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iPhone Battery Saving Tips for Backpacking

iPhone Battery Saving Tips for Backpacking
Which way do we go? Studying the GPS track on our iphone to see the next turn.
Credit: Chris McNamara
By Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief
Tuesday October 17, 2017

The iPhone has combined at least seven backpacking tools: maps, cameras, compass, gps tracking, satellite messaging and, in an emergency, your headlamp or flashlight. It's more important than ever to make sure your phone doesn't die mid backpacking trip. These tips will help you save your battery but you should always bring backups, especially a paper map. Most of these tips will also work for Android.

These battery saving tips are for Apple iOS 11 but will likely work for other iOS versions.

10 Tips Listed in Order of Importance

1) Use Airplane Mode Seems obvious but most people don't realize that location-based apps like Maps, Strava, GAIA GPS will still track you in Airplane Mode. Which leads us to:

2)Turn off Location Services for Apps you are not using Path: Settings/Privacy/Location Services. Many apps will "Always" use your location, so turn them to "Never" or "While Using". To truly save battery, turn off Location Services for all apps.

turn off location service completely, for at least for apps you are...
Turn off Location Service completely, for at least for apps you are not using.

3) Lock your screen when not in use. Obvious, but often overlooked. Make sure your phone auto-locks ever few minutes.

4) Close All Apps Your Not Using

5) Turn down screen brightness

6) Turn off background app refresh Path: Settings/General/Background App Refresh. Do this for everything except the app you are using. Very important: do not do this for the GPS app you are using to navigate. If you do, you may stop recording your track and therefore not have a clear way to get back to your starting point in an emergency. Test this out before your trip.

7) If you don't go into Airplane Mode, you need to manually turn off a few things: Bluetooth, Cellular Data, and WiFi and turn on Battery Saver mode.

8) Carry an extra external battery and/or a portable solar charger. Here is our Current Favorite Lightweight External Battery.

9) Turn off your phone completely at night and keep it from freezing. Even in airplane mode, your phone can lose its charge if it gets really cold at night. We recommend turning it off and putting the phone in or near your sleeping bag.

10) After you take a photo, double-check that the screen is not still on. If the screen accidentally stays on, it will drain your phone fast. Also, make sure that none of your apps are set to prevent auto-lock.