5 Tips to Keep Your Cell Phone Working While Skiing

Here are a few tips to keeping a decent signal and extending your battery life while on the hill!


NIt's a drag and reality.  Your signal can be poor in the mountains and your battery dies quickly in the cold air.  Here are a few things I've figured out through trial and a few more I've picked up from other locals.

1. Turn ofF LTE

We don't have LTE service in the mountains, but your phone will keep looking for it. It will try really hard and keep scanning. This will prevent it from getting the strong 4G signals from the antennas on the slopes. Have someone show you the fake pine trees that are actually cell towers - there are several of them around Vail and Beaver Creek.

2.  Stick a hard warmer or toe warmer on your phone

Yep. Those things that are supposed to keep your hands and toes warm, actually do a better job keeping your phone warm. I sometime use the toe warmers, because they have an adhesive side that sticks to my phone case. The Lithium batteries in smartphones aren't rated for cold weather - so stick your phone in a warm place (an insulated pocket) and stick on some instant heat.  And, for god sakes, don't take the thing out on the chair lift... that email can wait.... it is a drag to drop your phone off the chair lift.  There is a very low chance that it will be found.

3.  Use the Low Battery mode (AND TURN OFF ALL YOUR APPS)

This keeps your phone from constantly connecting to the cell network for background information from Apps that are closed.  Sure, you may want to track your vertical feet with things like SkiTrax, but make sure you only have the Apps open that you want open.  You can update your email, weather, Slack channels, when you want to, on demand by opening the corresponding app, rather than have your phone doing it in the background and draining valuable power.

4.  External Battery Pack

I usually don't take one - I don't like the bulk, but I bought a good one for my son after he kept using the excuse that his battery was low as a reason he wouldn't call or text me back.

5.  CAN'T GET a DECENT signal? Try switching to airplane mode for 5 seconds, then switch it back on.

This works.  I learned it from a telecom engineer who worked on cell tower signal systems.  Sometimes you phone wants to "hold on" to a signal it is getting from a tower that is far away. Your phone may even lie to you, saying you have lots of bars.  By switching to Airplane Mode, then back to normal, your phone tries to locate the nearest tower.  One of two things happens; either you get the truth that you really have 1 bar of signal and no data connection or you have the joy of a reset to a closer tower with a stronger signal.  

Now go enjoy yourself... but remember you're in the wonder and beauty of the rockies.... you don't need to be focused on a small cell phone screen when you go a great view



Kevin R Foote

marketing exec | digital evangelist | trend spotter | outdoor enthusiast | x-Google Kevin Foote is an independent advisor and interim executive for private equity & venture capital firms, investors and their portfolio companies. His focus – rapid growth and capital optimization through the transformation of marketing and sales in the face of digital adoption and the changing customer-corporation dynamic. He and his clients expect rapid execution and results. Kevin's career in marketing, advertising, and strategic planning have nurtured his passion for understanding basic human truths and how individuals' beliefs, perceptions, and preferences are formed. He is focused on forging deep relationships and creating partnerships to unlock big ideas and activate brands through the innovative use of digital marketing and technologies. His blog, The Blurred, explores the overlap of our digital and physical lives. In his recent role at Google, Kevin had the privilege of working closely with the leadership of the world's leading creative and media agencies as a digital marketing evangelist. Prior, Kevin served as the Managing Director of Marketing at United Airlines Mileage Plus, the worlds largest frequent flyer program. However, his roots are deep in the digital domain, having worked at several agencies, including Leo Burnett and Digitas, for over a decade. At Digitas, Kevin was the Group Director of Strategy in the Midwest and Global Account Director on major accounts. He has had the privilege of working with great brands including Crate&Barrell, Purina, Energizer, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, P&G, and Microsoft. His career began in strategy consulting, working at both Braxton Associates (Deloitte Consulting) and Parthenon Group. He received his MBA from Kellogg and holds undergraduate degrees from MIT.