Our Tips for Outdoor Portable Power Source for Camping & Recreation

Camping is a great way to go out and enjoy nature, whether you’re in the woods or mountains. Camping satisfies the need to be outdoor that everyone has and being one with the world can be an unreal experience.

You’re still able to enjoy modern comforts when you go camping, and it doesn’t take away from your camping experience. The only thing that you need to do is figure out how you’re going to get electricity out where you’re camping.

If you’re going to be staying on a camping trip for a few days, then you will eventually need to recharge your phone, laptop, and camera at some point during the trip. Lights can also be required if you want to stay up during the night, specifically if you want to play games or read.

In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on how to have a portable power source for your camping and recreational needs.

Generator (Gas)

One of the first thoughts that you have, when you hear the think about portable power sources, are gas generators. While they are an extremely convenient way to supply electricity, they are also very loud. Plus, they release fumes while they’re running, which can get in the way of enjoying the fresh outdoor air.

Another thing to note is that most campsites don’t allow gas generators. Therefore, we recommend that you go with an alternative source of electricity when you’re going camping unless you’re able to go camping when nobody else is around you and gas generators are allowed.

Gasoline generators can be a costly option because you have to buy the machine and then purchase gas to go into it. This can become incredibly expensive when you consider how much gas you’ll need to run the generator.

Thermoelectric Generator

Thermoelectric generators turn temperature differences into electricity, but they are more expensive and less efficient than gas generators. However, they are superior in other ways.

The best thing about a thermoelectric generator is that you can use it outdoors by building a fire and using the coals as a heat source.

Using a thermo electric generator for camping works in a very specific way: the generator collects energy that is created from a temperature difference, for instance, the change of temperature from a fire, and uses that to produce electricity.

The downside to this type of power is that thermoelectric generators are expensive, more so than gas generators.

There are some models of thermoelectric generators that can create about 15 watts of power and some that can store electricity for later use with a detachable battery. Finally, there is another version of this generator that is designed to look and work like a stove that you can use to cook meals along with producing electricity.

Car Battery (Portable 12-Volt)

There is an option to access electricity on a camping trip by plugging a power inverter into the cigarette lighter plug-in and use the car’s battery to charge devices. This works for charging phones and maybe a couple of small appliances. However, you can’t use this type of electricity for very long, or you risk not being able to start your car later.

You do have an option of using a 12-volt battery, similar to what your car uses, for electricity needs where you purchase a power source that is similar to a portable 12-volt battery. These come with outlets and converters, and they have panels to reflect how much charge is let. Some of these battery packs can be utilized to jump start your car’s battery in an emergency situation.

12-volt batteries cost a couple of hundred dollars and are heavy (about 30 pounds). So, it’s not ideal if you’re going to be on the go.

Portable Batteries

This is similar to using the battery in your car, but they are much more portable and can often fit into a small bag. Portable batteries are perfect for charging only a couple of small electronics, but they can keep tablets, phones, and cameras working for a couple of days.

Both the more powerful compact and the basic model portable batteries include standard 120-volt outlets and USB ports. The power output of portable batteries is measured by amp hours, and about 27 amp hours can give you enough electricity to keep small electronics charged for several days.

You can find portable battery packs that offer a high voltage; you just need to look for them. However, these are a cheap way to gain portable energy for your camping trip.

Recreation Vehicle Battery Bank

RV’s have a battery that is separated from the car battery – these batteries typically produce about 30 to 50 amp hours, which means that they can power basic functions of such as the vent fans, the water pump, and lights.

The battery is also powerful enough to supply electricity to minor electronics, but not a refrigerator or microwave. They are easy to recharge by using an electrical hookup at the campground, and, if your RV has solar panels, by the sun. The battery is routinely charged whenever the RV is plugged into an electrical hookup or when it’s running.

Tips for Making the Most of Portable Power Sources

  1. Use battery operated appliances. Most small electronics such as small fans can run on the one pair of batteries for months. The less you consume power by plugging in devices, the longer you’ll be able to camp.
  2. Use energy-efficient appliances. Try to keep your appliances updated on energy saving features, so they don’t use as much energy.
  3. Use solar electricity for RVs. It’s highly recommended that you use solar panels on your RV, these can be mounted on the roof of the RV, but there is also a portable option. We recommend that if you use solar power that you use both types so that if your camping area is shaded, you can put the portable panels in the brightest sun available.

From this article, you can see that there are many options available for you to generate portable electricity on your camping and recreation adventures. Which one you choose is up to you!

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