Camping is all about getting away from everything and settling down in the great outdoors for the night. While we might want to get away from the stresses of our regular lives, sometimes a little creature comfort goes a long way, and maybe those stars will shine a little brighter with Leonard Cohen soothing in your ears. It is essential to have a phone when going outdoors in case of an emergency, and why not use the GPS, camera and other features to enjoy yourself more out there. Technology can bring us relief when we need it, and intense frustration when it goes wrong, and one thing our devices always demand from us is to keep them full of energy. Here is some advice on how to get the most out of your devices in the outdoors, provided by Audiostance.
Switch it off!
The most obvious but often overlooked way to keep your device charged is to keep it off until you need it. It’s a simple thing to do with everyone’s most vital piece of equipment. That’s not always practical though if you’re navigating or hoping to get some pictures of animals that might not exactly linger while your phone boots up.
“Rough it” and stop going handsfree, if you’re listening to music plug in your earphones or speaker, Bluetooth is a major drain on the sending and receiving devices, meaning you’ll have to work twice as hard to charge both. Airplane mode will stop your phone from expending energy constantly searching for signal; or go for low battery mode with the brightness down if you need reception sometimes.
Pack Extra Power
The second easiest thing you can do is to bring a power bank, a portable USB battery charger, preferably a high capacity one over 10,000mAh that will ensure multiple charges. They’re mostly low weight, easy to use and can be kept inside your pocket and used on the go. Again, your devices will replenish faster if they’re off during charge.
Whether you’re a heavy user or planning a big excursion, you’ve probably considered using a solar charger but have no idea whether they work or not. The good news is that they do work, and many new solar chargers are significantly lighter than they used to be. However, make sure to consider where it will be used, in dense forest there’s no chance, are you going to be sitting out in the daytime with a chance to charge? Or strapping it to your backpack while you hike? Sometimes it will be difficult to keep the panels facing the sun if you’re charging on the move.
Battery Pack vs Solar Panel
Battery packs offer more security, even letting you know how much charge it has left for reassurance and planning ahead. Solar always has the advantage of being able to replenish when those rays are beating down, but better performance requires larger panels, which means a heavier pack to carry. With proper planning ahead, and the weather on your side though, solar can keep you going for long stretches without carrying the dead weight of a used-up charger.
One to rule them!
One of the most fun things about camping is utility, how many ways can you use one thing, think of a Swiss Army knife. Saw? Wire stripper? A knife? It can cut your meat, sharpen sticks for skewers. That all-important cook-up is essential to the campsite experience. A Biolite™ stove will have your bacon sizzling and your phone charging in beautiful synchronicity. It’s a well-tested piece of equipment that harnesses the heat of burning twigs to generate power, while the escaping flames are caught by the cooking pot. This is the ultimate self-charging device with an onboard 2600mAh battery and weighing in at only 2.06lbs, not only is this more sustainable than lugging a gas canister, but will save a bit of pack space too and is guaranteed to be better than solar for a forest trip.
Sometimes it’s no big deal if you run out and go tech free for the day, but you might be relying on a battery boost to organize a pickup, or to document those precious moments away from civilization, no one wants to be hunched over their phone fiddling with other devices trying to get a charge when they could be lying down with the birdsongs. So give yourself the peace of mind and choose what’s right for your camping trip.