Like many diehard deer hunters, I spend a large amount of time in the treestand. This is especially true during the whitetail rut, which on the properties I hunt in Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, means the month of November. A glance at my desk calendar indicates that this November, I spent 19 days in the field. The vast majority of these “sits” include both morning and afternoon vigils, about 7 hours per day. However, during the peak of the pre-rut, when bucks are moving throughout the day searching for a hot doe, I’d often spend 10 hours in the field.

So what does any of this have to do with the title of this article?

I’ll read a book to pass the “no deer” time in the tree, but I’m also using my smartphone – a lot. From checking wind direction on a weather app, to scrolling through Facebook and checking scores and emails, my phone is running for hours on end, often in conditions below freezing. All of this drains the battery, of course, and the last thing I need is a dead smartphone at the end of the day when I might need to make a call for help pulling a big buck out of the woods or my pickup from a snowdrift.

Lander portable chargers are compact; the 5200 is smaller than the author’s iPhone SE.
Lander portable chargers are compact; the 5200 is smaller than the author’s iPhone SE.

This deer season, I placed a Lander Cascade Powerbank (5200 mAh) and Neve Micro USB cable into my fannypack to ensure all-day smartphone power. During a typical day, I’d plug my iPhone SE into the Powerbank 5200 at around noon., after I’d exited my morning treestand and was taking a break to eat lunch in my truck. The battery on my iPhone was usually at 50-60 percent when I plugged it into the Powerbank, and it was fully charged in about 1 hour. Nice!

The 5200 model is only 3.875 inches long and features Smart Charge Technology (auto-off energy saving mode) and LED power indicators. It comes pre-charged (2X full charge) and has 2.1 amp output. You can buy one for $49.99. If you need less or more charging capability, Cascade Powerbanks are also available in 2600 mAh (1X full charge) and 7800 mAh (4X full charge, with dual USB ports).

When four LED indicator lights show, the Powerbank is fully charged.
When four LED indicator lights show, the Powerbank has a full charge.

While the Powerbank can be charged from a computer with the included charging cable (USB to Micro USB), I use the wall adapter that came with my iPhone and pluged it into an electrical outlet. In 3 hours the Powerbank is fully charged.

Of course, I could use the white cable that came with my phone to charge it in the field, but I like the optional 39-inch Neve Micro USB cable ($24.99) because I can store the Powerbank in my fannypack (even if the pack is hanging on a hook behind me in the treestand) and charge my phone while it’s in my hands or in a pocket. The longer cable is also handy for charging my phone in the truck.

The Cascade Powerbank 5200 comes with a USB to USB Micro Charging Cable (black). The author has also been field-testing the Neve Micro USB cable (red). Also shown are the white charging cable and wall adapter that came with the author’s iPhone SE.
The Cascade Powerbank 5200 comes with a USB to USB Micro Charging Cable (black). The author has also been field-testing the Neve Micro USB cable (red). Also shown are the white charging cable and wall adapter that came with the author’s iPhone SE.

As I write this review, the calendar just turned to December, and I know that Lander portable chargers will make great stocking stuffers for a few people on my Christmas list. I’ve used the Cascade Powerbank 5200 for only 3 months, but it has already become a must-have item in my daily hunting pack.

Treestand selfie thanks to a charged smartphone. See the buck in the background? He's checking out a doe decoy.
Treestand selfie thanks to a charged smartphone. See the buck in the background? He’s checking out a doe decoy.

Images by Dave Maas

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