A Tech Survival Kit: The Role of WiFi in a Bug-out Bag

  • AS Team
  • Sep 26, 2022
A Tech Survival Kit: The Role of WiFi in a Bug-out Bag title banner

Survival kits are all the rage. Whether the craze has been prompted by adventurous TV shows like The Walking Dead or genuine concern about the future among the American population, the concept of a “bug-out” bag or go-bag is no longer the domain of conspiracy theorists and people who talk to aliens. In fact, you can probably put one together at your local hardware store without so much of a sideways glance from other shoppers. 


Survival Kits


Of course, one of the defining aspects of survival kits is their analogue nature, due to the likely absence of electricity during an emergency. So, it might seem a little strange that some bug-out bags include a portable WiFi hotspot as a requisite piece. These small devices leverage the 3G, 4G, or 5G networks transmitted by a standard mobile phone to create a separate internet signal. 


An ideal tech survival kit drawn up by ExpressVPN features a portable WiFi hotspot in a list of other electronic goods, the reason being that tethering on a mobile drains the battery rapidly. For large groups of survivors, hotspots can serve as a bit of a budget ISP, as they can support up to fifteen different devices at once. The downside is that hotspots require a relevant data plan on the phone they’re connected to in order to function.


As Digital Trends explains, at around $40 per unit, a portable WiFi hotspot is an inexpensive way to ride out an emergency or avoid the perils of public connections. They’re not designed for long-term use though. In fact, the reason they’re included in tech survival kits is that they can be useful for finding help, news, contact details, and other information that might expedite rescue. Quite a large part of a standard tech survival kit is dedicated to this end so you'll need to have a true survival pack with you, as well. 



Power Banks


People that find themselves caught up in an emergency situation should aim to get a mini communications hub up and running as soon as possible. Along with a portable hotspot, a spare phone, a satellite phone, and a prepaid SIM card, survival kits should contain cables and power banks too. This is potentially where things could fall apart. Powerbanks need to be charged regularly so a survival kit is no good if it’s not maintained.


One of the most useful items contained in the tech survival kit - a flashlight - is arguably one of the most overlooked by DIYers, largely because we're rarely stuck for illumination on a daily basis. 


As the REI website highlights in their article, a trusty flashlight is worth investing in as it can come in handy for myriad purposes. A range of factors should be considered before purchasing a torch, including brightness, size, and battery life. Oddly enough, a diver's watch is recommended for a survival kit, as they're resistant to electronic influences.


Finally, tools including a pocket knife and screwdriver set can be useful for repairing pieces of tech or gaining access to fresh parts. A survival kit might sound like something from the reality show Doomsday Preppers but it can also assist people in their day-to-day activities. 


Just make sure that your various bags and kits are easy to access and ready for use at a moment’s notice, and you’ll have an advantage over the elements before you’ve even set off. 

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