Mobile charging without access to electricity - What are the options?

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Bazooka Joe

Tenderfoot
Oct 27, 2011
72
2
Danmark
What do you guys do to charge your mobiles when you're a few days away from being able to plug your charger into the wall? Obviously, part of the attraction to the outdoorsy lifestyle is getting away from all that, but even so sometimes a phone can be very handy.

I've heard about solar chargers, but with the amount of sun we've got at present, I'm not sure that they're a very viable option. Are they?

Or are there any manual chargers (wind up for example) that you've had good experience with? Or would it be better just to have a power bank in my rucksack?
 

dewi

Full Member
May 26, 2015
2,643
3
Cheshire
I use a Geonaute onPower 300.

It charges up either from the mains or from your car and it'll fully recharge your phone from flat.

Cost me less than £20 and it's small enough to fit alongside your phone in your pocket (least thats what I do) so you can charge on the go.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,529
634
Lancashire
I got a 10000mAh pack for £15 for my recent trip. It's a little bigger and fatter than my old Samsung galaxy s2 I used to use. Worked well and I had 2 weeks careful phone use with one mid trip campsite recharge. There's better ones out there but I'm too cheap and lazy to go looking.
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
5,762
840
Bedfordshire
What about BioLite wood stove?
http://www.bioliteenergy.com/products/biolite-campstove

I know of a couple of people who run solar panels with good success, but they do tend to operate in sunnier places. Mobile phones, well, the modern "smart" phones, are battery hogs and its probably lighter to take alternative systems rather than try to keep them charged while using them for lots of stuff. Switch the phone off totally and it will last better. Or at least put on air craft mode.

There was a chap at my old place of work who made a charger thing from some thermo electric units attached to PC heat sinks and fans which he could run on a camping gas stove.
 

Ruud

Full Member
Jun 29, 2012
662
166
Belgium
www.rudecheers.wordpress.com
I use this one, works like a charm! I juiced it up about 2 months ago, 4 hours in full sun. I charged two cell-phones in about 3 hours last week on a course. So it is more like a powerbank that charges on solar energy, you don't charge your phone/other appliances with the sun that is at hand at the moment you need juice. (hope that makes sense...)

https://www.solarpowersupply.be/merken/xtorm/xtorm-magma-solar-charger-am116
 

NS40

Nomad
Nov 20, 2011
362
4
Scotland
I carry a EC Powerbank which will give my smartphone up to a dozen full charges or my tablet about 7 or so times. I find it ideal as I don't drive so spend a lot of time on public transport but have my own phone, a work phone and a tablet with me most places I go and all are in pretty much constant use.




http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/like/272290048722?lpid=122&chn=ps&googleloc=1007378&poi=&campaignid=620865095&device=c&adgroupid=27378760866&rlsatarget=pla-181484343906&adtype=pla&crdt=0

I also use a Biolite stove for camping either to directly charge my phone or to top up my powerbank. It'll run on wood or pinecones but a small handfull of wood pellet cat litter goes a long way too. This is me charging up during a brew up on holiday last week.

 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,691
980
63
Florida
I carry a EC Powerbank which will give my smartphone up to a dozen full charges or my tablet about 7 or so times. I find it ideal as I don't drive so spend a lot of time on public transport but have my own phone, a work phone and a tablet with me most places I go and all are in pretty much constant use......
Don't want to hijack the thread so lets not get too deep into this question; does public transport there (I'm presuming buses and British Rail mostly) have charging stations for passengers use? Both Amtrak and Greyhound (our rail and long distance bus lines) here provide on board household power outlets at the passenger seats.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,562
1,561
McBride, BC
I wonder. What convinces you that you have to have your iphone with you at all?
This space for sarcasm : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .
In my world, cell phones don't work. Its called mountains. GPS doesn't work.
You need some simple skills that we all shared some decades ago.
Don't panic. We got along with out it all for quite some time.
I have a cane. I don't need a crutch.
 

mountainm

Bushcrafter through and through
Jan 12, 2011
9,990
9
Selby
www.mikemountain.co.uk
I wonder. What convinces you that you have to have your iphone with you at all?
This space for sarcasm : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .
In my world, cell phones don't work. Its called mountains. GPS doesn't work.
You need some simple skills that we all shared some decades ago.
Don't panic. We got along with out it all for quite some time.
I have a cane. I don't need a crutch.
I'm not the OP but in my case simply to keep in touch and organise the practical things in life.

Things that make life easier. Sure we could do without them them, but we don't have to.

M

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
 

mrcharly

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 25, 2011
3,246
33
North Yorkshire, UK
Don't want to hijack the thread so lets not get too deep into this question; does public transport there (I'm presuming buses and British Rail mostly) have charging stations for passengers use? Both Amtrak and Greyhound (our rail and long distance bus lines) here provide on board household power outlets at the passenger seats.
Commonly, yes they do.

Responding to Robson Valley - a mobile phone isn't necessarily just a phone. It is also a book, a camera, a video camera, a GPS and a source of maps. It's very compact and lighter than carrying all those separate devices (or multiple books).
I don't get out camping much but when I do, my phone, as a phone, tends to be turned off (airplane mode). It is only on at all so I can use the camera. At night it is just used as a book. Used in this way, even a modern smartphone lasts 3-4 days without needing any recharging. Add one of the battery packs mentioned previously and you are up to 2-3 weeks without needing any other source of power.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,691
980
63
Florida
I'd probably take mine too if it were a modern smart phone. It ain't, so I don't; but I understand why some people do.
 
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jaffcat

Nomad
Sep 26, 2012
384
0
Hertford
I have a deal with my wife.... I can go away with my young son as long as we can keep in contact.... odd text, occasion call.... my android lasts about 4 days when not really being used and in power save mode.... as a back up I carry a cheap tesco power pack ... about £8 I think.... that gives my a couple of charges so that will last me about a two weeks if I'm careful

Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
5,762
840
Bedfordshire
I wonder. What convinces you that you have to have your iphone with you at all?
This space for sarcasm : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. .
In my world, cell phones don't work. Its called mountains. GPS doesn't work.
You need some simple skills that we all shared some decades ago.
Don't panic. We got along with out it all for quite some time.
I have a cane. I don't need a crutch.
Yeah, and we managed without electricity, the internal combustion engine, gunpowder and metal for quite some time too. If you cannot offer an answer to the question asked, why do you have to come in to be scornful of other people's worlds?

I can't believe I am playing advocate for the use of smart phones / cell phones, but since you are not able to imagine a world outside of your mountains where a smart phone might be of use I can provide a couple of examples from our world. Don't take this as too much of a slight, before I had such a phone I didn't think they were worth having either, and certainly didn't think that I would want to take one on a trip but I can now see there can be benefits. One may not need the phone while in the wilderness, but they are handy while navigating the civilized lands at either end of the trip. In all cases when I travel, my family feels better knowing when I have reached destinations safely.

1. Week long canoe expedition on Stora Le, Sweden. Made the trip three times. First time or so was with a dumb Nokia that held a charge forever. Used it after I was back in the UK at the end of the week to arrange pick up from airport. To navigate around Gothenburg on the way in and out of Sweden for those first trips I carried a bunch of A3 (that is a paper size approx twice Letter size) print outs. At the time I thought that this was a huge PITA but better than being clueless about what was where, or depending on finding a suitable map while there. On the final trip it was very convenient to have a smart phone which not only showed maps, but store locations, opening times and information about the buses and trains, as well as being able to coordinate with some of the group who were there already.

2. Two weeks driving around New Zealand's South Island. News Flash...New Zealand has mountains. Phone didn't work, but GPS did fine when I wanted a position check. More importantly, I was able to carry a bunch of high detail maps for places I might be passing through. I prefer paper, but the number of maps needed to cover my possible route around the country with 1:50,000 topos was prohibitive. The phone was good for communication when I passed through small towns that had signal, and for finding camp sites via pre-downloaded data. Didn't need to worry about charging though since I had a vehicle, but I can see how a few day's tramping might have stretched that. I had a separate camera with spare batteries, but a lot of people use their phones now.
 

Wayne

BCUK Welfare Officer
Mod
Dec 7, 2003
3,461
323
48
West Sussex
www.forestknights.co.uk
I pretty much run my business from my phone. Customers require immediate response via a range of communication methods these days. Social Media, email and voice calls even though they are calling a bushcraft school about a trip months or weeks in advance they want immediate answers to their questions.

Plus I use it for all the reasons stated above. Not carrying a means of communication when leading groups would be negligent.
 

quidditys_shore

Tenderfoot
Feb 26, 2014
62
0
Middlesbrough
I have had a few power banks. Anker make one is my favourite, very good build & fast charging. Get them on amazon.

Got this one a few months ago for £6 (now gone up) & it feels really good plus it's small.

http://m.banggood.com/Original-XIAO...tracker&utm_content=15981&utm_campaign=171762

Then last week I got a solar power bank off amazon for £14. Chargers fast & the solar panel seems pretty good. Left it on the windowsill & got a full charge in a day.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B01CFZY09O/ref=ya_aw_od_pi?ie=UTF8&psc=1