A hike in the forest or the mountains is a great excuse to take a break from the temptations of modern life. Nevertheless, in some situations, a smartphone can be of great benefit, even in the wilderness.
These gadgets have already ceased to serve only for connecting people. They allow you to send and receive text messages, use the Internet to communicate in social networks, and quickly receive any information. Whether you are using your phone as a navigator, using maps, or even playing games while hiking, you still need to take care to extend the battery life.
Almost any device has one, but a very significant drawback — the more often we use it, the sooner the battery runs out. This happens, as a rule, at the wrong moment. Human life is now impossible to imagine without a mobile phone. If you want to know how to keep your electronics charged while backpacking, here are some essential tips that will help you to save your gadgets from quickly dying out.
Part 1: Reduce Power Consumption with These 5 Easy Steps
A working smartphone is essential when traveling: it is a means of communication, maps, a camera, and often also a source of entertainment during backpacking. Therefore, it is essential that the hiking solar charger and other appliances retain their charge as long as possible.
Put Your Device on Airplane Mode
When the signal is weak or no signal at all, the phone starts using up the battery to search for a signal. It’s quite a waste of energy during the journey in the forest. Switch your phone to airplane mode, and the problem is solved! Yes, you won’t be able to call or answer anyone, but that’s not why you went camping.
This mode turns off all wireless interfaces, including the radio, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, which dramatically drain the battery. If you are not expecting a call and are not going to call anyone yourself, you can activate the flight mode and enjoy the hike. For example, observe forest dwellers, look at the beauty of nature, etc.
Turn Your Screen Brightness Down
Adjusting the screen brightness can save a lot of battery power. One simple rule of thumb is that the darker, the better:
- iPhone: Open Control Center and drag the slider to the left. Alternatively, let your phone automatically adjust the brightness based on the lighting. To do this, go to Settings, General, Accessibility, Display Accommodations and turn on Auto-Brightness.
- Android: To adjust brightness, swipe down from the top of the screen and drag the slider to the left. To set up automatic adjustment, go to Settings, Display, Adaptive brightness and turn on adaptive brightness mode.
Take Fewer Photos & Videos
To conserve battery power during a backpacking, you should refrain from taking photos and videos of your fun or wonderful places every five minutes. Frequent use of the camera may result in loss of battery charging, which will not please you very much.
The traveler is unlikely to be happy to see that he took many photos of the beginning of the hike, but then the phone died, and the most exciting photos were never taken. To prevent this unpleasant moment, only take pictures from your phone when you need to.
Keep Your Device Near Room Temperature
Extreme temperatures can very quickly reduce your phone’s charge to zero or even wholly damage your phone:
- The most comfortable temperature for an iPhone is between 16 and 23 degrees Celsius.
- For Android smartphones, the temperature varies depending on the model.
- To avoid problems in scorching weather, put your phone deeper into your backpack. In cold weather — keep it closer to your body, and at night take it with you in your sleeping bag.
Part 2: Pack the Gear Needed to Charge Your Device on the Trail
For better or worse, few modern people imagine their life without a mobile phone, tablet, laptop, and similar «joys» of contemporary life. And often it so happens that here it is a long-awaited vacation in nature, but you need to be in touch, and how can you be here? After all, the battery charge does not last forever.
And then, we begin to think about charging the phone on a hike or charging a tablet on backpacking if there is no electricity or a charger. And this applies not only to telephones but also to cameras, camcorders, navigators. Consequently, you can take these little helpers with you. There are additional charges that will help extend the life of the technique.
Lightweight Battery Pack or Portable Solar Charger
A portable device will provide light and energy to charge gadgets if there is no outlet nearby. A device is helpful for hiking, hunting, fishing.
The primary place among the solutions for charging a device on a hike is a relatively simple tool — the so-called Power Bank. Its task is to charge the storage battery from the mains at home, and during backpacking, you can recharge electronics from them. Charging the battery in the field with it is very simple — plugged in the cable and charged it like from a power outlet.
The downside, of course, is that sooner or later, the battery also dies out, so when choosing, look at the capacity of the battery pack that is mounted into the device itself. The more power it has, the longer it lasts.
Another autonomous way to charge your smartphone on a journey is with a solar battery. Numerous manufacturers propose various similar alternatives with USB ports and segments that fold into a compact package.
Such a backpacking solar charger can regularly be attached to a backpack and constantly recharge the smartphone while on foot. Backpacks with a built-in solar battery, including one combined with a storage battery, have also been developed.
The principle of use is quite simple:
- Expose the battery to the sun.
- Connect it to your gadget.
- Charge it.
Nevertheless, there is a nuance — the surface area of the battery decides! Therefore, the options when the solar panel is built almost into the phone case hardly make any sense in a mountain hike. This tool can be too small. Moreover, keeping the smartphone in the sun is undesirable.
And there is one more thing to consider. Since the panel is solar, it works only in bright light, but the efficiency drops relatively low in cloudy weather. For this purpose, such panels are best applied in combination with power banks. When it’s sunny, you should charge the application and from it at any time on your phone, and consequently, you can guarantee the uninterrupted performance of the latter.
When a traveler decides on a hike, where there will be no access to chargers and outlets, it is also worth considering cables. They will be able to transfer all the energy to the phone from the charger.
As a rule, most modern chargers are the most straightforward USB cable. They can be used as a last resort if you need to charge your phone.
Many rechargeable batteries can be used with a USB cable. Usually, most of these devices come with these cables. Nevertheless, you can play it safe and bring short Lightning or USB-C cables if used in specific devices.
Lightweight Wall Charger (If You’ll Be Charging Your Devices in Town)
However, you can not be limited to the usual power bank with a cable. If there is a city near the hiking place and, accordingly, a place where you can charge your phone from the outlet, you should take a light wall charger with you. With its help, you can quickly restore the life of your battery on your phone.
For example, such a charger may be a wall charger supplied with the phone. However, if time is essential for travelers, it is better to buy a less time-consuming option from the manufacturer.
During a hike through extraordinary places, when a bear crosses your path, the fish itself rushes into your hands, and the starry sky stretches over your head, the main thing is not to let go of your smartphone, otherwise who will believe you that you saw all this beauty? To keep your gadgets alive, multifunctional charging is essential.
A depleted energy source can leave you without communication and navigation on the most inopportune occasion. Consequently, it would be best if you first charged the battery to the maximum. For safety reasons, it is recommended to take the simplest phone with you, the charge of which is enough for several days.
There are numerous exceptional chargers to take: 7 days to die battery bank, solar batteries, portable batteries. But no matter how tempting the prospects are not to put off the gadget in the fresh air, no matter how many likes a campfire photo has collected in social networks, allow yourself a couple of times to forget the chargers and enjoy the silence without information noise.