View Full Version : Charging Phone(s) & Camera(s) - Car Camping

02-08-2012, 02:47 PM
One thing I forget when I bought a car camping pass is that I am going to want to use my camera and phone throughout the weekend, and there is no way they will last 3 days without a charge.

I understand there are charging station(s) in the camping area but this doesn't sound like a good idea - crowded and time-consuming. Someone here also mentioned a solar charging device but this doesn't sound like a good idea either - I plan to be out and about when the sun's out. Ideally I'd like to charge my devices overnight.

I could plug them into my car but this might drain the car battery. And I don't plan to keep my car running all night either.

I thought about a small generator but it's not allowed. Besides, I imagine it would be a hassle to deal with.


So are there any alternatives to the small generator idea? Something that can charge small gadgets like phones and cameras at any time of day (particularly night) and can do so for 2 or 3 nights? I came across a couple items at Costco & Home Depot the other day that are along the lines of what I'm looking for (see pics below) - a Black & Decker Portable Power Station and the "Power Station PSX 2". Does anybody know how long these things can run for? Would they last the weekend? Keep in mind I would only be using them overnight. In my google searching I also came across this (http://www.theverge.com/2012/1/10/2696171/mophie-juicepack-powerstation-pro-the-external-charger-for-campers), the Mophie Juicepack Powerstation Pro...not sure if that might also do the job. help



02-08-2012, 02:54 PM
Last year we used a basic one outlet power converter for the car. I camped with 2 other girls and we charged all 3 of our phones and cameras with that. We tried to space it out so as not to stress the car battery and I made sure to run the car for about a half hour each morning to keep it juiced up. Did'nt have any issues. The one I bought was basic, and less than 20 bucks.

02-08-2012, 03:47 PM
I use a power converter to charge my cell phone & camera at when needed (night or day) and I have solar battery charger plugged in to charge the car battery during the mornings before entering the festival. Works out pretty good! No need to run the car & feed emissions to your nice neighbor's tents.

http://lh5.googleusercontent.com/public/MpeSq-ySXK3lVjTfYKncT2rrxUIy5p8hn5fgQqL3e26nCFjkXv4knZlI i8xIS-Tfxe9xXkuFcT1jrDCh0ddRLFx0ztxMnsSZo2CA763wCzerGOIi Gsm-cs-NN2TVudw5t3o9Eu0dglOTYJBA3TS2H22KpE2iqdSYh0REimU7T Vt14MFE58tQ-A

Wagan Tech 2017 12 Volt Solar Car Battery Charger

02-08-2012, 03:58 PM
You can buy batteries for droid on amazon for 7$ and a charger for 10$.

You can use an inverter.

You can use solar.

You can say fuck it and shut it off unless you need it.

02-08-2012, 04:00 PM
just keep your phones off until sundown. Who you trying to call at 9 am anyway. Walk the fuck over to thier tent and talk to them. Also charging a couple phones through your car is not going to do much damage on your battery power dudes. its a cell phone

02-08-2012, 04:04 PM
I'm running a 12v 1500watt 60amp hour battery/inverter combo, with a 12v 100amp hour battery added.
A 50watt solar panel and a solar controller will recharge the battery bank.

I'm in the hole $450 so far and I still need to drop $200 for the extra 100amp hour battery.
Sounds like a lot of money, but I can run fans, subwoofers, lazers, lights and charge phones everyday without wasting gas or using a wall

02-08-2012, 04:05 PM
ahhh shizzy... Dancedance setup? ill be there. Ill bring lazerz

02-08-2012, 04:12 PM
No Dj or turntables. Just my home stereo with subwoofer and surround sound hooked up and a few visuals.
It's renewable energy. The 60amp hour battery alone can play music 24 hours . I'm adding 100 amp hours and a solar panel to re up while inside each day.

02-08-2012, 04:14 PM
Drum and bass, trip hop and tribal.

02-08-2012, 04:21 PM
I can dig ^

02-08-2012, 07:52 PM
I've never used any of those devices that you're showing, and most of us probably haven't either. So I can't give you advice on that. But you're going to at least spend some waking time at your campsite - I'd suggest just leave your car running and charge your phone that way. Either right when you get up, or when you come back to camp to unwind at night. The battery won't die if the car is completely on, and it doesn't take up very much gas at all. It'd be cheaper than buying a device like that. I also took my charger into the festival because last year there was a tent (forget what it was called) with a lot of power outlets that I would visit in the early festival hours before all the good bands started. It was less crowded than the camping charging outlets and I never had a problem finding an outlet when I would go. I hope they have that again.

02-08-2012, 08:14 PM
Personally I have never had a problem charging phones and i use a simple AC converter, even if i run the car its usually for 30 minutes max! I try to consider my neighbors when it comes to Carbon Monoxide fumes, I don't want to be that asshole. Actually this year I was thinking of creating a snorkel to re-direct any toxic fumes upwards but ive yet to test the idea.

02-08-2012, 08:44 PM
That's a lot of money to keep your phone charged. Just get a USB cigarette adapter thing and charge it in the morning before you go into the fest, and when you get back from the fest!

02-08-2012, 08:55 PM
There are a couple of guys on Monday morning (presumably working with a towing agency, not necessarily AAA) that make a KILLING on giving car battery jumps for people who have drained their car batteries. That's why I bring my solar battery charger that I purchased using my bank reward points. Also bringing a DJ friend who will likely be setting up some music with his laptop & mini light show - not as elaborate as Goat's, but enough to drown out the couple arguing after the show (3 cells, 3 cameras, laptop(s) & air mattress pump w/ DC plug)...might as well be prepared, it's a long weekend.

the walrus
02-08-2012, 08:56 PM

02-08-2012, 09:01 PM

Nice! I had one of those in 2010, well a much cheaper version from ebay (made in HK) that actually melted from the heat of my dashboard on Day 1.

the walrus
02-08-2012, 09:05 PM
actually this one is better

02-08-2012, 09:51 PM
Just remember - if you're going to charge anything from your car/play music that weekend - PACK YOUR JUMPER CABLES

In '10 a few cars on our row totally noob'd it up and drained their batteries, luckily some lovely Canadians were prepared!

02-08-2012, 10:06 PM
These are pretty good and will charge your phone the entire weekend before running out if battery

You can charge two at a time with this, but has a little less energy

and this one has slightly more mAh but can only charge one device at a time

They can completely charge your phone like 5-7 times one one full charge, which should be more than enough

02-08-2012, 10:31 PM
Yea, the rechargeable USB packs are great. Solar works well at Coachella, but I find the USB powered ones to be more useful, since I can use them at festivals that are rainy/overcast too. I have cheaper one that works just fine and came with a variety of adapters so I'm able to use it for pretty much any phone, camera, mp3 player, etc.

02-08-2012, 11:09 PM
Drum and bass, trip hop and tribal.

I'm going to find you.

02-09-2012, 12:41 AM
I have a Power / Inverter connected to the car battery with two outlets, plus a Battery Jumpstarter as a backup if you need to jump your car and as a usb phone charger. Works great for camping.

02-09-2012, 07:25 AM
I didn't know these external cell phone chargers existed. Well, maybe I did but never cared until now. Now I'm looking into them. Great idea, would be useful to own for more than just Coachella. I'll be looking into your guys' recommendations on them.

02-09-2012, 10:02 AM
Gotta be able to run my woman's hitatchi magic wand

02-09-2012, 10:11 AM
I bought one of those small portable chargers with battery storage and the heat was too much for it to charge during the day (either that or it was total junk to begin with). this year, I bought one of these: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004OHIYLW/ref=oh_o03_s00_i01_details


I've tested it and I can charge 3 devices at once from solar in a couple hours and then have the battery pack charged to charge other devices either at camp or on the polo fields.

02-09-2012, 04:21 PM
I didn't know these external cell phone chargers existed. Well, maybe I did but never cared until now. Now I'm looking into them. Great idea, would be useful to own for more than just Coachella. I'll be looking into your guys' recommendations on them.

They're like the size of an external hard drive and hold so much mAh. They are amazing, at least the Trent ones are, I've never used any other brand. The newer Trent chargers also automatically stop charging a device once it is fully charged, so there's no drain when your device is full. It comes with either a 3 month or 6 month warranty (I can't remember.) And like any battery, you have to use it a few times before the battery can reach it's full capacity. If you get one, get it from Amazon because there's no tax, free shipping, and its cheaper.

02-10-2012, 11:48 AM
Yeah I think I'm going to get the Trent 7000 mAh. Its only 50 dollars compared to 75-100, and mostly all of the customer reviews on the Trents have been awesome.

Dustin da DnB Soulja
02-10-2012, 05:06 PM
45watt solar panel set up, connected to a battery similar to that, you got juice all day.

03-09-2012, 01:39 PM
I ended up buying a Trent 7000 mAh for 50 bucks off Amazon.


I can't believe I didn't know about these sooner. They are so small (barely bigger than the iphone, this one is just a bit wider than my phone) and easily portable because of it. I charged it fully this week and so far have gotten 3 full charges from my iphone4 (from 10-15% to 100%) and it still has juice in it for more. I won't know for a while exactly what the average usage is like over time, but 3+ full charges on a phone is enough for me camping at Coachella. I might even get 4 or 5 full charges from this thing before I need to return to a wall oulet for more....we'll see. My phone also charges at a decent speed - it's about a percent per minute. So you can plug it in when you first wake up, and 90 minutes later it'll be a full charge before you go into the festival.

Just wanted to share the update for any one who has been reading this thread and doesn't feel like dealing with those little charging stations or running their cars for their car chargers. I'm relieved to not have to carry around my charger into the festival and search/wait for my phone to charge.

03-30-2012, 02:17 PM
So I am totally lost on what to do. There may be up to 4, maybe 5 people in our group...should I just worry about getting my own shit charged? If everyone has a phone & camera that could be up to 10 devices (unlikely though).

If I'm going to order anything online I'm going to need to do it pronto. Ideally I'd like to charge at least 2 devices - my phone and my camera.

04-03-2012, 07:34 PM
So I am totally lost on what to do. There are 3, maybe 4 people in our group...should I just worry about getting my own shit charged? If everyone has a phone & camera that could be up to 8 devices (unlikely though).

If I'm going to order anything online I'm going to need to do it pronto. Ideally I'd like to charge at least 2 devices - my phone and my camera.


04-03-2012, 07:45 PM
So I am totally lost on what to do. There may be up to 4, maybe 5 people in our group...should I just worry about getting my own shit charged? If everyone has a phone & camera that could be up to 10 devices (unlikely though).

If I'm going to order anything online I'm going to need to do it pronto. Ideally I'd like to charge at least 2 devices - my phone and my camera.
5843 http://www.amazon.com/New-Trent-IMP500-Thunderbolt-Blackberry/dp/B0013G8PTS/ref=sr_1_2?s=wireless&ie=UTF8&qid=1333510821&sr=1-2
I bought one of these for my Iphone (which is also my camera) but plan on using the camping charging station if it runs out. Last year I kept my phone off the whole time and just used an ipod and camera, between my three friends we rotated ipods and our cameras all held up fine without charging. You can run your car for a quick charge in a jam and the charging stations when needed but they are a little bit of a hassle to stay with while your phone charges.

04-09-2012, 02:54 PM
Okay I have FOUR HOURS to order one of these New Trent chargers and receive it by Wednesday, free shipping (Amazon Prime)

$77, 11000mAh (no clue what that means) http://www.amazon.com/New-Trent-iCruiser-IMP1000-Blackberry/dp/B003ZBZ64Q/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1328767403&sr=1-1

$64 9900mAh, can charge TWO devices? (per someone above) http://www.amazon.com/New-Trent-IMP99D-External-Blackberry/dp/B002YFDRHW/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1328767403&sr=1-2

$46 7000mAh http://www.amazon.com/New-Trent-IMP70D-External-Blackberry/dp/B002D4IHYM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331328599&sr=8-1

$40 5000mAh http://www.amazon.com/New-Trent-IMP500-Thunderbolt-Blackberry/dp/B0013G8PTS/ref=sr_1_2?s=wireless&ie=UTF8&qid=1333510821&sr=1-2

No clue if this will work on my phone (HTC Droid Incredible 2, has micro USB i think) or my camera (Nikon, forget model, has micro USB i think).

When it arrives Wed will I have enough time to charge it before leaving Thursday @ 5pm? Will it last all weekend?

My campmates probably don't have these and will want to charge via car/power converter as discussed above. If so, is there even a point to me getting one of these? tytyty

04-09-2012, 05:38 PM
bump please help!!! like 1 hour left

04-09-2012, 07:13 PM
those things are pretty standard, you don't have to worry much about mini or micro usb since it has a standard USB that you plug your cable in. the difference in costs are just capacity depending no how many charges per charge, but it's really efficient to charge the Trent packs with your car when it gets too low, so order based on your budget.

04-09-2012, 09:32 PM
i didn't get any.

04-09-2012, 09:54 PM
Drum and bass, trip hop and tribal.

Yo I'll roll by your tent with that nicenice.

04-09-2012, 11:15 PM
You can always just pick up a solar charger at REI. Leave it in your car during the day facing the sun to charge up and then plug your phone in at night. Then take advantage of REI's 100% satisfaction guaranteed return policy and take it back after the festival. Boom, done!

I realize that this won't be nearly enough for the folks powering blenders, laptops, and all means of pre and post festival entertainment but for the majority of people who just want to charge a few phones and iPods these will do the trick.

04-09-2012, 11:28 PM
I bring a DC inverter and run my car for an hour every morning to charge stuff up. The gas can't cost THAT much. Not sure if it's the most environmental, but I've never had a phone issue.

04-09-2012, 11:34 PM
ORDER THIS ONE: http://www.amazon.com/Yoobao-11200mAh-External-Blackberry-Motorola/dp/B005GI7OGO/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1334043196&sr=1-2
I have two of these. They are seriously my life. Charges my iPhone four times on each one.

Thank me later, bb.