A few years ago, outdoor traditionalists would laugh when someone pulled out a cell phone in the wilderness. With no service, no power source, there was simply no reason to have one. With more and more young people heading deeper and deeper into the backcountry in search of tranquility, and aging old school traditionalists realizing that a little extra safety isn’t a bad thing, more options for remote communication are popping up.
Enter the Bivystick. Created by Bivy in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Bivystick turns your existing smartphone into a sophisticated 2-Way Satellite communication device a la James Bond of the backwoods.
With a view of the sky, the Bivystick allows you to send a text message to anyone, anywhere in the world; bringing peace of mind to worried friends and family while you’re completely off the gird. You can also share your location via text, Facebook, or Twitter for instant tracking of your progress by followers and loved-ones. If things go south on your trip, there’s even an emergency SOS feature that enables you to communicate directly with emergency services for a faster, more efficient rescue. Bivystick even makes planning your trip easier with easy to access weather forecasting on-the-go.
Unlike similar options on the market, Bivystick does not have an annual contract or some huge activation fee. In fact, you just activate your device before your trip, for as long as you need it, with a flexible data plan.
The entry-level plan, or “Base Plan” starts at just $17 per month and comes with 30 days of satellite connectivity, 10 credits, SOS monitoring, detailed map access, and the ability to rollover unused credits.
Curious how the credits work? Here’s the deal: 1 credit is good for 1 text, or 1 weather report, or 1 location share, or 1 hour of tracking. So, if you were to head out into the wilderness for a three-day weekend off-the-grid, you could check the weather each morning, send a location share when you make camp each evening, and fire off a mid-day text each day to let a contact know how things were going. Oh, and if you happen to need emergency assistance, those don’t impact your credits.
If you’re planning a longer trip, additional credits are available at affordable prices; 20 extra credits for $9, 50 extra credits for $20, or 100 extra credits for $35.