We’ll be talking about tips and tricks to get the most of our battery while traveling in the backcountry. Using our phones for navigation can use a lot of power. Other things that eat up juice are taking or watching lots of videos, surfing the web or social media, and being connected to the network. It’s important to conserve power when away from home if we plan on using our phones for important tasks like navigation or calling for help in the event of an emergency. The first thing I tell people in my groups is to turn on “airplane mode”.
This is one of the simplest ways to make your battery last longer. Also, when our phones are searching for a cell signal, or go in and out of service often, they use a large amount of power. When you need to use the phone to call for help, then turn airplane mode off and viola! You have plenty of power. The next thing to do is keep the phone warm. Batteries hate cold temperatures, and will loose a charge much faster when cold.
Sometimes all of this still isn’t enough, perhaps you are on a multi-day trip or you know you will be using lots of power and need something extra. Enter the external battery pack. There are many types of external packs, from small batteries that hold just one charge built into a phone case, to larger units that will recharge the phone many times I find that 1 or 2 recharges is all I need for the majority of overnight trips. On long expeditions we might need even more power, and then we add solar chargers to the mix.
These beauties give us the ability to recharge far away from home, and are relatively light and compact I won’t usually bring a solar panel on trips unless it is longer than 5 days, but when you need it, they’re great!