Globalstar GSP-1700 Satellite Phone; $1,000; www.readysatgo.net
Chris Larsen, Co-founder and CEO, Prosper.com
My first experience with a satellite phone was six years ago at the annual Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert. It was a huge, almost comical, contraption. Fast-forward to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which reminded me of just how unreliable cell phones can be during crises.
So the first thing I did was buy a satellite phone weighing a hefty 13.6 ounces. Earlier this year I upgraded to Globalstar's GSP-1700, which weighs 7 ounces and, with the antenna retracted, is about the size of most cell phones. Although I could use it to send e-mail or browse the Internet, I just like to have it for phone calls -- not only in case of a natural disaster but also so I can work from remote areas with no cell service.
As an added precaution, I also carry a flexible solar panel to recharge the phone in case there are no other power sources nearby. Burning Man may be off the grid, but I never am.