Cell Phone Charge when Outdoors

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Cell Phone Charge when Outdoors

Post by Live Safe Academy, LLC on Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:36 pm

Keeping phones charged outdoors can be a real challenge, especially if you use your phone for GPS tracking and as a camera.  This can be an important issue if you use your phone for checking in and as a tool for emergency communications.  After experimenting with a lot of gear this is what I've found works.  I've used this gear in all weather conditions, including well below zero, and during many activities like hiking, camping and canoeing.

New Trent 12000mAh USB Ports External Battery Pack:

http://www.newtrent.com/store/iphone-external-battery-iphone-portable-battery.html

The New Trent has great reviews on Amazon. I learned about it from http://www.solar1234.com/, which is a fantastic source of information for power and fuel. It's rated to charge a smartphone from 0% to 100% 6 times. I can get 5 full charges out of it easily.  I've never seen it lose charge over time or from cold.

Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit:

http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/79/Guide-10-Adventure-Kit/1:1/

NOT for the solar panels but for the Guide 10 Plus Battery Pack:

http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/133/Guide-10-Plus-Battery-Pack/6:2/

I really like the capability of using AA batteries to charge phones. But so far every product I've used sucks! All of them! And the reviews are bad... even when good... They all have complaints about some fatal error that defeats the purpose of having a device like this. But not the Guide 10 Plus Battery Pack. The Guide 10 gets solid reviews and folks consistently report it fully charging a phone with juice to spare. Pretty neat, and very handy. For my iPhone 5 I get 80% from 0%.  But not using the batteries that come with it.

For batteries I use (another recommendation from http://www.solar1234.com/ that gets great reviews on Amazon) the Sanyo Eneloop 2000 mAh LOW Discharge AA batteries:

http://us.sanyo.com/Battery-Products/AA-4-Pack-SEC-HR3U4BPN

Which I charge with the (another recommendation from http://www.solar1234.com/ and again, great reviews on Amazon):

Powerex MH-C800S Eight Cell Smart Charger:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LQMKDS/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00

It is important how you charge your rechargeable.

Now back to the solar panels. I almost never use them.  They can be useful in some circumstances and I don't mind owning them, which is why I bought the kit instead of just the battery pack.  But the weather in Michigan is too unpredictable and even when the sun is out a lot of time outdoors is spent outside of direct sun (like being in the woods under the canopy).    

If I was going to recommend one product it would be the Guide 10 Plus Battery Pack.  The versatility of using AA batteries is hard to beat.  But I prefer using it in conjunction with Sanyo Eneloop 2000 mAh LOW Discharge AA batteries and the Powerex MH-C800S Eight Cell Smart Charger.  I also use plastic cases that hold 4 AA batteries to make carrying and organizing the batteries easier (http://www.amazon.com/eneloop-166704298-6S-Genuine-Battery/dp/B00B21PBJG/ref=pd_sim_sbs_e_6).  

My next choice would be the New Trent 12000mAh USB Ports External Battery Pack.  This battery pack is not as versatile as using AA batteries, but it can recharge anything that charges with a USB port and it is extremely versatile.  I know some folks who prefer this over the Guide 10 Plus Battery Pack.  The New Trent is definitely a simpler option.  Charge it, use it.  No fuss, nothing else needed.

I do not recommend the solar panels unless you spend long periods of time outdoors, in which case they can be a useful resource.        

The New Trent and 10 Plus Battery Pack are not just for outdoors.  They are a great convenience in everyday life too. No more having to search for an outlet when you have your very own power source already with you.

I hope somebody find this information helpful.  It was a frustrating process for me to find a reliable way to keep my phone charged when outdoors.  A phone is a tool like anything else, and it can be a valuable tool for outdoor activities too.  

Stay safe!

Live Safe Academy, LLC
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