When I backpack, I always take my phone and battery pack. Phone is 5 ounces, and the battery pack is 8 ounces and can charge the phone 4 times.
The main use is obviously for emergency communication. Cell phones operate by line-of-sight so you can usually get service from ridges. Even if you don’t have strong enough service for a call, texts will go through.
Beyond just being emergency communication, it also works as a camera, flashlight, and watch. The camera is probably the coolest part as I have my phone set to auto upload pictures to our troop's google drive. If our webmaster isn't on the trip, my pictures are usually on the troop webpage before we even get home. I also have on it:
Guide to safe scouting
Wilderness survival guide
BSA tour plan
Permission slips for all scouts
Weather forecasts (includes sunrise and sunset times and tides if we are hiking near the ocean)
Wilderness first aid
Trail map (I still have a hard copy too - phone maps are much better an local navigation because you have your exact location on the map, but nothing beats a paper map for getting the big picture)
Plant and animal identification
Any trip specific apps that I need
Edited by Tatung42, 01 July 2016 - 06:48 AM.