Some people frown upon taking your phone camping, but I disagree with this thinking as phones can be really useful when you go camping. Most of those people are the type to go camping in the wild and want to get away from everything which I have no issue with, but what works for them doesn’t always work well for others.
Smartphones Serve A Purpose While Camping
For most people taking their phone camping is a very normal thing and is a requirement for a lot of people. Some people need their phone because of work responsibilities, or they need to be in touch with someone at home, or just in an emergency having your phone is a lifesaver.
One of the most common things I see a phone being taken camping for is for helping the kids be entertained. It’s really useful for when it’s raining and you’re all stuck inside the tent and the kids need something to keep them happy, a phone is useful here.
These days smartphones have become quite the useful camping assistant. You can download all sorts of apps to help you plan your trip, find locations and updates on the weather.
But the biggest issue that most people will face is the battery of their phone won’t last the duration of their camping trip. Unless you are camping on a powered campsite, finding ways to charge your smartphone can be challenging. Finding ways to solve this problem is an important thing to learn before you’re faced with a phone with no charge left, which is what you will find here.
Different Ways To Charge Phone When Camping
How can you charge your phone when camping? This is a question that I see get asked a lot on the many different camping forums. Then they get inundated with a lot of different answers with some of them being good and some being not very helpful at all, which can make it very overwhelming for someone who just wants a simple answer.
Thankfully there are a number of ways to charge your phone while camping with some being nice cheap alternatives while some costing more. I’m not going to cover things that I’ve seen some people claim like using fruit with copper to charge their phones.
The Best Way To Charge Your Phone While Camping – Powerbank
This should come as no surprise that having a portable power bank is one of the best ways to charge your phone. They have a rechargeable battery inside them that you charge before you go camping, then when camping you plug it into your phone via a USB cable to charge your phone.
When choosing what power bank you need it’s best to go with one that has a high capacity so that it can hold a much larger charge. This also has the advantage of being able to charge things other than your phone with the USB cable which gives it some versatility.
High Capacity Power Banks Are A Must
Depending on the type of camping you’re doing there are a few things you need to consider first. Higher capacity power banks can weigh a lot more which can be inconvenient for someone who is backpack camping where you need to keep the weight down.
An average size power bank with a storage capacity of 10000mAh will recharge your phone roughly 3.8 times. So if you typically go through a full battery on your phone every day, a 10000mAh bank will provide you with enough power to have a fully charged phone for 3 days or more.
If you need to charge multiple phones or devices at one time, you should consider a wireless charging power bank. This type of device will allow you to recharge up to 4 smartphones, or iPads, tablets etc at any one time.
Something else to consider is that power banks aren’t the best for long camping trips as once they’re out you can’t charge them like your phone. This is something you should think about before going on your camping trip and if this will be enough for you.
Recharge The Powerbank While You Camp
This leads us onto the next option, using solar panels to charge your phone. However, with a power bank you can use the solar panels to charge your power bank directly during the day and at night you can use the power bank to charge your phone. This will give you a consistent and reliable way to keep your phone charged no matter how long you camp for.
The Power Of The Sun – Solar Powered Charger
It was very close between this and the power bank and I personally find that they work really well together. Solar power has a lot of advantages that make them a good option to take camping with only some disadvantages that can be easily fixed in my opinion.
Having a solar panel attached to the top of your tent, trailer, a tree, etc is a great way to charge your phone with some models storing the energy so you can charge your phone when there is no sun out. This is a very big advantage and makes it a great option for long camping trips where you will need constant power.
Portable Solar Panels Designed To Charge Smartphones
If a big elaborate solar panel system is not something that interests you, you can invest in a small portable solar panel designed for recharging smartphones and power banks. With the combination of one of these and a power bank, you can have reliable power for your phone day and night.
How Does It Work?
I typically have solar panels set up to run our camping fridge, LED lights, and so forth. But when it comes to keeping our smartphones charged, I highly recommend you buy one of these cool portable solar panels.
So before you go camping, ensure you have a charged phone and a power bank on hand. Once your power bank starts to get low on power, you simply plug it into the portable solar panel. Let the sun do its magic during the day and come nightfall you will have a power bank fully charged.
During the night you can plug your phone into the power bank to recharge your cell phone while you sleep. The next day you put the power bank back on the solar panel, position the panel in the sun and let it recharge the power bank during the day. It’s the perfect portable smartphone charging system while you’re camping.
Powerbank With Solar Power For Smartphones
Alternatively, you can buy a power bank that comes with its own solar blanket. This is the one-stop solution as it has everything you need in one. There’s no need to hunt around for a solar panel and a power bank as with this option you get them both in one.
Price may be the only concerning factor as I find them to be slightly higher than buying the two items individually. But if you don’t mind paying a little extra for the convenience of a 2 in 1 system, this id the one to go for. Available to buy on Amazon here.
Downsides To Relying On Solar To Recharge Your Cell Phone
One of the biggest issues for solar power is the fact that you need the sun to charge things. Which when going camping it’s inevitable that it’s going to rain and be cloudy which will stop it from charging to its optimum performance. Some models will charge in this type of weather or hold onto the charge they got from the sun which are the models I’d recommend.
There is also the issue that some solar charging models can be expensive which can be a bit of an issue for some people. So working out your budget beforehand is important and will give you an idea if solar is the way to go for you.
However, with just the small portable solar smartphone charger system, you can keep the costs down, yet have a fully charged phone every day.
Using A Generator To Recharge Your Cell Phone
This won’t be for everyone since there are some serious disadvantages to taking a generator camping, but the advantages are undeniable. If you need a lot of power and need it for a long time then a generator is one of the best options for you since it will hold the most amount of energy.
While the power supply is a big advantage, the disadvantages can be hard for most people to ignore. The first and most obvious is that a decent generator is expensive and not a lot of people have this kind of money sitting around just to take a generator camping.
The other disadvantages are that they’re very large and take up a lot of space which can be difficult for most types of camping. Unless you have a truck or are car camping it can be difficult to justify using one for camping.
It may seem that I’m being very negative towards generators and you might be wondering why I still recommend them? This is because of the fact that generators produce a lot of energy and can be used for more than just camping, which is something I really like and think most people forget.
Can Sound Help You – Speakers
If you think outside of the box there are ways to charge your phone that most people don’t think of. All of my years camping I have noticed that most people bring some portable speakers to play music, which does give you an opportunity you might not have thought of.
This is that you can usually connect your phone to these speakers via a cable and charge your phone. Tho you will lose your access to music eventually, it’s something you can do to charge your phone that you might not have known.
If you go with solar-powered speakers than you have a great option to charge your phone without needing to own separate solar panels. Tho this does rely on having speakers that have solar panels and them having a way to connect your phone via USB so it can be tricky.
Your Car’s Battery Is a Easy Option To Recharge Your Phone
While this is not something I would always recommend but it can be really useful in a pinch. Which is to use your car to charge your phone which is fairly simple to do with all you needing in most cases is a USB cable.
This can be really useful in an emergency when you don’t have any other options left in my opinion. One reason you don’t want to do this all the time is you don’t want to run the risk of your car’s battery dying which will leave you in a worse situation.
However, not everyone camps close by to their car. So this option is simply not possible for them.
Phone Cases With Built-in Batteries Or Solar Panel
There are a lot of phone cases on the market with them all offering a number of different options which makes them something to research in my opinion. There are two types I would recommend looking for and they are ones that have their own batteries and ones that have there own solar panels.
I really like phone cases that have an extra battery in them as they are very simple and easy to use. They often make your phone bulkier which might be an issue for some people but it can also make your phone more durable since they make the cases stronger to protect the battery.
The solar-powered option is always going to be something that is highly recommended even tho they can cost a bit more. Being able to leave your phone case out in the sun so you can use it to charge your phone later is a really convenient thing to have.
Other Options To Charge Your Phone While Camping
There are a number of options that haven’t really hit the market properly or aren’t very well known which is why I have put them down here. Something like the Fire Charger which is something you put underneath the coals your fire creates which will store power for you to charge your phone.
Another option is the bike charger which is useful for people who go mountain biking and take there bikes camping. It charges by riding your bike which is why it’s down here since it’s not something that most people take camping with them.
An old fashioned sounding charging device is a hand-crank charger which can be difficult to find with a USB port on it. You crank the device and it charges what’s attached to it which can make it very useful but it’s not the most common thing which is why it’s down here and not under its own section.
Ways To Prolong The Life Of Your Smartphone Battery
It’s no secret that the battery of our smartphones does seem to drain quicker and quicker even when we aren’t using it, which is something that I think we all find frustrating. This is especially annoying when you don’t have easy access to a way to charge your phone, like when you’re camping.
The Basics Behind Battery Degradation
One thing that a lot of people know but don’t actually understand is battery degradation and how it affects your battery’s lifespan. Most manufacturers say that every time you charge your phone roughly 400 times your battery will degrade by around 20%. This means that your phone will say it holds 100% but it’s really only holding 80% of its original capacity.
Check Which Apps Are Draining Your Phone’s Battery
Something that you should check with your phone is finding out which apps are draining the most out of your battery. In your settings, you will find the option for your battery which you can check to see which apps are using the most of your battery.
By doing this you can see if there are apps that are draining your battery that you don’t use anymore and disable them. I would recommend deleting apps that you don’t use anymore as they can drain battery life from your phone even when you’re not using them.
You’re also able to limit what apps are running in the background through the option of data usage instead of the battery. This can let you stop it from using data in the background which will help with your battery’s life.
The Real Killer Of Your Phones Battery
One of the biggest killers of the battery of your phone is GPS tracking that is usually activated on most mobile phones. Gps is always running and draining your battery drastically and is one of the things that drain your battery the most.
By turning it off you can help increase your phone’s charge by quite a bit so it’s something that I highly recommend you do. The only time I have GPS activated is if I’m using something like google maps since that’s one of the few reasons your phone will need to know your location.
Have You Tried Dark Mode?
This will depend on the type of screen your phone has and if your phone even has the option to. If your screen is OLED and your phone has the option to turn on a dark mode then you will be able to save some battery life by swapping over.
Some apps like Twitter and Youtube do have a dark mode in the apps themselves and it’s a good idea to swap to them if you’re using them. I highly recommend that if your apps have a dark mode option then you should swap to it to help save power.
Automatic Wi-Fi Makes A Difference
On a lot of phones, there is an option that your phone will search for a Wi-Fi connection. This is something I turn off as it means your phone is constantly searching when it’s not connected which means a constant drain on your phone.
Camping With Your Smartphone Is Possible
At the end of the day, when you’re camping chances are you won’t have your head in it 24/7. So the battery life of the phone is going to be slightly extended anyway. But with these methods mentioned above, you now have ways to recharge your smartphone while camping without access to power.
For me, the number one way to charge your phone is via a power bank and a small solar panel. This will give you 24/7 access to the power needed to recharge your phone. Because it is such a portable option, you can even use this setup on other outings that don’t include camping.