Turn Your Phone Into an Off the Grid Walkie-Talkie

No bars? No problem.

Locate and communicate without cell or Wi-Fi service

Face it, the networks you depend on let you down all the time. At home, you have the option of setting up a signal booster. But when you’re away from Wi-Fi, perhaps either at a huge festival or even trekking someplace scenic where you wouldn’t expect cell service, you can still communicate like a civilized person by dropping a Beartooth in your bag or pocket.

This pack-of-cards-sized gadget sets up a private network with your friends’ Bearteeth—er, other Beartooth devices. And it connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone (as opposed to their first product, a phone-specific case), allowing you to quickly talk, text and share your location over offline maps with multiple friends throughout roughly a 2-mile radius.

Although 2-way radios are cheaper and have a decent range, they don’t do as much and can be trickier to use. Another modern off-the-grid alternative, goTenna, lets you text message multiple people at once, but not do voice.

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The best part about Beartooth is there’s no cost for the service. Once you buy the hardware, you’re good to go. Hell, in a pinch it’ll even charge your phone’s battery.

Sold by the pair, for a limited time you can preorder this gritty product for $249, a significant savings off the $399 retail. It’s said to be shipping “later this year.”

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Scott Tharler