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How To Keep Your Cell Phone Working While Skiing

Do you like putting your phone away in your bag and then leaving it in a locker room for several hours while you hit the slopes? Funny, neither do I. There are a number of reasons why you might want to keep your phone on you while on the slopes - keeping in touch with other skiers, waiting on any big news, a just-in-case scenario - and few want to just leave them behind.

But there’s also a number of things that can happen to your cell phone on the slopes, and you don’t want to walk away with a shattered screen or a bricked phone because you took a fall.

The slopes are a pretty unkind place to any expensive technology, and cell phones are no exception, particularly if you have a smartphone with a large glass screen. Phones don’t do well in cold weather, which means you want to make sure your phone can stay warm, wherever it is. They also don’t do well to pressure or being knocked around, so your back pocket is hardly an ideal location should you get knocked over. Here are some tips for keeping your phone safe.

Get a sturdy, waterproof case

First of all, don’t try any physical activity if you don’t already have a good phone case for your phone. I’m not talking the two-piece rubber and plastic case you got from some little mall kiosk on a shopping trip one day a couple weeks after you bought it. I’m talking some serious protection, like an Otterbox case or a Lifeproof.

If you’re going to be knocking yourself around, you want to make sure your phone has something sturdy to take the blows. There are a number of options on the market for a variety of price points and a variety of phones, including using SignalBooster to amplify your signal. Since iPhones are the most common, they will have the most options, but most iPhone case makers will make similar products for Android and Google phones as well.

I have an iPhone, and I’ve always sworn by Urban Armor phone cases. They run about $40 and offer serious protection, as well as additional texture for a better grip so the phone doesn’t slide out of your hands easily.

Keep your phone in your chest pocket

Don’t put your phone in any of your pant pockets. Don’t do it. Your hips and butt are going to be one of the first things you fall on, so why tuck your phone into a spot that will almost certainly be a point of impact?

So ignore your pant pockets. They’re for your hands. While on the slopes, you should be wearing a jacket, and that jacket should have a good chest pocket on the inside (if your ski jacket doesn’t have an inside chest pocket, consider a ski jacket that does - they’re worth it).

This pocket is a good place for your phone because it will lie relatively flat against you, will be kept away from the cold and moisture and will have far less chances of being fallen on. People tend to avoid falling on their chests - you can stick your arms out to protect you, turn over or fall on your knees to minimize the impact.

Bring along a ziplock bag

Finally, you want to make sure your phone doesn’t get wet or damp. Nothing is more infuriating than finishing a run, pulling off your glove, pulling out your phone and realizing the combination of moisture and sweat on your fingers and on your phone prevents you from doing anything because the water is impeding the touch screen.

You can minimize this by breaking into your kitchen supplies and pulling out a ziplock bag. Ziplock bags are magical - you can seal them to provide a relatively watertight barrier, and phone screens generally have no problem reading finger motions through the wrap. It can feel a bit bulky, but ziplock bags are a great tool for keeping your phone dry on the hills.

Turn off unnecessary services

You can take all the steps in the world to protect your phone on the slopes, but it will do you no good if it’s dead. You want to protect your battery as much as possible when you’re skiing, because you won’t have a chance to charge it during the day. Turn off all signals that you won’t need, like WiFi, Bluetooth and LTE. Make sure you actually turn them off, and don’t just disconnect them - if you disconnect them but leave them on, your phone will be searching for a signal the entire time, which can drain your battery even faster (but don’t turn off the GPS. You want to be locateable).

Leaving your phone behind is the best way to ensure you don’t damage it, but it’s not the only option. With a little ingenuity, you can keep your phone safe, dry and unshattered, and not have to disconnect from all of society everytime you go skiing. 

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