Camping Tips

How to Charge Phone While Camping Without Worry

person holding phone while hiking

Camping is a great way to escape the city and get away from the grid, but these days we use our phones for directions to get to the campsite, music for the drive, trail apps for our hikes, and photos for the memories. We need our phones for our adventures, so how can you charge your phone while camping?

If you are camping in the wilderness then the best ways to charge your phone when you are camping is with an external battery, a portable car battery, or via portable solar panels. These methods will ensure your phone will be fully charged when you are camping.

I have been on many backpacking trips over several days and have been able to keep my phone fully charged for all of the days even after using it to record videos and take photos. There are some other things I do listed down below to help me maximize my phone’s battery life during the trip.

How can I charge my phone while camping without electricity?

You might be wondering, what can I use to charge my phone when camping? Here are three options for you to choose from.

person holding phone in desert

External Battery Chargers

The first method and probably the most popular is to charge your phone with an external battery. External batteries are a great choice because they are small and portable. If you get a large enough battery you can keep your phone charge between five to seven days! The main benefit of external batteries is that they are portable and you can shove them in your pack to carry them deep into the wilderness to make sure you have power.

I personally have used external batteries for years and they do a great job of keeping my phone powered when I don’t have any electricity or outlets to charge my phone. The downside of them is that they add weight to your pack and you need to remember to charge them before your trip. I will cover external battery considerations and my favorite battery in the next section.

Check out my favorite portable Anker battery on Amazon with 4-5x Charging Here

External Car Battery

Another great option to consider if you are doing car camping is to bring an external car battery. This is a great choice since this battery will last a very long time and you don’t have to plan out how much battery to bring as your phone will likely be charged many many times over with this charger. Major benefits of external car batteries are that you can power equipment that need more power such as portable fridges, a laptop, lights, and other things.

The downside of external car batteries is that they are large and can be expensive. This is a great option if you are doing car camping and are planning on powering many things. Many people who go over-landing and off-roading will opt to bring an external battery for the car.

Portable Solar Panels

The third option to power your phone when camping is to use portable solar panels. This option is a favorite by many backpackers as they weigh the least and can take advantage of the mid-day sun to power your phone.

The downside of portable solar panels is they can be bulky, they won’t work if you have bad weather or are hiking in the shade, and they can be slow to charge. Portable solar panels are better for long backpacking trips where you don’t know how many days you will be out on the trail.

Now you have the answer to how do you get power when camping and don’t have to worry anymore about powering your electronics.

What should I look for in a battery for camping?

person holding phone in fall leaves

Battery Pack Considerations for Camping

The first thing to consider when buying a battery pack is the capacity. The capacity will determine how many times you can charge your phone. There are various size external batteries, typically the larger the batter the more capacity it will have, so you will have to determine how much weight you are willing to carry vs how much you need to charge your phone. Typically for every 5,000mAH will charge your phone once, so a external battery with 15,000mAH will charge your phone three times.

The next thing to consider when looking at external batteries is if it has quick charging. Quick charging will charge your phone much faster. There is nothing more frustrating than waiting a long time for your phone to be charged when you need it. These two considerations have lead me to buy Anker external batteries. I have had one of my Anker batteries for more than a decade with no issues. I also carry one of the newer models that is lighter and takes up less space, but both work the same to power my phone.

Check out my favorite portable Anker battery on Amazon with 4-5x Charging Here

Check out the smaller portable Anker battery on Amazon with 2-3x Charging:

Portable Car Battery Considerations for Camping

There are two main things to consider before buying a portable battery for your car camping. The first thing to consider is the battery capacity. The capacity will determine how much power you have to power your devices. The larger the capacity the larger the battery will be due to the cell sizes. Portable car batteries have capacity from 50,000mAh and over 100,000mAh.

The next thing to consider is the maximum output. This will determine the things you can charge whether it be your phone, a portable fridge, or a laptop. Phones typically need about 12W to charge quickly and laptops need around 60W. Another thing you should look into is the ports available for the battery. The outlet ports will determine what you can plugin.

Checkout the top portable battery for camping on Amazon:

Portable Solar Charger Considerations for Camping

Before you buy a solar charger for camping there are some things to consider. The first thing to consider is the size. If you are backpacking them you have limited space in your pack and some portable solar panels can be bulky and take up a lot of space. The folded panels in some can be inflexible and take up precious volume in your pack.

The next thing to consider for portable solar panels is how effectively and quickly they charge. There’s no point in buying a panel to charge if its slow to charge. You could be waiting hours for your phone to recharge.

Checkout the top portable solar panel for camping on Amazon Here

How to Preserve Phone Battery When Camping

person holding phone in mossy forest

Now that you know your options on how to power your phone when camping, there are a few things you can do to preserve your phone’s battery life. By doing this you can opt to bring a smaller battery or only need to charge your phone for a shorter amount of time.

Airplane Mode

The first thing you should do once you are in the remote area is to switch your phone to airplane mode. This will save your phone’s battery considerably as it won’t constantly be trying to ping your cell network. This will also stop your apps from trying to download things in the background and use even more energy.

Download Maps

Before you leave your home, you should download the map if your driving route. This will prevent your phone from trying to download the map data as you are driving and save you battery. Also this will help you out if you have no reception in the wilderness as your map app should be able to operate offline using your downloaded map.

Background Apps

Another thing you can to do to preserve battery is to turn off all your background apps. Phones will have many apps running in the background that drain your battery. Exit all of those apps and other active apps you are not currently using. This will ensure your phone is only using battery for things you are currently using it for such as the camera or the GPS.

Final Thoughts

Going out to camp to get away is always great fun, but having your phone fully charged will make it even more relaxing as its one less thing to worry about. The three options above to power your phone via external battery, portable car battery, or portable solar panels will ensure your phone and other electronics are charged during your camping trip.

Enjoy your camping trip with your newly discovered way to charge your phone. Through trial and error you will be able to find what works out for you!

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