Saturday, November 20, 2010

App Review: iSurvival

The time hasn't come yet that an iPod Touch is the first item I think of when I'm compiling a list of wilderness survival essentials, but a friend of mine recently recommended a survival app that just might change my mind.

It's called -- maybe this won't win points for originality -- iSurvival. But as I mock the name, I have to say that for an occasional wilderness wanderer like me, it's got some handy stuff, though I'm hard-pressed to way when, in the future, I envision myself becoming lost at sea. Published by Utah-based Fishington Studios, the app is billed as a "military grade" wilderness survival manual. And considering the friend who recommended the app worked as a paramedic and in California and follows military minutia as he has a son who is a soldier, I have to believe that this app lives up to its billing.

Wilderness Survival, ten-year-old style

There are small tells throughout the manual that reveal the text in iSurvival wasn't originally written for the leisure wilderness crowd -- the chapter on shelters, for example, advises that you choose a place to build your shelter that "provides concealment from enemy observation" -- but, in general, the tips therein echo those I've read in more expensive manuals, including a few I've got lying around the house because I haven't yet gotten around to getting lost.

Though I've poked fun at the manual a bit, it's certainly something I'd have at my side if I were wandering off into the wilds. The app's clear textual presentation, accompanied by clear, useful illustration of survival techniques ranging from shelter-building to identification of edible wild plants.

The link provided above says the app is available for $1.99. I searched iTunes and got it for free, though perhaps the "free" was a short-time promotional price.

The only fault I can see in this app is obvious -- run out of power for your handheld device and the app is locked away forever. Perhaps they've included a chapter on locating current bushes . . .

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