The Modern-Day Survival Tool

I don’t know about you, but years ago, I carried a Swiss Army Knife in my bag all the time. It is truly one of the most multi-functional products out there, with several different tools stored compactly in one space. The Swiss Army Knife was the quintessential device for survival, whether you were outside, in a dangerous situation, or even just navigating daily life.

Today, I can’t even get on a plane with my Swiss Army Knife. But fortunately, there’s a new survival tool on the block. Last week while walking home from my daughter’s swim meet in the dark, I pulled out my phone’s handy dandy flashlight to guide me. I found myself wondering,

How did we survive without smartphones? 

Yes, smartphones. Although an iPhone can’t help you cut up food, provide a screwdriver, or file a nail (at least that I know of), it helps us with different types of survival. The two tools actually have more in common than you may initially think.

It’s 2015, and our idea of daily survival has slightly changed since the days of the Swiss Army Knife. Now, it’s more focused on navigating the workday, building our home and personal lives, and squeezing in enough time at the end of the day to relax and do what we love.

We thought it would be fun to point out a few of the key features of this modern-day survival tool:


This is a big one. How many times have you been driving or traveling and gotten lost, only to remember that you had GPS on your phone? I know that happens to me more often than I’d like to admit. When was the last time we pulled out a paper map or a Thomas Guide? Using the Maps feature always helps me find my way and gives me peace of mind.


There actually is a compass feature on the iPhone under “utilities.” I can’t say I’ve ever used it, but a compass would be a very handy tool to have in a time of need. This digital compass is a modern twist on the original, with calibration settings and digital reads of your orientation with every turn.


There is an app for everything, and I mean everything! We recently found a fake water-drinking and food-eating app! You can fake-nourish yourself when you’re in survival mode. It’s the thought that counts, right?


The built-in flashlight feature on the iPhone has saved me several times from falling down the stairs or stubbing my toe late at night. It’s easy to activate by swiping upward on the main screen. In my opinion, this is by far one of the more useful features on this list. Having a flashlight on command is helpful in an array of settings, and you don’t need to worry about replacing the batteries.

WiFi Connectivity

If I’m lost or don’t know the answer to something, I just type it into Google. It’s as simple as that! I instantly have access to whatever information I need to get through the day. Although WiFi won’t help me literally cook or chop food, it helps with so many other steps in the process. I am never disconnected or separated from information I need, unless I really want to be.

Self-charging cases

Obviously, a smartphone will only help you if it is charged. This is one area where the Swiss Army Knife is certainly more durable. However, there are now self-charging cases for your iPhone or Android that recharge your battery while wearing it. This grab & go accessory will help you stay prepared when your battery enters the red zone.

The iPhone and the Swiss Army Knife are clearly different, but both very useful in their respective ways. I find it interesting how we, myself included, have become so dependent on our phones – for reasons other than making actual phone calls! Our phones help us be more productive and efficient, whether we are at work or in survival mode.

What do you think about the modern day survival tool? Do you think your smartphone improves your life? Let us know what you think!