Communication is the foundation of human society — without it, we’d never be able to collaborate and organize anything productive. Party games like telephone and charades show how impeded communication can lead to confusion, and while the results are humorous in that context, failure to communicate can be frustrating or downright catastrophic when the circumstances are dire. In any survival situation, the ability to signal for help or instruct family members where to meet can save lives.

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These days, we often think of communication as taking place wirelessly — cell phones, internet, and radio, for example. Then there’s the obvious face-to-face communication we use on a daily basis. However, there are plenty of options beyond these, and some of the methods we consider outdated can be valuable for survival purposes. We’ve previously discussed the potential of landline phones, Morse code, and smoke signals when other forms of comms are interrupted.

The following infographic from Mobile Text Alerts gives a recap of 10 important communication methods and their historical origins. Although reverting to dial-up modems and carrier pigeons might not be the most practical for survival situations, some of the other options can serve as a reminder that humans have found ways to communicate effectively since long before the dawn of social media. Click here to download a full-size version of this infographic.

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For more off-the-grid communication techniques, check out some of our previous articles below:

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