When my husband I go cross country skiing, we usually leave the cell phones in the car (no reception). The June 2009 issue of Backpacker Magazine has now taught to never do that again.
Please read the entire article, but here are some hi lights:
* A text message requires less power and can transmit over a weaker connection
* Make sure your emergency contact knows your phone number AND carrier, which will save rescuers valuable time.
Worst case scenario, you can use your cell phone to start a survival fire.
See you on the trail!