This Hiker Lost In The Wilderness Saved Himself Using His iPhone’s Flashlight App

This Hiker Lost In The Wilderness Saved Himself Using His iPhone’s Flashlight App

More proof that the iPhone is the 21st century analogue to the venerable Swiss Army Knife: a hiker lost in the woods on New Year’s Eve was able to alert and flag down rescuers using his iPhone’s flashlight app.

HLN has the report:

Christopher Tkacik says he and his dog, Boo, got lost while out hiking on northwest Maryland’s Catoctin Mountain. After several hours of trying to find his way out of a maze of trails, he called 911…

Told to stay in place and wait for help, Tkacik says he loaded up that flashlight app. When a helicopter was overhead, he held up his phone and used it as a virtual beacon to help rescuers locate his position…

All told, Tkacik and Boo spent eight hours lost on the mountain. And without his phone and virtual flashlight who knows how much longer they might have remained there.

Okay, cool, but until you can kill a bear with an iPhone, I’ll have to keep carrying my knife.

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  • Skem

    Fuck… His iPhone can last so long.

  • Ben Harris

    Why didn’t he use the GPS?

  • Kayneeezy

    great question..

  • Hal Summers

    You should still carry a knife but, honestly, I don’t think it’ll do much good against a bear.

  • supertino

    He wasnt getting a GPS fix according to a report I read on this incident. Also, he didn’t use the iPhone LED flash (as the image above seems to indicate) but the white/bright screen “flash” mode.

  • Ben Harris

    Oh so it was an Android?

  • Edward Grey

    My motto is BE PREPARED, and the only way to be prepared for a bear is to have a gun. 

    I recommend the Glock 36 for concealed carry: Light, slim, & powerful 

  • RangyG

    The iPhone is also great when you’re lost in the woods with no toilet paper. App not required

  • Brody Berry

    No way this guy was running on 5.0.1. His battery wouldn’t have lasted 5 hours

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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