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Focus: Equipping Your Smartphone for the Snow

Equipping Your Smartphone for the Snow

The winter months offer countless opportunities for snow-lovers to get outside and enjoy the snow in a variety of ways, whether it’s a ski trip, a peaceful day of snowshoeing, a snowboarding adventure, or some family-friendly sledding or snow tubing. When taking inventory of the personal gear needed to enjoy the snow (coats, snow pants, boots, goggles) one shouldn’t neglect “winterizing” the smartphone. As any activity nowadays seems to require checking in and documenting the blow-by-blow on social media, it’s nearly as important to make sure the smartphone is appropriately outfitted to withstand the elements, survive slips and falls, and stay charged in freezing temperatures.

Listed below are a few of the essential accessories to acquire before embarking on a snow adventure with a smartphone:

Durable Case
A protective case is a good idea at all times. More so, however, when one is in a situation where exposure to the elements and elevated risk of falling or dropping are real threats, shopping for new iPhone cases is more than just a vanity project; it’s a necessity. The ideal durable case will protect a phone from exposure to moisture—think slushy puddles and snow banks—as well as cushion it from drops and other types of impact (think of wiping out and landing right on the pocket that holds the phone). It should fully surround the phone, so both the screen and body are entirely protected. While not inexpensive, durable cases are one of the best accessory investments a phone owner can make.

Power Bank
Is there anything more disappointing than whipping out the phone to capture a photo, for posterity—or one’s social media followers—only to find a nearly dead battery? Anyone who spends any time outdoors in the winter well knows that very cold weather and batteries are not a friendly combination. Lithium-ion batteries suffer a significant capacity loss in cold weather. What’s worse, yet, is that the diminished capacity can often cause the charge level indicator to be unreliable, and it is not uncommon for phones to die while still showing battery life at 30%. For these reasons, bringing along an external power bank is a fantastic idea. Charge up the phone at the top of the mountain, and feel secure that there will be enough juice to power all the photos, tweets, check-ins and live feeds needed to properly document the day.

Phone Stabilizer
A good phone stabilizer is a must-have for documenting action that people will actually want to watch. No one wants to look at shaky videos of snowy hills careening by, and videos made without a gimbal stabilizer appear very slapdash. In these days of the perfect social media presence, there’s little room for amateur quality content. Attaching a stabilizer to a helmet allows skiers or snowboarders to capture their adventure from the exact perspective in which they experienced it. Not only does this look more professional, it creates a better archive of the experience to relive upon viewing. As a bonus, a phone secured to a stabilizer is also one that is less likely to be dropped.

Be Prepared to Enjoy the Snow
Winter is the season for snow-lovers to get out and enjoy all that Mother Nature offers. All snow adventurers know it’s important to gear up to stay safe, warm, and dry. Make sure the smartphone gets the same attention!

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