When we are among civilization, it’s not terribly difficult to find an available wall outlet to charge up your smartphone or tablet, but what do you do when you’re surrounded by nothing but trees, dirt and the great outdoors? Even when you want to unplug and get away from it all, you still want to charge up your gadgets and that’s where some cool portable power products could be just the ticket.
The last thing you want when you’re camping in the woods is for your phone not to have enough battery for you to snap that Instagram photo, right? Let’s have a look at five possible solutions to this problem so all your portable electronics can stay charged no matter where you are.
The BioLate CampStove has to be one of the most creative portable power solutions I’ve seen in such a long time. When you’re camping, you’re going to want a source of heat to cook your food, so why not charge up that iPhone at the same time? There’s no wasted energy, because the heat from the fire actually generates electricity through a thermoelectric generator. What’s more, that generator will also power a fan to provide even better airflow for combustion and then the surplus electricity is funneled through a USB port. The stove itself is fueled by the twigs that you burn.
Retail price for the BioLite CampStove is $129.95.
LUXA2 P-MEGA Power Station
Most of us are reasonably familiar with the idea of a USB power bank. These are the portable USB batteries that we can use to charge our smartphones, tablets and other portable electronics, but the majority of the pocket-sized battery packs are in the 5,000mAh range or so. Going much, much bigger is the LUXA2 P-MEGA. It’s reasonably compact at 10x10x10cm, but it packs an impressive 41,600mAh capacity. That’s enough to charge an iPhone 5S 19 times! You won’t really be able to recharge it while camping, but that massive capacity should keep you going for at least a few days.
The LUXA2 P-MEGA sells for $169.00.
PowerPot X Portable Generator
The fundamental idea behind the PowerPot X is not dissimilar from the BioLite CampStove above. The key difference here is that you don’t have to deal with fire directly, which might be better for the longevity of your electronics. Instead, you get a basic pot where you can boil some water over whatever heat source you may have. Then, the heat from the boiling water works with the 10-watt power generator to give you two amps of portable power to charge your gadgets via USB. That’s enough to charge most tablets, like the Apple iPad.
The PowerPot X with 10W of power carries an MSRP of $219. There is also the smaller PowerPot V with 5W of power for $149.
Schumacher SP-100 Foldable Solar Charger
You knew this list wouldn’t be complete without some form of solar charger. After all, what better source of portable power can you get than that glorious glowing orb in the sky? This particular version is the SP-100 solar charger from Schumacher and it can be easily folded up for ease of transport. The 10W solar charger has a 5V USB output and a 12V port too. They’ve also worked to make this product a little more rugged, handling hot, cold and cloudy environments like a champ.
The Schumacher SP-100 10W foldable solar charger has a list price of $99.77.
SolProX Solar Powered Umbrella
Perhaps you want something a little more stylish to go along with your posh trip in the great outdoors. Maybe you don’t really want to venture further than your patio, but you still need some portable power to charge your phone while sipping on mojitos. For that, there’s the SolProX solar powered umbrella. It may look like an ordinary patio umbrella, except it has solar panels on the top to collect the sun’s rays. These are then converted into electricity via the two USB ports conveniently located on the umbrella pole. There’s an integrated lithium-ion battery in place to store some energy for when it gets dark too. This could be an excellent portable power solution for when you go to the beach or park.
Though it lists at $199.99, the SolProX solar umbrella can oftentimes be found for around $160 or so.
Image credit: Robert S. Donovan / Flickr