While it sounds like a great idea, phone companies say a viral "tip" is bogus.
Mainers can find themselves without cell service pretty regularly in the woods. This is partially why a "survival tip" blew up on social media. The claim was if you were to be lost or in dire circumstances, you could update your voicemail with your whereabouts, even without cell service. In premise, it seemed like it would actually work and be useful if one were to get lost. The tip, however, has been proven false.
According to AP News, you need service or a data connection to update your voicemail. Numerous cellphone providers confirmed to the Associated Press, including Verizon and T-Mobile, cell service or a form of data connection like wifi is needed. Before adventuring deep into the woods updating your voicemail with where you're going, when you plan to be back, and who you're with is a good idea. Just make sure to have service.
Mainers who spend time hiking, hunting, or fishing in the woods, know-how spotty cell coverage can be. It stresses the importance of basic survival skills, which can be life-saving. Hunter education courses teach basic skills and require building a small survival kit, packed with essential items. Compass work is also a component of these classes, including calculating magnetic declination.
Recently The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife shared fall safety tips for those spending time in the woods. You can read more below.