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10 Tips to Save Your Phone Battery on Trail

We know that in order to use our app out on the trail, you have to keep your phone battery alive! Here are some tips to try and keep your phone from dying quickly while you’re out hiking off the grid.

Paul Bodnar       Educational       3/10/2021
Paul Bodnar
Educational
3/10/2021

Keep in mind that these tips are just tips and they will not guarantee that your phone stays alive for a certain period of time. You also have to consider the type of phone you have as well as how old it is. We recommend that all hikers carry a compass and paper map as a backup. Technology can fail and we want you to be safe! 

1. Turn off your cellular data, Bluetooth, GPS and WiFi when not in use. Or turn your phone on airplane mode when you’re in areas with no cell service. 

 

2. Download offline maps and photos ahead of time so you aren’t using up your battery trying to find cell service and downloading them on trail.

 

3. Turn your phone completely off (or at least put it in airplane mode) while charging it from the external battery or you can accidentally drain both the phone and the battery!

 

4. Reduce display & brightness to a minimal level. A brighter screen uses a lot more power than a dim screen.

 

5. Use a dark background (wallpaper) on your screen. A bright white background uses more power than a dark background. Or turn your phone on “night mode”.

 

6. Set your screen timeout to the shortest possible time.

 

7. Turn off push notifications for apps that you don’t use or want to be notified of while on trail.

 

8. Do not leave apps running when not in use. Make sure to close out of them or completely quit them.

 

9. Avoid exposing your phone to extreme temperatures (e.g. put it in your sleeping bag at night when it’s cold and keep it out of the hot sun during the day).

 

10. Android users: carry an extra device battery rather than a heavier external battery.


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Showers Lake Vista, Tahoe Rim Trail
Photo courtesy of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association
A lake reflects a nearby wildflower meadow and trees.
Showers Lake Vista, Tahoe Rim Trail
Photo courtesy of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association

Trail guides that get you to places you’ve dreamed of.

As the makers of Guthook Guides, Bikepacking Guides, and Cyclewayz, we help you navigate the most popular trails around the world on your smartphone. Our hiking guides and biking guides work completely offline. Let Guthook guide your next adventure!

Download our popular hiking and biking guides!
About the Author
A man wearing an Arizona Trail baseball cap stands in a field in front of a mountain.

Paul Bodnar

Paul has always liked hiking and thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 1997 after college. After years of working in chemistry, he wanted to create a career involving the outdoors, so he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail again in 2010 to do research for his guide book Pocket PCT. He realized that creating a smartphone app for navigating the outdoors would make it easier to keep the data current and provide a better way to navigate. While hiking with Ryan (aka Guthook) in 2010, they decided to work together to create the first comprehensive smartphone guide for the Pacific Crest Trail. Now with the help of a team of great people they have created over 50 guides for trails around the world.