5 Best Smartphone Accessories for Hunters

June 14, 2016 | Tips & Tricks

Exploring the backcountry is the ultimate escape from a technological age that is creeping further into our lives. Tech can still have a place in the woods with you, however.

With the release of onX Hunt, more outdoors people rely on their phones for navigating the backcountry. Phones in the backcountry don’t come without headaches though. Dead batteries, no service and other issues can make your phone obsolete, but new accessories are available to keep you phone functioning, or even enhance its abilities.

DARK ENERGY, POSEIDON PHONE CHARGER

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Battery life is the main issue when taking your phone backcountry. Power saving methods like airplane mode, or lowering screen brightness are still, at best, a stall and extended trips will drain your battery and make your onX maps unavailable.

The Dark Energy Poseidon charger is a destruction and waterproof tested charger, which passed passed the military standard for being dropped. The Poseidon also passed waterproof tests, crush tests and survived a blast from a 12 gauge shotgun and came each time came back to fully charge a phone battery. There’s enough power in the Poseidon to get three to five full charges. Note: The number of charges is dependent on your phone’s battery size.

The charger even comes with a built in LED flashlight with SOS capabilities, not that you will need it though.

PHONE SKOPE

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Smartphone cameras are getting more sophisticated with every new model that comes out, but the zoom capabilities of these cameras are still nothing compared to a pair of binoculars, or a spotting scope. This is especially problematic when trying to photograph wildlife with your phone. Either you can’t get close enough or, like we’ve seen in many a Yellowstone bison goring, people get far too close for a good photo. Phone Skope lets you to select the exact style and brand of optics you use and attach your smartphone for extreme zoomed in photos. Phone Skope works with a specialized case for your type of phone and an optic adapter. The case and adapter align your phone’s camera lens with your binocular,spotting scope, or rifle scope lens for great long distance photos. Phone Skope is compatible with IOS, Android and many other models.

GOTENNA

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goTenna solves the problem of communication without the need of cellular service. The compact antennae syncs with your phone via bluetooth and uses VHF (very high frequency) radio waves to communicate with other goTenna users. The waves allow users to send text messages to each other via the goTenna app up to five miles away in an open landscape. You can also share your GPS location with other goTenna users.

The two way communication and GPS are ideal for hunting new areas and keeping tabs on where you and your hunting buddies are. The GPS sharing is especially useful for finding a partner with downed game to help with the pack out.

GOAL ZERO SOLAR PANELS

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Never worry about looking for an outlet again with Goal Zero solar chargers. The switch 10 multi-tool kit gives you a portable solar panel inside a durable case and hanging hooks to help catch direct sunlight. The kit also comes with a phone charger, flashlight and an electric fan. The panels convert sunlight into energy and store it in a portable charger, giving you an endless supply of power and enough juice to even recharge tablets. In direct sunlight the panels will fully charge in four to eight hours. A fully charged battery will deliver one full charge to a smartphone and one to two charges to a headlamp. The panels make this option more cumbersome than the Dark Energy charger, but the tradeoff is in the ability to recharge your charger.

LIFEPROOF FRĒ, WATERPROOF PHONE CASE

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The woods aren’t always friendly to technology and if you’re phone gets damaged all previous mentioned accessories are worthless. The Lifeproof FRĒ is waterproof down to two meters, dirt proof and drop proof up to six and a half feet, passing the military standard for durability. The screen cover is waterproof and tough enough to protect your screen from the scratches and falls that come with being in the woods, but still sensitive enough to for pushscreen capabilities. Listening to music, or speakerphone calls can be more difficult, because the case muffles the volume slightly. It’s a small price to pay, however for the safety of your phone and your maps.

Updated August, 2018