6 Best Ways to Charge your Phone while Camping

You’re at your desired camping destination, in the idyllic wilderness with your family. Everything is picturesque. There’s just one major nagging question ringing in your ears: How to charge your phone while camping. After all, this is a big concern since so many of us rely on our phones to stay in touch with the office during this day and age.

As much as camping is a way to escape our outside lives and all that entails — in this generation our phones are extremely crucial to have at all times.Your phone is your only way to contact the outside world, check social media or capture that perfect photo of the sunset hitting the lake.

At home, you’re always within a few feet of an outlet for your electronics. But it’s a tad different in the middle of nowhere. A camping trip is also different than a regular vacation or business trip where you instinctively grab your phone charger before leaving. Even if you grabbed your phone charger, there might not be anywhere to plug it in when you are camping!

So, how do you charge your phone while camping, anyway?

Keep reading to learn how to charge your phone while camping so you can enjoy your camping experience without the added worry that your phone’s going to die any minute.

Let’s dive into the 6 best ways to charge your phone while camping:

1) A Portable Battery

Likely the most obvious answer is also to most basic: bring a portable charger with you on your trip.

Portable battery packs for your phone or other electronics are everywhere you turn nowadays. So you’ll have no problem at all staying charged up.

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The downfall of this idea is after it runs out of juice, you are left at square one with a lifeless battery on your phone. If you plan to be out camping for an entire week, you could quickly run into a situation where you don’t have enough juice left within your phone.

However, if you bring a few portable chargers or an exceptional quality portable battery — you’ll have better luck. And your phone will stay charged for a longer duration of your trip.

The other big downside is that buying a phone battery pack is not the cheapest option as well. If you can, see if your office has a supply of them that you can borrow for the weekend. I tried this strategy once and it worked out well!


2) Use Your Vehicle to Charge Your Phone

If you’re taking a camping trip, and you aren’t going completely remote, — chances are, you’re bringing your vehicle. Or at the least, it’ll be parked nearby. Of course, there’s invariably the option of turning on your car and using that as a means to charge your phone or additional electronics.

You can find car adapters to charge your phone now at any rest stop for the same price as a candy bar. Just remember, however, that these could have an adverse impact on your car.

Just be cautious and keep an eye on your car battery. You definitely don’t want to get stuck in a remote camping spot with a lifeless battery in your car because you left it running too long.


3) Use a Portable Campstove with an Added Outlet Feature

Cool, right?

Who would have thought you could purchase a camp stove for your remote camping trip to charge your electronics? I know that when I first started going camping, these didn’t exist at all.

But then again, cell phones weren’t really a thing either when I first started to go camping!

You won’t be left wondering how to charge your phone while camping with one of these bad boys on hand! You even have the option for a wood-burning camp stove with a USB port to plug your phone into.

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If this isn’t neat enough — you can also buy other gadgets to bring along on your trip to charge your phone.

Here are a few other nifty gadgets you can purchase and bring along:

As you can see, there’s no shortage of cool gadgets you can buy for your camping trips to ensure you always have a charged phone.

4) Hand-Crank Phone Chargers

This may sound like loads of work, just to have a working phone.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, am I right?

This simple alternative to a phone charger is actually a surefire way to guarantee you have a fully operating phone during your whole trip.

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But, also a bit of a pain to keep cranking them up. So be sure to look for a high-quality one that doesn’t require a lot of “cranking” to fully charge your phone.

I don’t know of many people who use these types of hand-crank chargers.

But, they do have two benefits.

The first is that they work in remote locations and locations with no sunlight. If you are going into caves, or far off the grid, then they could be great. (Of course, you probably won’t have cell service in either location!)

The second is that they tend to last a long time. Everyone I know who uses these hand cranks has had the same one for a couple of years and they just keep on working after plenty of camping trips.

5) Bring a Portable Solar Panel

This sounds a little out there, but I can assure you people do this and have excellent luck with it.

Not sure how to charge your phone while camping?

Well, it may be time to invest in a solar panel you can either wear as a backpack or lay in the sun wherever you like.

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Then at the end of the day, when the sun goes down for the day — you’re able to plug in your phone to the USB port on the portable solar panel and have a charged phone in no time.

They charge just as quickly as a regular phone charger. Of course, the downside to this strategy is that you need some sort of sunlight to charge your phone. If you have a cloud cover, then your phone will still charge. However, it will be much slower than normal charge times.


6) Use Power-Saving Techniques to Keep Your Phone Charged Longer

There are loads of ways to keep your fully-charged phone full of juice during your trip — without any type of outside intervention like a portable charger or running to your car every few hours.

Here are a few ideas on how to keep your phone charged:

  1. Turn your phone screen’s brightness down to an absolute minimum.
  2. Put your phone on airplane mode when not in use.
  3. Keep your phone turned off, except for when you’re using it
  4. Put your phone on its “power-saving mode” to ensure you’re getting the most out of your battery’s life
  5. Protect your phone from any extreme temperatures, as this will make your electronics die quicker.


These are just a few ideas to keep your phone charged so don’t have to bother even learning how to charge your phone while camping. You’ll be using preventative measures instead of a charger of sorts, so you’ll want to keep your phone consumption time at a minimum, to get the most out of these hacks.

Final Thoughts

You might have noticed that I didn’t include anything here about charging your phone at the campsite. After all, some campsites, especially those that have RV hook-ups, are wired for electricity.

There are two reasons why I think you should view charging your phone at the campsite as a last resort:

#1: Most campsites still don’t have electricity

Since most campsites don’t have electricity today, I always think it’s better to plan on not having electricity and being pleasantly surprised when they do have electricity, than the other way around where you plan on electricity and then are disappointed if they don’t have any.

#2: Campsites that do have electricity often charge for it

This is definitely the biggest bummer of all.

Many campsites today may charge you for electricity. This is because RV’s use a lot of electricity, so campsites are used to charging for electricity because otherwise they would lose a lot of money.

That being said, it’s difficult to justify paying for electricity just to keep your phone charged.

With these ideas on how to charge your phone while camping, you won’t miss that picture-perfect Instagram photo or that important email from your boss during your trip.

You can enjoy every last minute of your remote location, without having to worry about being unplugged completely.

Although, it is nice to unplug a bit. Or, at least for some of your day while you are on your trip. Don’t forget to enjoy the serene location you’re at and not be stuck in your phone all day wasting your trip!

Hopefully, you learned how to charge your phone while camping, and picked up some new hacks you will be utilizing on your next camping trip!

Let us know down in the comment section what hack you’ll be using on your next camping trip.

Happy Camping!

Article Author
Sean's an avid camper, kayaker, and RVer. He loves spending time finding new trails and campsites to take his family and friends.