Off Grid Cell Phone Communication in Emergencies – Roampod Could be the Solution

If you have a smart phone, what will you do when a major disaster knocks out the cell towers? If only there were some way for off grid cell phone communication in emergencies.

Roampod could be the solution. You can find out about it on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio. I share a conversation with Nik Kitson, cofounder of Roampod.


My Smart Phone Disconnect

I confess. I don’t have a smart phone. And I seldom use the little cell phone I do have. So when you hear my visit with Nik Kitson, you’ll hear your humble host put amazing ignorance out there for all to hear.

But that’s OK. Maybe our Q&A will prove beneficial to others who aren’t up to speed on this stuff.

But how dependent should we as preppers be on today’s technologies anyway?

If you’ve been reading my posts here and listening to DestinySurvival Radio, you know I don’t focus much on technology. I began promoting e-books a few years ago on Amazon’s Kindle only grudgingly. I’ll spare you my opinions on what I believe modern gadgets are doing to us. For now, let me keep the focus on preparedness.

An awfully lot of us are using today’s technologies to our advantage, and that’s great. But in a disaster or survival situation, what do we do when we can’t use our wonderful electronic devices? Will our dependence on our GPS and smart phone apps prove to be detrimental?

On the other hand…

Maybe there will be work arounds that allow you and me to keep using our electronics in ways we’re not now aware of. For example, Roampod may be the solution you need for communicating by cell phone off the grid.

Roampod isn’t quite ready for prime time yet, so to speak; but Nik will explain all that as you listen to our chat. In fact, he explains how you could play a part in making Roampod all it’s meant to be.


I’m Off the Hook

And some would say I’m unhinged, too. But that’s another story.

Seriously, allow me to insert a brief personal disclaimer. I have no affiliate relationship or any other financial connections with Nik Kitson or his company. I’m presenting this information to you for educational purposes.

Roampod is a new thing with great possibilities, but I want to let you know I’m not on the ground floor, promoting some get rich quick opportunity. I am neither endorsing nor discrediting the technologies presented for your consideration today. You assume full responsibility for any purchases of that technology you choose to make.


He Talks Funny for a Texan

Nik told me he’s located in Texas. The Dallas area, if I recall correctly. But you’ll notice he doesn’t have a Texas accent. You’ll understand when you read the following bio blurb.


Nik arrived in the US from New Zealand, where he is an avid windsurfer, snowboarder and outdoors enthusiast. He has been deploying and designing wireless industry for 15 years before co-founding Roampod. The idea behind Roampod is to enable private & secure communications without cellular or Wi-Fi from your smart phone.


Revealing Roampod

Here’s an overview of Roampod. It’s a bluetooth device that you pair up with your smart phone or tablet. It actually consists of two parts–an app and a small, portable device that acts as receiver and transmitter.

Roampod enables you to connect with other Roampod users. It uses a new long range wireless technology which creates what’s called a mesh network. Mesh networking doesn’t use the Internet. It greatly extends the range you can communicate by allowing messages to hop from Roampod to Roampod.

As things stand now, the Roampod app supports two way messaging. You can send location updates and offline maps. Nik’s company plans to add voice messages and other options in future app updates.


Yeah, But What About…?

Privacy and Security – Roampod’s signals are encrypted in such a way that only another Roampod user can decipher them. Several other privacy options exist in settings for using the Roampod device.

Licensing – You don’t need a license to use Roampod, like you would with ham radio or GMRS radios.

Roampod uses millions of channels in a part of the frequency spectrum commonly used by cell phone devices and Wi-Fi. Nik’s company has done what they needed to do to be registered properly with the FCC.

Range – Going from one Roampod to another, you may get up to a mile in an urban area. You may get up to 20 miles outside of the city, depending on terrain. Your message goes a lot further when Roampods connect in the mesh network. Plus, digital signals are clear and static free.

Battery Life – Depending whether you’re listening or doing a little transmitting, the Roampod device may last 3-5 days. Of course, you’ll want to have your cell phone charged as well. You can use the same chargers for Roampod’s batteries as you’d use for your cell phone’s battery.

EMP – Whether Roampod or your cell phone will work depends on the nature of the EMP and whether your devices are on or off.

Jamming – It’s not likely because it would be difficult to do. Nik explains this better in our conversation.

Tracking – When your cell phone is on, it’s tracked. However, it would be almost impossible to track the Roampod device itself.

Target Risk – A friend of mine says terrorists and drug dealers use mesh networks. Does that make you and me a risk if we use Roampod?

Not likely, according to Nik’s explanation. And it sounds to me like he and his company are doing everything openly and above board.

Availability – The off the shelf version of Roampod for consumers is expected to be available this fall or by the end of the year.


Find Out More

This is one of those shows you have to hear to get a more complete picture than what I’ve been able to present here. Therefore, if you want to go deeper, I highly recommend you hear my conversation with Nik Kitson by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for June 18, 2015. (Right click to download).

Also, check out for more info. Sign up for the newsletter to get details on the Kickstarter campaign Nik talked about during our chat.. You have an opportunity to give feedback and save big money on Roampod.

Another way for you to get a quick overview of Roampod is to take a couple of minutes to view the video below this post.

I’d love to know your thoughts. Is Roampod something you’d like to have as part of your prepping supplies? Could you envision your family or prepper group using Roampod when cell towers are out? Why, or why not?




Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.