Batteries have come a long way in a short amount of time, and they’re more-powerful and longer-lasting than ever. Many devices allow for things like fast or wireless charging as well, and all of this gives the impression that we can venture out without worrying about encountering dead batteries along the way. Unfortunately, as many day-trippers can attest, batteries still drain, and they will most-likely do so at the worst possible time.
I recently bought a couple of new phones, with vastly-improved battery life compared with the models I had before. I also got a couple of wireless chargers as well as fast-charging unit. All of this made it easier to charge devices, but they couldn’t help me when my batteries died, through normal use, in places where I couldn’t plug in to take advantage of them.
I also learned that longer-lasting batteries don’t translate into apps using less power, even with the power management tools I was using on the phones. Consequently, while I got an extra half hour of use, the phones still died, and I wasn’t in a place where I could stop and charge them up.
This misfortune added multiple-layers of annoyances and hassles to what was supposed to be a relaxing day trip, and all of them could have been avoided if I bought a battery pack when I had the chance to do so.
Small Investment, Big Benefits
You can find decent battery packs for as little as $20, and really good ones shouldn’t set you back more than a hundred. They’re not that heavy, they can be stored and transported almost anywhere, and a full charge may be more than you need to replenish batteries on more than one device. Good battery packs will also produce enough power to run the device as it’s charging as well. This is one fundamental accessory that should be in every bug out bag, survival kit, pocket or backpack, and you should never leave home without one.
The trick to finding the right battery pack is to get one that has the same or greater capacity of your device’s battery. This will ensure that it can hold enough energy to fill the biggest battery you have with room to spare. You can also estimate the total battery size of all of your devices combined and find a pack that has that capacity accordingly as well. You may also want to get one that comes with more than one USB port so that you can charge or use multiple devices at once.
Charge Before You Go
Make sure that the battery pack is fully-charged before you head out. While you can always charge it on the fly as necessary, the last thing that you want is to be stuck with a dead battery on top of a drained pack. It’s also important to make sure that all of your devices are fully-charged as well. If you run into a problem where the batteries drain on your devices, the battery pack will provide you with a boost, but that boost may only be good for a couple of more hours. Consequently, you want all of the juice that you can get to reduce the chances of having problems as the day progresses.
Keep Usage to a Minimum
Taking pictures, videos, sharing posts on social media, using GPS, and relying on apps while out on the town all require considerable amounts of power. To keep battery usage to a minimum, only use essential functions on the device, and use them sparingly as well. You may also want to delegate picture taking or app-using to one person and one device as a way to conserve power. One thing that I encountered during my recent mishap was that everyone in the group got on their phones to search for the same information, and this caused everyone’s phones to drain. It only takes one person to make calls or look up an address, so everyone getting into a race to see who could solve the problem first ended up costing all of us precious energy.
While drained batteries are more of an annoyance on most trips, they can be far more consequential during an emergency. Get into the habit of curbing use, charging devices, and bringing a battery pack or two in order to have your bases covered. While new battery technology has helped to give users more time on devices, it doesn’t solve the fundamental problem of needing to be connected to a power source in order to recharge, and a good pack can help you to avoid being up the creek without a paddle at the worst possible time.