Update: We found one more method you can get your electricity from. Read on further!
Camping is an inspiring way to enjoy the woods, mountains and beaches of our country. It fulfills the need for being outdoors that all human beings have, and communing with nature can be a transformative experience.
You can still enjoy the modern comforts of home on a camping trip, though, and it doesn’t take anything away from the adventure. The only hitch is figuring out how to get electricity while camping.
Your phone, camera and laptop all have batteries that will need to be recharged if you’re going to stay away from civilization for several days.
Lights will also be needed if you plan to stay up past dark each night, and especially if you decide to read or play games with your fellow campers.
Our Top Pick: BSLBATT Portable Power Station
If you’re looking for a powerful and versatile portable power station, the BSLBATT Portable Power Station is an excellent choice. The lightweight design weighs only 22 pounds and features an easy-carry handle which means this is perfect for using when tailgating, barbecuing, or RVing.
It provides 100 running watts of power and 1200 peak watts. It can be used to recharge laptops, speakers, cameras, and more. Many reviewers on Amazon are pleased with just how lightweight this is, and the fact it can still be used while plugged in.
BSLBATT Portable Power Station Key Features:
● Measures 28″ high, 16″ wide, and 21″ long
The flashlight has various modes: regular beam, flash, and SOS lighting. For those climbing mountains or venturing into slightly more extreme regions, this power bank could be a lifesaver in more ways than one.
Important Features to Consider
A portable power station should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting the best portable power station for your needs:
Suitability for laptops and other sensitive devices. Some electronic devices such as digital clock radios, laptops and laser printers, need a power source that produces a pure sine wave in order to keep running correctly. If you plan on using your portable power station to power devices like this regularly, then look out for one that provides a pure sine wave, rather than a modified sine wave.
Additional extras. Some portable power stations offer a range of additional extras, which can be useful depending on your intended use. A number of those we reviewed include built-in LED flashlights, great when you’re camping and want to have easy access to a reliable light source. Others offer the option to jump-start your car, which is a useful extra if you’re on a long road trip.
Recharging options. All portable power stations can be recharged by plugging into an AC power outlet. Some also offer the option of recharging using a solar panel. This can be useful if you’re living off-grid for some time or taking an extended camping holiday. Others can also be recharged using the 12-volt charger within cars.
CPAP capability. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) refers to a type of ventilator that uses mild pressure to help with breathing. They’re often used for people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. If you or someone in your family uses a CPAP machine, it can be useful to select a portable power station that has the capability of powering this, in case of a power outage at your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a portable power station and how does it work?
Portable power stations are essentially a battery pack. They allow you to charge your electronic devices without the need for a power outlet. Most portable power stations use a rechargeable lithium battery.
How many watts should a portable power station have?
It really depends on what you want to use it for. Most products will list how many watts they provide.
For instance, the BSLBATT 600 portable power station provides 1200 starting watts, and 300 running watts. It can charge up to 7 devices at one time. It’s a good idea to check the starting watts and running watts of any devices to want to power using a portable power station.
For example, a laptop uses 200-250 watts when both starting and running, and radio use 50-200. If you want to use multiple devices, you’ll need to take that into account and select a power station with a higher number of watts.
How long does a portable power station last?
It will depend on how many devices you have plugged in at any one time. You’ll need to look out for something known as Watt Hours (Wh) which tells you how much energy your portable power station can hold. For example, a power station with 400Wh can run an appliance requiring 100 watts of power, for 4 hours.
How do you recharge a portable power station?
There’s a number of options for recharging your portable power station. Firstly, you can plug it into your AC power outlet when you’re at home. Many portable power stations can also be charged using a 12V car charger.
Some portable power stations can also be recharged using solar panels, which you can buy separately. This means if you’re on a long camping trip you can recharge your portable power station with ease.
Who Should Buy a Portable Power Station
Portable Power Stations offer the option to recharge, or power, electronic devices when you’re not within easy reach of a power outlet. If you’re camping, and know you want to run a mini-refrigerator, as well as recharge phones and tablets, a portable power station is a great idea.
They’re also excellent to have at home as an emergency power source in case of natural disasters and power outages. If you, or a member of your family, use a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine then you may be worried about how to run this in the event of a power outage. By keeping a portable power station designed to run CPAP machines close at hand, you can rest assured that you can keep vital electronics running.
When purchasing a portable power supply for camping or a generally nomadic lifestyle, there is a lot to keep in mind. Depending on how and where you travel, some gadgets may be more efficient than others. Some, like the high-capacity yet cumbersome Goal Zero Yeti, are better for those who road trip a lot and spend days camping in a single place, while the Anker PowerCore is a decent accessory on day trips. Whatever you need, however, there is certainly a portable power supply for you.
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