A 21st century “camping” problem these days is how to charge our smart phones or Tablets. 10/15 year’s ago this wasn’t a major problem with the likes of the Nokia 3300 keeping it’s charge for what seemed liked weeks if not months. This isn’t the case with our latest smart phones we will be lucky to get 24 hours battery.
In an ideal world we wouldnt bring our phones with us camping. Some folk go camping to escape the wonders of technology but others like myself need our phones to stay in touch with our families and say goodnight to our little 1’s before they go to sleep. You may be the first aider on camp and need to make an a phone call to the emergency services. We all have our own reasons why we take our phones to camp.
So in this blog, I will show you a few phone charging options and these I’ve personally used myself over the past few years.
1) The wind up phone charger.
Whilst this will charge your phone and get you out of an emergency of no phone battery, it will only give you a few % to send the odd text, this won’t give you a full battery charge, it “might” be possible if you spend the whole weekend winding it up non stop!
2) Battery cell chargers
this charger takes 4 AA batteries. I was hoping this would be good phone charger but sadly it only gave me a small phone charge, maybe 20% charge at the most before the batteries ran out of juice. Again this I would say is more for those emergency case scenarios, this wouldn’t be any good for a weekend camp let alone a whole week away. I was rather disapointed with this charger to be honest.
3) Solar chargers.
These are frigging awesome – why? It doesn’t cost anything to charge a phone when using a solar charger.
This isn’t a power bank charger, it works just as if you was plugging your phone in the mains at home. Some solar chargers are better than others both in price and reliability. Some solar chargers won’t charge the phone if they are behide glass or on a cloudy day and vicsa versa, others are water proof, some are only 1 solar panel, and others have multiple panels.They also come in all shapes and sizes. A few points I would say you should consider before buying a solar charger are :-how are you travelling? is weight an issue? what device are you wanting to charge?
1 have 2 solar chargers, 1 is the square charger which is semi water proof but only has 1 solar panel and takes most of the day to charge up your phone or power bank.
My go to Solar charging if I was on a Scout Camp with a fixed Base is this charger which has 3 panels, this bad boy has a long cable which connects to the 2 charging points so you can hang the solar panels outside and then run the charger cable and points into your tent and keep your phone inside the tent rather than keep it on the direct sunlight. On the negative side it is rather bulky.
4) Power banks
Now power banks is another world. Some can on give a 1 off charge before having to be recharged before the next use-these cost a couple of £’s to purchase and then you get the bad boys who have approx up to 10 chargers and these can cost around the £50 Mark. With the more high end chargers not only can you charge your mobile phones from them, you can charge your tablets and some gaming consoles.
On a daily basis I use the 1200MAH power bank which normally gives me 4 chargers for a completly flat smart phone, I have this in my work bag. I also have the 20000 MAH which I take away when I’m camping and this can give me approximately 10 charges. I take this bad boy camping with me as I know the moment someone finds out I have a power bank they want to borrow it to charge up their own phone or tablet.
My personal kit I use is the 1200 MAH power bank from Mobile Solar chargers and the solar panel which I use to top my my power bank whilst on scout camp.
So as you can see there’s a variety of ways of charging your phone whilst away camping you haven’t got a mains supply of electricity.
I hope I’ve open your eyes and given you a few options
Let me know in the comments below how you charge your phone whilst away in the woods.