Charging Your iPad While Camping

Date Posted:30 June 2013 

Getting out into the great outdoors is undoubtedly good for the soul. But these days, even when we are camping, we don’t necessarily want to be completely out of touch with the rest of the world.

There may still be emails to answer, Facebook friends to visit with and myriad other things that we like to do on our iPads wherever we happen to be at the time. So a reliable charging source for our mobile devices becomes one of the items that we need to pack before we head off the beaten track.

Portable battery charger

A portable battery charger will give you one recharge of your iPad before it needs to be plugged in itself. A charge will last for seven or eight hours of normal daily use. So if you’re only going camping for a weekend and your iPad use will be limited to emails or surfing the net, then a portable charger should be sufficient for your needs.

But if you’re going camping for longer, say a week or so, then you’re going to need something that can give you a charge every couple of days. Short of taking a supply of spare batteries or long-life batteries with you, which would be impractical and prohibitively expensive, the next best option would be to purchase a charger that plugs into your motor vehicle.

Car battery charger

A car battery charger either plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter port or, if it’s a more recent car, into a special port in the dash. It converts the 12-volt current in your car’s battery to a voltage suitable for your iPad battery (usually 5 volts) and charges it over a period of several hours.

Of course, this is assuming that your car is going to be parked nearby to where you are camping and that you will be running the car’s engine regularly during the time you are there. If you won’t be running your car regularly, you will flatten the battery from excessive charging. Also, if you are going into the bush and leaving your car behind, then a completely self-sufficient form of charging like a solar charger is what you are going to need.

Solar battery charger

A solar battery charger is the ideal device for when you are really going off the beaten track and will have no access to an AC or DC electricity supply. It uses a fold-out solar panel to convert the sun’s rays to charge your iPad.

A solar charger requires around eight hours of constant sunlight to fully charge an iPad. However, if you use it sparingly, each charge could last you several days at a time. Obviously, if the weather is bad, with not much sunlight, it will take a little longer to charge it each time.

So the next time you get out of the city for an adventure, consider how long you will be gone and how remote your campsite is likely to be. You can then take the appropriate charging system for your iPad, one that will keep you happily computing under canvas as much as you like while you are away.