Knowledge

Buying Guides / Technology /

BATTERIES AND CHARGERS BUYING GUIDE

Keep your tech running... By Cotswold Outdoor
Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+

Devices such as HD sports cameras and GPS units have revolutionised the way we explore and capture the outdoors. But when we take our tech outside for any large amount of time, it soon encounters a serious limitation; power.

Nature does not provide plug sockets, but luckily there are now a few innovative and affordable alternatives. That’s why we have gathered together some of the best to ways keep your batteries charged and your tech running. After all, just because it’s called the great outdoors, doesn’t mean that it couldn’t do with a bit of an upgrade.

Mains Chargers

Mains chargers are one of the easiest ways of taking a power source with you. Simply charge at home, and then bring along for the journey. Depending on the model, the amount of charge they provide will vary, but even the smallest will power up a smartphone or GPS unit a couple of times; or maybe a tablet at least once.

The key to keeping your kit running is to make sure that everything is fully charged before you leave and placed on the most efficient energy setting. But the mains charger is a great additional source should you find yourself in need of a vital power up.

Pros: 

1. Charge at home for guaranteed power

2. Lots of sizes and weights depending on requirements

3. One device capable of charging large and small objects

 

Batteries

Some portable chargers are designed to take batteries as their power source. All you need to do is pop a couple into a charger and plug in your tech. Bear in mind however; these chargers are normally reliant on the rechargeable, nickel–metal hydride (Ni–MH) batteries rather than the standard alkaline. Also they may not be able to generate enough amps to reliably power larger devices such as tablets. So if it’s a long term solution you are after, or you want to charge something big, you may wish to consider a more powerful supply.

They are however perfect for things like charging phones at festivals or in an emergency, and you can always take a couple of fully charged batteries as spares; doubling your charge potential. This option is often the cheapest, although remember to take into account additional expenses such as how you intend to charge the batteries once home, or if they are included in the first place.

Pros: 

1. Housing unit plugs into device but rechargeable batteries
provide the power

2. Small and light

3. Limited to low voltage devices such as phones and GPS units

Solar

If you’re heading out for more than a day or two and will be dependent on electronic devices, then a portable solar panel could be the ideal solution. The great thing about solar is that its internal battery can be fully charged before leaving the comfort of civilisation. Then, when it comes to recharging your devices, they can be simultaneously topped up courtesy of the sun. This ‘drip-feed’ approach to charging and the fact that they can be recharged miles from the grid means that solar chargers are one of the most reliable forms of portable energy available.

They are also increasingly efficient and affordable, so even if you are heading out somewhere that is not guaranteed wall to wall sunshine, they should still be able to generate a charge. Just place one on the back of your rucksack, or on top of the tent and leave it to absorb the abundant and free energy around you.

Pros: 

1. Pre-charge internal battery at home

2. Solar panels ‘top up’ power whilst out

3. Lots of sizes and weights depending on need

Shop all Batteries and Chargers »