Have you ever camped out in the wild and missed that perfect, radiant sunset shot because your phone battery was empty? Or, you want to check at your saved map, but there is not enough battery for a GPS signal? Well, we’ve all been there as campers. We have asked ourselves how to charge a phone while camping countless times and decided to compile the best options in one post.
Well, thankfully, there are lots of ways to charge a mobile phone while camping. It all comes to planning and preparation, and some investment. We paid extra attention to find backpack-friendly methods to charge your mobile phone battery, as you don’t want to increase your load too much.
You will see some of the most popular and convenient ways to charge your phone while camping in the paragraphs below.
1) Portable & Rechargeable Power Bank
Rechargeable power banks are certainly one of the most convenient ways to refill your phone’s battery life while camping. We used a few of them while motorcycling around Vietnam, and we found them incredibly useful!
Before getting a rechargeable power bank, you need to consider two things:
- How many devices do you want to charge?
- How much more weight can you pack?
You must ask these two questions before buying a portable power bank as there are a few classes of them. If you want to pack as light as possible, you can get a 10,000-mAh power bank that can charge an iPhone three times. Or, if you want more power, and additional features (such as a flashlight), a 15,000-mAh power bank may be handy, as it can charge a regular Android phone at least ten times. When you have more electric devices other than your phone (a drone, for example), you want a reliable, 100aH power bank that can get you covered for a week.
2) Portable Solar Panel
More often than not, we go out camping when there is a lot of the sun. Well, getting a portable solar panel is an excellent idea if you are that kind of camper! The sort of solar panel that can extend your phone’s battery life comes with a USB port into which you can plug in your phone. You can even pair a solar panel with a power bank to recharge the power bank indefinitely!
There are different kinds of solar panels available on the market at the time. What you will require from a solar charger depends on a few factors:
- How many devices do you want to charge?
- How much weight can you carry?
- How much sun there will be on your trail?
Depending on how many devices you want to charge, you should look into the solar panel’s capacity. Nowadays, there are smaller solar panels that are foldable and can easily fit your backpack. If there is sun on your campsite, you can put the solar panel on your tent to charge up your devices. Or, if there is no direct sunlight, maybe you will catch some while on a hike? Well, you can fold out the panels on your backpack and charge your phone battery!
Portable solar panels are a fantastic way to charge a phone without battery juice, as they are flexible and almost indefinite (if there is a lot of the sun, of course!). Did you know that you can put your solar panels inside a stargazing tent and charge your phone from a secure place? Stargazing tents have a thin and transparent layer that enables sun rays to pass without problems.
3) Bluetooth Speakers
Listening to music and bringing electricity for camping? Yeah, you can do that with most Bluetooth speakers ideal for camping. Bluetooth speakers usually have USB ports into which you can plug in your phone too!
If you want electricity while camping, probably the best type of speaker is a solar-powered one, as it is rechargeable. It gets its energy from the sun and outputs its power in smooth tunes and juice for mobile phone battery! Some amazing Bluetooth speakers are water-resistant, one another essential thing for camping.
p.s. while I was living in Vietnam, I’ve bought a fake Bose speaker that lasted me for more than two years. It cost only $20.
4) Hand Crank Charger
Well, your kinetic energy can produce electric power. How awesome is that? We’ve seen it with bicycles, and it is effective, so why wouldn’t it be with a hand crank device too? There are hand-crank phone chargers in different formats, like a hand-crank radio, flashlight, and compass, and more.
What they all have in common is that they are powered by kinetic and solar energy. You turn the device’s crank for a few minutes to get enough power to charge your phone for a bit. Well, expect to strengthen your hands while using these to charge your phone! At least you have an almost infinite source of camp electricity.
5) Camp Stove
A campfire is a staple of a camping trip, a way to provide heat and light. You can use it to boil water, cook, make your coffee, and with new advances in technology – charge your phone too! There is an insurgence of camping stoves that can provide electronics to charge your phone device!
The most popular of these stoves that we managed to get our hands is the Biolite camping stove. It’s amazing how it works. You need to find some wood that can burn, chop it in small pieces, and start cooking on the stove. There is a USB port into which you can plug in your phone to charge its battery. The stove converts thermal energy to electric energy.
To be objective, we wouldn’t exclusively use this kind of camping stove to charge the mobile phone battery. Mind you; it is perfect for a scenario when you need a bit of power for a GPS signal or a text message. For a full charge, you will need to sit by the stove for a few hours. The stove was designed first as a camping stove, with the USB charge functionality as a well-welcomed afterthought.
6) Charging Lantern
A lantern is an essential piece of electronics for camping. It produces light, and some can even charge your mobile phone, or even heat your tent. There are different kinds of charging lanterns, from the solar-powered, battery-powered, and power bank lanterns. It is one of the most convenient ways on how to charge your phone while camping.
We enjoyed using this lantern from Lighting EVER that can provide your camp with essential electricity. It is one of the new LED light camping tent lanterns with a USB port – which opens up a possibility to charge your phone. It can last throughout the whole night of camping (almost 12 hours), and you can adjust the brightness of the lamp. Of course, the lantern is a power bank that can charge your phone. It uses AAA batteries, so make sure to pack up a bunch of them!
7) Acidic Fruit
However weird it may seem, you can charge the power of your mobile phone battery with acidic fruit! Well, this might make your camping trip even more exciting. Now, specifically, the ideal fruit for this is lemon, but you can’t go wrong with oranges and grapefruits. Keep in mind that you will need at least a dozen selected fruit to get your phone fully charged.
Along with the fruit, you will need the following:
- copper wire
- copper screws
- zinc nails
- rubber gloves
- charging cable
How to perform this creative way to charge your phone? Before you start, wear rubber gloves so that you don’t get shocked. First, insert the copper screws and the zinc nails in the acidic fruit of your choice. Then, take the copper wire and connect the lemons with it. Before you plug it in the phone, connect the wire to a charging cable, and make sure to tape that combination. Now you have your temporary phone charger!
We hope that you got some valuable info on how to charge your phone while camping. Make sure to plan ahead how many days you will be out camping. With that in mind, you will know what way to charge your mobile phone while camping fits you the most!