13 May

Make your Phone battery last all day

It’s a problem: you are riding all day, perhaps bikepacking and your phone battery is giving up at 2 pm but you are nowhere near finished for the day. It’s pretty important as you may also be using your phone to navigate, to see how far you have come/have to go and for emergency calls.

Typically we are mapping or recording our ride on Strava, Bike Tracks or similar, or taking pictures and video or just locating the nearest latte, etc – so how do you get your phone to go the distance?

Here are some phone charging and discharging tips:

First of all, fast charging: put your phone in flight mode and it will charge faster. Having accessories (cable and power adaptor) made by the manufacturer would also optimise charging. After market cables especially can perform poorly so stick with your phone manufacturer’s cables.

Once charged, put your phone in “low battery mode”. This will stop it from doing things in the background, like refreshing apps even when you are not looking at them or uploading your pictures to your cloud account.

Similarly, turning off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (seldom required in the bush) will also help. Consider turning down the brightness of the display.

Obviously, though impractically, not touching the phone would be best ie. set it to record your ride, put it in your pocket and forget about it.

Also, downloading Google maps before your trip not only saves you data, it saves battery while you load those maps using mobile broadband data.

You could carry a battery power pack, which will give you 3 full charges of your phone so that is handy if you are prepared to carry the extra weight. A power pack makes charging your phone and lights in a tent on a bikepacking trip a possibility.

If you want to deep drive on conserving battery, also consider turning off vibrations, Siri suggestions and active listening and Airdrop.

What’s wrong with a small solar panel? Apart from adding weight and being a bit unwieldy, they need to be used for a few hours in peak sunshine to work… the very time you might be riding through a forest.

In summary, ditch the unused or unseen functions of the phone to preserve that battery for navigation, record keeping and hero selfies.

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