The Art of Manliness has a post up about dismantling a broken cellphone in order to mine it for useful components that can keep you alive after you get stranded in the middle of nowhere.

It goes without saying that your cell phone should only be dismantled as an absolute last resort option in a survival scenario. Even when there seems to be no signal, your phone might be able to register a ping from nearby cell phone towers which can be used by first responders to track your general location. But, if it’s already busted, one of these tricks just might save your life.

Makeshift tools include a compass out of magnet and ferrous metal wire, a survival signal mirror out of a layer of screen, and a small-game snare out of headphone wire. But my favorite is the arrowhead spear made from a circuit board.

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Laura Cochrane

Laura Cochrane

I’m a DIY editor at Instructables and I used to be an editor at MAKE and CRAFT. I like hiking, biking, rock climbing, and etymology.


  • Walt Scrivens

    On a recent episode of “Rizzoli & Ives”, Jane uses the glass from a broken cell phone screen as a scalpel to cut into Maura’s leg to prevent a blood clot!