Camping is a great way to get back to nature, but it can be difficult if you are relying on electricity for your phone. Charging phone when camping can be tough without the use of an outlet, so we have put together some tips and tricks for you! Follow these tips and tricks and you will never find yourself in a situation with no battery life again!
Keeping your phone charged when camping is important for a number of reasons. You will be using your phone for light, to keep track of time, as a camera, for listening to music, for maps and directions, and of course in case of emergencies.
If you are camping with kids, it might be especially important to charge your phone while camping if they get bored and want to play games, or just in case you need to get a hold of someone during an emergency.
Camping without electricity can seem impossible, but it actually isn’t that difficult with some preparation. Charging phone when camping shouldn’t have to stress you out!
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Charging phone when camping
Charging your phone when camping can seem tricky, especially if you don’t have electricity. However, there are some easy ways to keep your phone charged when you don’t have access to an outlet.
Bring a solar charger for your cell phone
One of the easiest ways to charge your phone while camping is to have access to a solar phone charger.
Charging your phone with a portable solar charger is very similar to plugging it in, except that you are using solar power instead of an outlet. It usually takes longer than charging from electricity, but it is a great option if you don’t have access to an outlet!
The downside to solar phone chargers are that they can be bulky depending on how big your battery pack is, but overall these types of portable batteries are popular because anyone can use them when camping or traveling without electricity.
Make sure your solar charger always has power by placing it in direct sunlight throughout the day. This might be on top of your car or tent, or simply on a picnic table.
This item makes an excellent camping gift idea for children who can’t part with their electronic devices for the weekend!
If your phone died at night time and all you have is a solar charger, check out this list of other fun things you can do while camping at night!
Use Solar Powered Devices
One way to keep devices charged is to choose those that have a built-in battery that can be charged with solar chargers. Many camping essentials have a rechargeable battery that comes with a portable solar panel.
For example, choose solar powered speakers over battery powered speakers. Not only will this save you from having to charge your phone as you listen to music, but the portable speakers power themselves. This means one less device to worry about charging!
We also recommend flashlights or lanterns that charge with a solar panel. This will prevent you from needing to drain your phone’s battery from using the flashlight so often, and you also won’t need to worry about replacing batteries in the handheld flashlight!
These devices might seem expensive, but portable solar panels and devices that have solar chargers are surprisingly comparable to their counterparts!
Use a Portable Power Bank
Another easy option to charge your phone or other electronic devices on your next camping trip is by using portable battery packs. Charging your phone with an external battery pack is simple and perfect for charging while you are on the go.
External power banks are relatively inexpensive, usually around $20 to start out.
Charging your phone with power banks allow you to have access to a portable power source that doesn’t require electricity or being hooked up into anything permanent in order to charge it.
Most portable power banks have USB ports that you can plug your USB cable into and charge your phone from. A lot of the time, people will also buy two or even three external battery packs for their camping trip so they always have an extra one to switch out with when theirs runs out of juice (especially if you don’t have a portable power bank with solar power).
I have found these to be especially helpful when camping with dogs since they always run through the charging cord and unplug it!
Plug your phone into a laptop or iPad
If you happen to have your laptop with you on your camping trip, consider using it to charge your phone while camping as an additional power source.
Maybe you brought your laptop to get some work done in the peaceful nature environment, or perhaps you brought it to listen to music. Whatever the case, consider using the USB port to charge your phone using a USB cable.
You can also consider using another electronic device such as an iPad to charge your phone. Any device that has USB charging capacity can be a great option to keep your mobile phone charged.
Keep in mind that if you go this route, you will need to choose between having your cell phone OR your iPad/laptop charged unless you have a way to keep all your devices charged.
If you have quite a few devices, consider purchasing multiple power bank options.
Use a Car Charger
Another way to keep your cell phone charged while camping is to plug it into your car charger. If you have an inverter or a cigarette lighter, attach the adapter and plug in to charge while driving down the road.
You can even use car chargers while you car is parked at your campsite, though it is best to drive your car when doing this. Take a quick drive around the campground, or find somewhere new to explore while you charge your phone’s battery.
You can also purchase portable chargers that hook onto your car battery and will keep your phone charged no matter where you go! Car battery chargers are a great investment for any camping trip, especially if you are car camping!
Charge your mobile phone while camping with a hand crank charger
Charging your phone with a hand crank charger might sound like something from the 1800s, but they are actually very high tech and can charge most modern phones in just a few minutes.
Charging by electricity isn’t always available when camping, so these chargers come in handy more than you think.
Charging your phone with hand crank chargers doesn’t require electricity. These portable chargers can be charged by winding them up or shaking the device to create kinetic energy which is converted into an electrical charge that will power any USB compatible device such as most modern cell phones and iPads!
Hand crank phone chargers are a great option for campers who want to stay connected without having to go completely off the grid. Charging your phone with a hand crank emergency charger is easy and can be done in seconds.
Check the campground’s bathroom for outlets
If your campground has public restrooms, consider checking those out to see if there are any power outlets to charge your phone. Although most will not have an open outlet, you may be lucky enough to find one that does!
If you happen to find an outlet, charge up multiple devices at the same time by using a multi-port USB wall charger. Let your phone charge for an hour or so until you have enough battery life!
If there are no outlets in the bathroom itself, check the lobby or office of your campsite for one! Who knows, they might have a power station for you to use to charge your phone! Chances are, someone will have an option for you to charge electronic devices.
Ask a neighbor if you can borrow an outlet
Camper’s are traditionally friendly people, so it is likely that you’ll be able to borrow an outlet from one of your neighbors to charge your phone.
One of your neighbors might have a site that has access to electricity, so consider asking them if you can borrow an outlet for an hour to charge devices.
If all the campsites around you are non-electric sites, it still doesn’t hurt to ask around! Someone may have an extra power bank on hand to help charge your phone.
Walk or drive to a nearby store or restaurant to charge your phone while camping
If all else fails and you really need to charge your phone, consider walking or driving to a nearby store or restaurant. It’s a little inconvenient, but it could be worth it to you if your phone is nearly dead and you need to make an important call or get directions.
If you can, use your vehicle’s battery to charge mobile phones or other handheld devices on the drive there!
Plus, you might find something unique along the way, leading to a whole new set of adventures for your camping trip!
Preserving battery life when camping
While keeping your phone’s battery charged while camping can be super important, preserving the battery is just as crucial. Because charging phone when camping can be a hassle, you don’t want to waste precious battery life! Follow these tips on your next tenting trip to optimize the battery capacity of your cell phone.
Put your phone on power saving mode as much as possible
One tip to preserving battery life on your phone is to turn on power saving mode. Because you likely won’t have access to WiFi at your campsite, use a limited amount of data and keep your phone on power saving mode as much as possible.
Airplane mode will reduce your screen’s brightness, allow you to turn off background apps, limit vibration alerts and adjust the frame rate of videos streamed or played from online platforms such as YouTube. Most of all, airplane mode prevents your cell phone from searching for data, which can quickly drain your battery life.
If you do need to search for data, consider plugging your phone into a power bank to help charge your phone while your phone works hard and uses up your battery.
If you are camping with your significant other, consider just keeping one phone on at a time!
Close all unnecessary apps that might be draining battery
You should also close all apps that might be draining your phone battery. You can do this by double-clicking the home button to open up all of your apps, then pressing and holding any app until they start shaking. Pressing on each one will give you an option to close or delete them.
Keeping apps open on your phone uses a lot of phone battery power, so you will want to make sure that they are all closed!
Turn your phone off at night
Temperatures can get very cold in the middle of the night when camping (especially in high elevations), so be sure to turn your phone off when you go to sleep. Extreme temperatures are hard on your phone’s battery and can make it run down faster.
I have kept my phone on overnight when the temperature dropped very low, and my battery was drained in the morning, even though I had it on airplane mode.
Plus, you don’t need to use your phone in the middle of the night, so turn it off to conserve power as much as possible!
If you do need to keep your phone turned on throughout the night (for the time or for the flashlight), keep it as warm as possible. This might mean keeping it inside your sleeping bag with you, or following other tips to keep your tent warm at night.
Keep your phone cool
Not only can cold temperatures drain your phone’s battery, but hot temperatures can damage the battery as well.
You want to keep your phone out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources like the camp stove or fire, which can get especially hot! If there’s no shade around where you’re camping, consider hanging up an umbrella or tarp. This will also give you some shade to help protect your skin from sunburn!
Download offline maps for hiking
Downloading maps ahead of time is a great way to save on data. When you’re going hiking or camping, having an offline map is one of the most important ways that you can prepare yourself for getting lost and finding your way back. Maps are beneficial because they give detailed information about what’s around you – even when there isn’t cell service!
This is important for keeping your phone charged because you won’t be using the GPS or searching for data, which uses a lot of battery. If you’re driving, make sure to download maps before starting your trip so that they are ready when you need them!
Dim the screen brightness to save battery life
Another way to save on precious battery life is to keep your phone’s screen as dim as possible. If you don’t want it entirely dark, then at least turn the screen brightness all of the way down when you’re not using your phone.
This is important for keeping your phone charged because dimming the screen saves power and helps keep more juice in that battery!
Turn off the vibrate setting
Turning off vibrations on your phone can also help save your battery life. When you receive a new text message or alert, even if your phone is on silent the vibration of that notification will drain some battery power.
If you know that you’re not going to be getting any texts for a while, just turn the vibrate function off. This will help keep your battery life longer in between charges.
We hope this blog post was helpful with charging phone when camping. It shouldn’t have to be difficult to charge your phone camping, so we hope these tips gave you some suggestions for your camping or car camping trip!
If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can also download our Camping Planner for all of the tips and tools that will help make your trip a success!