Battery Life for Mobile Phones in the Outdoors

Battery life is a common concern when you start using your mobile phone for navigation in the outdoors.  Here are a few tips for getting the most of out of the battery life on your mobile phone. 

Those who use topographic maps on their mobile phone for backcountry navigation have some power challenges that won't come up when you are always near a car or wall charger. 

Keep the following ideas in mind for best mobile cell phone power:

  1. Turn off unneeded radios. Phones these days can accept a number of signals, but often burn power checking for them. If you are not using bluetooth, turn it off. If you are unlikely, or unwilling, to accept a call during your hike, put the phone into airplane mode to stop the periodic check for a signal.
  2. Check the digital map at decision points, and periodically at other times. Watching your location on your phone's screen can be captivating, but it can cause you to miss some of the outdoor sights and sounds. As always, don't wait to check the navigation until you are completely lost and confused. 
  3. Carry a paper map. This is good common practice. And don't wait until the phone is hopelessly dead to look at the paper map. If you use the paper map for browsing and planning, you can use less battery so the phone doesn't wear down. One good place to order a waterproof, customized paper map is from our partner MyTopo.com. 
  4. Know your limitations. If you are already familiar with how long your battery lasts under these conditions, you can better plan for using your mobile phone navigation to it's best advantage.
  5. Consider a charger that works off regular batteries. This can be helpful so you have a way to charge your phone a few times from AA or AAA batteries, extending its useful outdoor life.  

Hopefully, by following these tips, you can worry less about the life of your phones battery, and more about having fun in the outdoors!  

Where to find a paper map

With this form, you can order a customized paper topo map for your area of interest. 

Search for in
Order a waterproof customized topographic map

Battery Charger:

Here is one place to find a battery charger that works off AA batteries:
Energizer Cell phone charger Mini USB CEL2MUSB

One thought on “Battery Life for Mobile Phones in the Outdoors

  1. I think you will find way too numerous phones accessible on the market that require too numerous things to actually use their features. So as you can imagine I was not all that unhappy when I heard both Sprint and Verizon decided never to carry Goggle’s Nexus One android phone. The device appears like a good thing, and I love that it is from Google. You will find many explanations why these businesses might have pulled the plug on this phone, but whatever the reasons, maybe Google will be able to offer this phone for less money now. Only time will tell if Google matches another business or gets rid of the phone all together.

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