More Power to YouOne of the biggest drawbacks of smartphones is their limited battery life. To keep them running longer in the backcountry, consider the following:
- Don’t leave GPS-powered apps running. Even with the screen off, these apps are still constantly tracking your location—and rapidly draining your batteries.
- Turn off wi-fi and set your phone to airplane mode to prevent it from wasting battery power in search of a non-existent signal in the backcountry.
- Cold batteries hold less charge, especially in sub-freezing conditions. In chilly weather, keep the phone close to your body for warmth.
- An external battery can dramatically extend the life of your smartphone. Several companies offer streamlined cases with additional battery power built in for roughly $80 to $120.
- Compact solar panels can recharge your device in the (sunny) backcountry, though this typically takes many hours. Some solar chargers can store a charge for later use, a nice feature ($50 to $150-plus).
This column originally appeared in the print edition of AMC Outdoors along with the column "Smart Phone, Smart Hiker? The power (and pitfalls) of backcountry apps."
(Photograph by iStock.)