Wednesday, November 30, 2022


Being out in the woods it’s not uncommon for my Internet connection to go down. That’s the case right now as I write this blog. Normally I wouldn’t be able to post under these conditions. However, within the last year a cell phone company installed a new tower that allows for a connection. 

To get this blog posted I poked around on the cell phone and figured out how to use it as a hostspot. 

I’m not one of those people who lives on their phone, but I like being able to communicate in an emergency. When the Internet goes down I also lose my landline phone as it’s voice over Internet. Until the new cell tower went it my only way to message was with a Garmin InReach satellite device. It’s great when there’s no cell signal at all. The downside is that it’s only good for short text messages. Still, it works from just about anywhere.

A good communication solution is short wave radio, but I’ve never taken the time to get into it. We have a bunch of hand held family band radios and a couple of CB radios. I also have a small hand crank/solar short wave receiver. That way I can at least get the news. 

Communication isn’t something to be taken for granted -especially when you live out in the woods.



  1. Problem with alternative communication is both folks need to have the same equipment and a plan how and when to communicate. CB vs Family Radio vs Ham etc.

    Unlike leave a message cell phones radio-based commo has not that option.

    Security is an issue. like talking on an old school party line phone system. Who's listening?

    Some like CB are nice but can be overloaded with trash talkers to the point you cannot communicate well unless your using obscure freqs. Most in mountain areas need serious antenna for decent range.

    Power is an issue, but I'd assume anybody interested in alternative commo have some alternative power set up.

    But I bring up the question as I know some gun heavy preppers with squaddie electronics but no way to recharge or replace those batteries for power hungry NVG and such.

    As most of them are "Ready" with a few cases of MRE's I worry a tad about them after they get hungry or find out their little LifeStraw or Sawyer doesn't work when frozen or clogged with muck.

    Some of them brag about their radio direction capability to find enemies. Who is the enemy when they are cold, nasty dirty, hungry, thirsty but plenty of ammo?

    Something to ponder. Who is a bad guy when the lights go out. How to ID "Good Guys".

    Ideas? Thoughts?

    1. The good guys are the guys who haven't said anything to anyone about anything. It's a perspective thing.

    2. If you hear bagpipes prepare to ID yourself. That drone with a speaker is pretty nice.

    3. Bag pipes traditionally were used for terror, and those who knew, camaraderie.
      Then there's that handy, secret handshake. Guys like me, we're invisible.

    4. Going dark makes sense in a total collapse. However, if we are in a situation where EMS and other services are still being dispatched, communication is good to have. Then there's being able to communicate a code word that sets things in motion for you and yours. All part of the preplan.

    5. 6 Bears you already know my trigger for SHTF. See below comments.

  2. As long as the internet and/or cell towers are available communication is relatively simple. Even if they go down if the POTS works keeping in touch is possible. Things go south beyond that point and we will be back to communicaing via horse power....the old fashioned four legged variety.

    1. I used to disappear for days at a time totally out of communication. These days, my kids worry. They are the ones who insisted I get an InReach when we wandered off into the Everglades.

  3. If you have the stuff to meet your basic needs is it really necessary to communicate your whereabouts to anyone?

  4. I tend to agree John. Me and mine are going dark when SHTF as defined as the Linemen and EMS fail to go out as to protect their families.

    Light discipline and Noise discipline is critical given how FAR they broadcast your location and that you have STUFF.

    I've given thought of using an old noisy running lawnmower as bait as I like to hunt over bait.

    I can see some need for commo. Laminated code cards and whistles work so much better that gunshots and yelling to pass on critical information. Bell codes were used in many civil wars including our Revolution.

    Useful for passing on the Recoats are coming if nothing else.

    Frankly any ally beyond whistle range is going to help HOW?

    1. Being able to monitor other people's communication would be very useful in SHTF situation.

    2. Maybe if you speak their language. Maybe if they are naive to the concept of operational security.

      I've listened in to chatter in Manchester while waiting for a Dr. Apt and found a lot of Spanish slang chatter on the CB.

      I monitor a scanner occasionally and the digital coms require a specialized scanner to listen in.

    3. News flash: There are more Spanish speaking people in this country that are citizens than English speakers.