How to increase your cellular signal in the boonies
Photo by Olga Danylenko

5 ways to boost your phone’s battery when you’re in nature

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We’ve all been there: after hours of driving, you’re finally in the home stretch to visiting friends in cottage country. But when you go to get that last crucial set of directions from your email, your phone dies—the same phone that you fully charged right before you hit the road.

The reason that cell phones drain so quickly when you’re in rural areas is because even when we’re not using them, they’re constantly working. If you’re somewhere with poor reception or no signal, your phone is continuously searching for cell signals to latch on to, which can be a major drain on your battery life.

“What starts to happen is that the phone has to work harder to capture the data that you’re after,” explains Seamus Bellamy, a technology journalist for The Globe and Mail. But with the following tips, it’s easy to conserve your battery life, ensuring that you don’t miss that last turnoff.

Reduce your screen brightness

“One of the bigger culprits is that phone displays are getting larger, and the display is going to be one of the things that drains the battery the most,” says Bellamy. By turning down your screen’s brightness and turning off auto-brightness (the function that automatically adjusts the screen’s brightness dependant on the surrounding light), you’ll save battery life.

Turn off your WiFi

If you don’t have access to wireless, make sure to turn off the WiFi on your phone. “That way your phone’s not going to be looking for networks that it can connect to and it will be less of a drain,” explains Bellamy. And if you do have access to the Internet, make sure to turn off notifications and fetch functions on your Facebook, Twitter, and email accounts, which also eat away at battery life.

Disable GPS functionality

Many apps on your phone, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, ask if they can use your location, which uses the built-in GPS on your phone. By turning off this function, you’ll save battery life while still being able to send out tweets and Facebook messages.

Pack a solar recharger

For those emergency situations, Bellamy also recommends purchasing a portable solar-power recharging unit, which can charge any device using a USB cable. You can also reduce the drain on battery life by improving your mobile phone signal with a signal booster.

Turn off your phone

We all go to the cottage to relax and unwind, but it’s tough to relax when about not having a connection when you need it most. So to make sure your phone’s battery stays full, one of your best bets is to simply turn it off when you’re not using it. Does your phone really need to be on while you’re sleeping? And, notes Bellamy, in addition to saving your battery, turning off your mobile device has other benefits.

“You’re in the outdoors. You’re supposed to be getting away from it all—turn off your phone and enjoy your life,” he says with a laugh. That way, you’ll be more likely to have battery power left for situations when you really need it.

Have poor cellular reception at your cottage? Learn how SureCall’s signal booster can keep you connected at surecall.com.