We present a new dynamic scheme which continuously redistributes a fixed power budget among mobile wireless nodes participating in a multi-hop wireless connection, with the objective of maximizing the expected lifetime of the connection. Our experimental simulations indicate that the proposed power budget distribution scheme yields a significant increase in connection lifetime. We quantify the sensitivity of the performance gains to various system parameters, including connection size, node density, power budget size, and mean node velocities. We then compare the efficacy of our scheme with two schemes: one that simply distributes the power budget uniformly, and one that distributes the power budget dynamically with the objective of minimizing end-to-end bit error rate (BER). In comparing the relative performance of the three schemes we obtain a qualitative assessment of the inherent oppositions and tradeoffs between the objectives of BER minimization and lifetime maximization.