Handy devices for fishing and hunting, but they need special attention.
Taking your iPhone, Blackberry or any other smartphone out on the boat or into the woods does have its advantages, even when you might be outside of a cellular or Wi-Fi coverage area. Smartphones have so many desirable features that come in handy when fishing and hunting most of us don’t want to leave home without one.
One of the biggie smartphone features we all seem to use on the water or afield is the built-in camera—recording our catch in all its glory and sharing the story in pictures or even video with friends. A high resolution camera with zoom control, flash and video capability in the latest generation of smartphones makes these electronic wonders indispensable gear.
Another smartphone function that needs no cell or Wi-Fi service but can prove invaluable at times is the internal GPS coupled with some sort of mapping or charting software. On the water this can serve as a backup to your boat mounted systems while in the field it might be your only form of personal electronic navigation—to say nothing of its value when driving to a hidden boat ramp or out-of-the-way hunting area.
If you happen to be in an area with cell or Wi-Fi coverage the smartphone becomes even more valuable with its ability to send and receive pictures, text messages, email and phone calls. All of which could be your only link to civilization or your comrades in the field or at sea.
The real downside to carrying a smartphone on your person or with your gear on the boat or in a backpack is its inherent lack of water resistance and fragility.
Let’s face it, these devices are built to accompany a business type to the office, not go boating and off road. So how do we protect our smartphone investment?
A variety of protective cases are available for the array of smartphone brands and styles on the market today. To provide the most effective level of protection for the smartphone while maintaining control access and usefulness a case needs to fit your specific phone. Buying a cheap, one-size-fits-all case just won’t get the job done for most of us.
You will need to research and purchase a case designed for the environment you plan to be in. Some cases may favor impact protection at the expense of water resistance, while allowing you full control
of smartphone functionality. Others will sacrifice some access to controls to significantly improve water
Choose a case best suited to your personal use. There is no be all, end all smartphone case—yet.
Two well-known protective gear makers, Pelican and Otter Box, both make cases for the Apple iPhone as well as several other popular smartphones. The Otter Box Defender Series makes a great case for hunters. It has three levels of protection that include an impact resistant polycarbonate shell, cushioning silicone skin and a membrane covering the phone screen. This case is even available in a camouflage pattern with hunter orange trim.
For boaters and anglers a better choice might be the Pelican i1015 which favors water and dust resistance as a top feature while maintaining some level of phone control even while the unit is safely protected inside the case.
A novel iPhone protection package from Case Mate is the Tank. This one also features a shatter-resistant polycarbonate shell coupled to a thickly padded silicone interior and soft grip exterior. A clear sliding door protects the screen while closed and allows full access when open.
The driSuit endurance and Aqua Box, both waterproof cases, feature membrane screens that retain full touchscreen sensitivity.
Smartphone protective cases that offer the needed screen protection plus impact and water resistance sought by active Florida anglers and hunters will cost you anywhere from $10 to $60. Truly a small investment when one considers most smartphones are uninsurable and very costly to purchase or replace. FS
SMARTPHONE Case Makers