View Full Version : Charging phone on camp

15-03-2011, 11:21 AM

Thanks to having a smartphone (android nexus one), it's practically impossible to keep it going all week, even with occasional topping up via a car charger (which would take too many hours to fully charge the phone). (Un)fortunately pretty much all the campsites we go to don't have any power.

Has anyone tried power monkeys, solar chargers (for power monkey, or not), car battery inverters (so that a mains adapter can be used - not sure on the maths, but mains adapters charge the phone significantly quicker than USB ones, so maybe after an inverter, it'd still be quicker) etc...?

I've also seen a post here about people using solar chargers for car batteries - I was under the impression that car batteries don't like being drained, so would have to go for a leisure battery (more expensive).

I guess I'd prefer a portable option instead of having to lug around a car/leisure battery - but open to all ideas!

Thanks v much,

15-03-2011, 11:27 AM
if I've got no access to electricity over a camp I tend to dump my smartphone in favour of a old(ish) nokia that can last all week without needing a charge.

Mike Bennett
15-03-2011, 11:28 AM
last time i used a free loader, its solar, you leave it out during the day and take the charge from it in the evening, it kept the Iphone working although the free loader has since gone bang !! still thats modern electrics, it was quite usefull though and i think my next purchase will be the updated version.


15-03-2011, 11:41 AM
I'd recommend a power monkey, I have one I take on camps, make sure the battery in your phone and the power monkey is full at the start of the week, and then leave the solar panel sticking out of the corner of the tent (make sure its facing the sun) all day, and then charge your phone from the power monkey battery overnight and this should last you a week (it has for me and I've got an amazingly power hungry iPhone)!

15-03-2011, 11:44 AM
This is what i've got. Have used it several times on camp and at home for my phone and mp3 and it works well.

15-03-2011, 11:46 AM
I have a power monkey & a power gorilla and solar gorilla for my charging needs... the power monkey can last me a week, but the gorilla has been used to charge my phone and some other leaders handsets as well. (i have a SE xperia X10)

15-03-2011, 11:57 AM
Thanks for all the quick replies!

I'm a bit confused about the power monkey range - some places say you buy a solar panel bit, and a battery bit. Does this come with everything I need?! http://www.amazon.co.uk/Powermonkey-Explorer-Emergency-Charger-Needs/dp/B000UJ8QFW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1300193249&sr=8-2

If so, at that price, can't really go wrong!!

RE Dumping smartphone for old phone - having the internet is so useful, for things like weather, and then GPS + Orux Maps can also be v useful...


15-03-2011, 12:13 PM
Cheaper or simpler options:

Take your old phone to use on camp (as suggested above) for longer battery life.

Buy a few spare batteries for your phone. Charge them all up before you go and then change them as needed during the camp.

Take a carrier pigeon or semaphore flags...

I have a feeling that an expensive solar panel might be vulnerable to stray footballs and small feet?

15-03-2011, 12:26 PM
I have both the freeloader and the free loader pro, and one of the enhanced solar panels.

The free loader will charge the iphone4 to about quarter charge. Don't know about the Pro as it's somewhere 'safe' so I haven't been able to use it.

15-03-2011, 01:00 PM
i keep thinking about a solar charger but up here in scotland, the weathers to suspect.
and would the solar charger not be damaged by a sudden shower.
not to worried about damage id probably rig it up on roof of mess tent.

Neil Williams
15-03-2011, 02:20 PM
You can get better life from a smartphone if you turn data off - and don't be tempted to turn it back on!

15-03-2011, 02:21 PM
Some campsites may let you charge it up in their office of somewhere suitable.