If you’re a fan of Mission Impossible and other action films, perhaps grew up watching MacGyver you’ll be in no doubt that your average kettle; seemingly innocuous ink filled biro, and even your mobile phone can be used to get your out of a pickle. It may even save your life one day… 

Most people who find themselves in difficulty would not think twice about dumping a mobile phone or other such electrical equipment. However when you consider what is inside a mobile phone, you may be surprised how even a dead mobile can save your life. At least assist in keeping you alive longer and until found.


A working mobile with battery life can evidently save your life, that much is obvious. While you can still call for help, reception allowing, even with no signal, rescuers can find you. If you are a keen hill walker, canoeist or outside adventurer, leaving a planned route with family or friends will obviously help raise the alarm quicker.

1. If you're lost in the wilderness and have your phone with you...

Even without signal, as long as your mobile shows at least a bar, then the nearest mobile phone tower will try to locate your phone automatically. mountain rescue teams in conjunction with the authorities can use this registered signal to pinpoint your location within a few hundred metres. So even if you cannot call out, keep turning on your phone every few hours to register your location. Eventually they will find your mobile and hopefully you too.


The Art Of Manliness website has gone further in aiding your survival skills. They have taken a few mobile phones apart to see what is actually inside, so even if your mobile is broken and beyond repair it could still be useful. Being stuck on a mountain face or on a deserted beach, making SOS signals out of rocks and pieces of wood and obvious “Help Me” being spelled out. Unless people passing by are only avid Beatles fans, they will probably call someone to assist.

2. Reflect

Reflective materials can be much more use in attracting people’s attention. Walkers below, people on light aircraft, even those on cruise ships. Underneath your LCD screen should be some reflective material. If you have more mobile phones, you can assemble this into a sheet that can reflect in light or moonlight and attract attention to your plight.

3. How To Use Your Phone Battery

If you used your matches nervously lighting your last pack of cigarettes while thinking how to stay warm for the night.. Have no fear, your mobile phone contains a battery which can be used at least once to create a spark, and easier with steel wool. Just make sure you have small enough and dry enough kindling for it to light and build a bigger fire.

4. Finding North With Your Mobile Phone

Digital-CompassMost hikers will have at hand a compass and map, and be able to read contours, to navigate themselves from an unknown position to get to food, water and civilisation. If however you have been kidnapped and dumped in the middle of nowhere, you can make a compass from the parts of your broken mobile phone. Inside each phone is a battery, simply use a piece of filament, straighten and magnetise and you’ll be able to find magnetic north. Always more helpful if your phone is fully charged and has a compass app already installed. Oh and Quite handy if you’re looking for Father Christmas.

5. Make Something Sharp

Anyone who has opened up a computer and seen the motherboard will know it’s one of the sturdiest components in a computer. If you break one in half you’ll notice it can be sharp to touch also. Although it is not wise to use this material, which has been coated in a variety of chemicals and has connected parts which may be hazardous, this is an emergency situation right?

Turn your broken phone screen….
Into a capable razor sharp cutting implement like this

Tailoring a spear head or knife from local flint can take a lot of time. if food supplies are low or the locals are little bit unfriendly, you’ll need to get equipped and tooled up quickly. From the mobile phone’s circuit board you can make a spear head or cutting tool once strapped to a stick. You could also use parts of the broken LCD screen to cut with.

(Editor’s note: The following are not to be taken seriously, our writer has an active imagination and got a bit carried away..the silly sausage)

6. Time To Go James Bond On Them

While a mobile phone does have its uses, what good would this article be if you’re an MI5 or MI6 agent seeking out inspiration? If you have been caught by the baddies and you are all locked in a kitchen, throw your mobile phone in the microwave and cook it for ten minutes*. When it goes bang it will create a window of opportunity and a distraction from which you can bring down your kidnappers and rescue all in the room. Just beware as sometimes this happens…


7. 100% Possible and Do-Able With Any Mobile Phone

If you are being pursued by enemy agents through several tunnels where fire damaged security doors are closing faster than you can get through. Throw the mobile phone so it lands precisely in the groove of the shutter. Then run and skid on your legs and bum until you are under and safe. Seconds before the phone buckles under the weight of the gate, keeping the enemy on the other side.

8. Unlock Any Security Door With Your Mobile Phone


You can also use the mobile phone to create a negative charge and reverse electronic locks on doors and perhaps act as an internal keypad for password entry where the panel reside only on the outside. Alas, as any good secret service agent knows, there is one person all criminals fear the most.

9. If All Else Fails...

Carlos the Jackal, Tom Cruise and James Blunt singing don’t even come close to the one person that makes all criminals goey inside. If you want to use a mobile phone to save your life, steal your enemies mobile and search for MUM. Tell her what a naughty boy he has been and Mum will ensure he goes home straight away for a good telling off.



*Don’t actually cook your mobile phone in the microwave that is just plain mental. If you do we take no responsibility or liability whatever happens. That’s all 100% on you!