Many times, the best places to find peace and big, beautiful fish, is to go to places that may not have cell service and typically are pretty remote. But whether you’re a few miles offshore in the ocean, or 5 miles up a deep mountain valley, even with friends, being prepared when you head off the grid is paramount. When you find yourself in wilderness situations like this, its best to be as prepared as possible, so you can fish throughout the day with no worries about your safety and/or finding your way back to your car.
Download Offline Google Maps On Your Phone
Google Maps (Mobile Version) has a really cool feature that allows you to download maps for offline use. These are typically valid for 30ish days and can be incredibly helpful when navigating in areas where there is little to no cell service. For best practices I just download the entire state where I’m fishing, just to be safe. Since your phone’s GPS signal is typically always on, you can follow where you are and where you need to go on-screen with ease.
To download an offline map on Google Maps:
- Drop a pin on the map, and slide the details up from below.
- Tap on the 3 dots in the top right corner of your screen.
- Select “Download Offline Map”
- Select the size of map you want to download.
- Download your map!
For more help, check out Google’s page on downloading these helpful maps.
Tell a Friend Where You’re Going
Simply telling someone where you are going, how long you plan to stay and when you plan to return. This way if something happens to you, you can be confident that someone back home is watching out for you and knows where you are and how to find you. When I do this, I typically send a screenshot of where I intend to fish to my friends and let them know whether I am fishing up or downstream.
Have a Plan and Stick to It
Once you share your game plan for the day with someone back home, now all you have to do is stick to that plan. Things can change quickly in the backcountry and with no cell service to tell you about what’s coming, sticking to your game plan is the best way to stay safe and confident that, if something happened to you, someone would be able to find you and get you out of there!
Bring Extra Food & Water
Whenever you head out for a day’s fishing, it’s always a good idea to bring along extra food and water. Firstly you never want to be out in the field and hungry or dehydrated, and secondly if you get stuck, you’re going to need some extra supplies to hang in there until you find your way out.
Invite a Buddy
The easiest way to stay safe and prepare for an off-the-grid adventure is to follow the buddy system. Not only for safety but also for the enjoyment of sharing a pristine and wild place with a friend. Plus this way, if you leave your fly box in the truck, you can always bum flies off your buddy!
Dan Zazworsky’s passion is sharing his love of fly fishing with anyone that will listen, read or watch. You can find him exploring new waters every day while chasing any fish that will eat a fly!