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Keep your smartphone battery charged in the wild
You never know when you might be lost in the jungle with only 18% charge left on your smartphone – hopefully never. That said, here’s some potentially lifesaving tips on how to keep your handset hydrated as long as possible. If you’re reading this on your phone now in the middle of the woods, we advise reading quickly…
1. Put it on survival mode
Now, before you check, there’s not a button in settings called ‘survival mode’. What we mean is turn nearly everything off. Turn your location services off when you don’t need to use GPS, shut down any background apps and turn down your phone’s brightness level to as low as possible. If you’re not in trouble or don’t immediately need your phone, you could always turn it off, too. Imagine that!
2. Use the sun
Unless you’re stranded in somewhere a bit overcast, like the rainforest, or Britain, a solar charger for you phone can be a lifesaver. Our pick of the bunch is the SLXTREME 5 case from Snow Lizard ($150). Not only does it have a solar power on the back, but is has an integrated 2,550 mAh battery in the case that more than doubles the life of an iPhone. It’s also rugged and waterproof to two meters. A cheaper option for all sorts of devices, from smartphones to tablets and speakers, is the powerful Joosa.
3. No sun? Just use twigs
The BioLite Campstove ($129.95) not only uses twigs for fuel, rather than petroleum gas, but can convert heat from fire into usable electricity via a thermoelectric generator. This can in turn recharge your phone via the inbuilt USB port, as well as power lights and other gadgets while you cook up a lovely nettle broth.
4. Your pack’s got your back
A team from Queen’s University, Ontario, has created the Go Kin Pack, a backpack which charges your phone using Kinetic energy generated as you walk. A short five-minute stroll is enough for a 10-25 minute phone call. Two retractable cords extend from the bottom of the pack and hook onto the back of your shoes – every step creates more power. It’s currently on Kickstarter, having raised over $13,000, and hopes to ship in September.
5. Carry a second phone
Either a standard smartphone with super long battery life, such as the Sony Xperia T2 Ultra which can last a month and a half on standby, or a super tough specialist phone – many of which are designed not only to stand a a week-long beating by Chuck Norris but to also handle a lot of talk time. The Runbo-X6 has a monster 4200mAh battery, giving a standby time of 400 hours. Alternatively you could carry a SpareOne emergency phone, which is powered by a single AA battery.