You don’t need to be a gadget addict to feel more than a little dependent on your devices these days. Most of us are on our smartphones or laptops more than we’d like to admit. If we’re not staring at one screen, we usually stare at the other. But how does this pan out when you’re in the wilderness? Not very well, you might imagine.
In a bygone era, people left technology on camping trips. These days, you might be understandably reluctant to leave your devices at home.
Thankfully, you don’t have to unplug unless you want to! There are plenty of ways to stay connected when camping, even if you’re off-grid for an extended period. Below are five expert recommendations for charging your devices away from home — and some tips on getting the most out of your battery life.
1. Use a USB Power Bank
We’ll start small and work our way up, which is why a USB power bank is first on our list of recommendations.
These handy devices aren’t designed exclusively for camping. You can use them to keep your devices alive (especially your smartphone) for any trip you go on, whether going into the wild or running errands around town.
The best thing about USB power banks is their size. They are usually super compact. You can fit one — or a few — in your camping pack without trouble.
2. Upgrade to a Larger Power Bank
As handy as USB power banks are, they don’t pack that much power. It could become a problem if you hope to keep your phone and laptop alive, especially if you’re camping for more than a few days.
Luckily, more powerful banks are out there — they just tend to be a little bulkier. However, they are well worth the investment if you have room for one. After all, even some of the more powerful banks are still reasonably compact.
3. Go for a Portable Power Station
If you need something that packs a punch, you may need to forgo power banks entirely. Your next port of call should be a portable power station.
There is an enormous variety among these devices, including varying sizes, power levels, and weights. However, they are the ultimate solution in many ways if you need something to keep you going for longer.
Depending on the portable power station size you purchase, you could also supply power to other campers in your group.
Many portable power stations also have handles for enhanced mobility, making them ideal for camping and road trips.
4. Harness the Power of the Sun
Solar panels have come a long way. You can now carry solar-powered generators while you hike. Many of these solar generators use fold-out panels with a USB cord attached.
Solar panels absorb energy from the sun and store it in batteries. The solar generator redirects the power to your device when you need to charge up.
EcoFlow’s solar panels are easily one of the most portable options on the market thanks to their foldable design, and the sun provides a constant energy source. The only downside is that you’re somewhat reliant on sun exposure, so bear that in mind!
5. Campsite Electrical Sources
Plenty of campsites understand the need for electricity among their campers. If you are staying at an established campsite during your trip, check to see if they offer outlets or electrical sources.
Some sites charge a premium for access to these services, but it may be worth it if you want to stay connected throughout your time there.
How to Save Energy While Camping
In addition to looking for outside energy sources, you should also review how you use your devices. Excess use will kill your device quicker than you realise, and you might not even be aware you’re doing it! We’re all a little too reliant on our phones, but you might not have that luxury while camping. With that in mind, here are our top tips for preserving energy.
Use a Real Map
Online maps are enormously helpful and easy to use; there’s no denying it. However, they can also eat into your battery exceptionally fast.
To make your smartphone go the extra mile, swap the digital map for a traditional fold-out map. Sure, it’ll take a little longer to get your head around, but it could make all the difference.
Make the Most of Airplane Mode
Your phone automatically saves a ton of power if you put it into aeroplane mode. The reason is that most automatic functions running in the background drain your battery. Aeroplane mode will shut these processes down.
Granted, your phone is of limited use in this mode, but that may not be too important when camping. After all, you likely won’t have much mobile service anyway.
Turn Your Brightness Down
This suggestion goes for both your phone and laptop. It is tempting to turn your brightness all the way up when outdoors, just to make things easier to read. However, maximised brightness settings will seriously drain your battery capacity.
If possible, only look at your device screens during darker times of the day when you won’t need excessive brightness. Alternatively, only use your devices out of direct sunlight. You may be surprised by the difference it makes to your device’s battery lifespan.
Be Present and Enjoy the Outdoors!
Our final piece of advice?
Put your gadgets down!
We get it, this is easier said than done, but the priority of your camping trip shouldn’t be the latest happenings on social media. Your laptop and phone should primarily be for safety and practicality.
With any good luck, you won’t need either of them for much. Enjoy your time outdoors and take in the wonder of it all. You’ll have a much better time.
Staying connected is essential. With the right tools at your disposal, you can keep your phone and laptop going for much longer. There’s never been greater diversity on the market than there is right now, so go ahead and explore your options for yourself!Ready to invest in a portable power station that is lightweight and can recharge using solar energy? Check out the EcoFlow River series today for portable power in a flash.