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Smartphones offer essential tools for outdoor adventurers

August 18, 2015

Aug. 18, 2015

For more information, contact:
Natalie Bailey, public relations counsel
Moxley Carmichael
[email protected]
(865) 544-0099

Iman Jefferson, media relations
U.S. Cellular
[email protected]
(773) 355-3737


Today’s outdoor enthusiasts can take advantage of their smartphones and top-rated mobile apps to make their next adventure more enjoyable and safer. According to a recent survey by U.S. Cellular, 68 percent of smartphone owners used their devices to assist them while traveling[1]. When you’re traveling in the great outdoors, devices such as the 4G LTE Apple iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S 6 can serve as versatile and invaluable tools – whether you’re a hardcore outdoorsperson or a weekend warrior.

“If you are planning an outdoor adventure this fall, it’s a great idea to get familiar with the tools and apps your smartphone can offer,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Tennessee. “The latest devices on U.S. Cellular’s high-quality network can keep you connected nationwide and can serve as a planner, survival guide, trail map and wildlife guidebook, as well as a tool to call for help in a sticky situation.”

Most smartphones come equipped with useful tools for the outdoors, such as a compass and flashlight function. Rugged phone cases can protect your device against the elements, and a long-life battery can give you hours of power. You can even pick up a military spec 4G LTE Duraforce smartphone that’s built to last in extreme elements. Furthermore, U.S. Cellular recommends the following tips and free or low-cost apps:

  • Planning 101: Put the entire U.S. Army survival guide on your phone and access it anytime, online or offline, with the Army Survival Guide. This $1.99 Android and iPhone compatible app offers information about survival planning and kits, shelters, water and food procurement, fire-craft and much more.
  • Find your way: Recent U.S. Cellular research found that 22 percent of smartphone owners use GPS to get directions. Take advantage of your device’s GPS functionality with Gaia GPS, a free app offering the full functionality of a handheld, backcountry GPS unit. Record tracks and waypoints, take geo-tagged photos and more. Plus, you can search for nearby waypoints and read reports about places.
  • Be your own guide: Use the free AllTrails app to browse through guides for 50,000 trails across North America. The app provides photos, reviews and tracks for outdoor activities – from hiking and mountain biking to fly-fishing and snowshoeing. Track your activities with your phone’s GPS and easily share your adventures with friends.
  • Spot wildlife: Identify birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, native trees and wildflowers with National Parks Field Guide, a free app that serves as an interactive field guide to the wildlife and plants of 100 S. National Parks. The guide is also full of useful information about each park, such as major sites within it, directions, hours and fees, links and phone numbers to make reservations or get more information.
  • Safety first: While a mobile device is not meant to replace good planning and adequate safety precautions, it may serve as a valuable lifeline. If you are lost or in trouble, you can call or send a text message for help. If you are in a remote location with limited cell service, search and rescue might be able to find you based on your device’s location. Outdoor safety experts recommend bringing your mobile phone and leaving your phone number and service provider with family or friends. Even if you keep your device off, experts recommend powering it up occasionally to drop some digital breadcrumbs that may help search and rescue teams locate you if needed.

[1] Results are from a nationally representative online survey of 738 smartphone owners conducted by U.S. Cellular in partnership with Maritz Research from November 12-20, 2014.

Additional data charges may apply. 4G LTE service provided through King Street Wireless, a partner of U.S. Cellular. LTE is a trademark of ETSI.


About U.S. Cellular

U.S. Cellular is the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier has a strong line-up of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by a high-quality network in big and small cities and rural communities. Currently, 94 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds, and 98 percent will have access by the end of 2015. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates Customer Champion in 2014 for the third time in four years. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on, and


Maria Cornelius