the hour. Someone may be picking up your signal so don’t give up. Once you receive confirmation that the rescue is under way keep the radio/phone on listening watch.