How to Keep your iPhone Charged in the Outdoors

The iPhone has a reputation for using up batteries fast, but the new iPhone 4 seems to have an improved battery life, despite its ability to “multi-task”. You must however be extremely careful though that power draining apps such as wi-fi, bluetooth, and the GPS are not working continuously. Turn it off in the bush when you are not using it!

Despite all of this, there is little doubt that the iPhone will not last more than 6 hours with heavy use eg if using the GPS  or compass continuously. This of course is not long enough for an overnight hike, let alone a 5 day backpacking trip.

There are some obvious ways to keep a smartphone charged:

  • replace the batteries when they are flat
  • trickle charge with a solar panel
  • USB connection to computer
  • connect to an AC power supply
  • connect to an external battery pack

Well, the batteries of the iPhone are not replaceable, so that only leaves four alternatives.

I have just bought a PowerMonkey eXplorer, which offers all four options. It is available online from Paddy Pallin’s store at a bargain price for members. (PS I have been a member for more years than I can remember but I don’t stand to gain from this recommendation.)

PowerMonkey eXplorer (PowerTraveller)

There are alternatives to the PowerMonkey eXplorer (PowerTraveller) but none that I am aware of offers all 4 options.

  • Rechargeable Battery pack:  Energizer AP1201
  • Solar Charger only: try Powertraveller website below
  • Universal AC charger with adapters: comes with the iPhone too
  • USB connector: comes with the iPhone too

Why did I choose the PowerMonkey eXplorer?

  • Good quality for the price, rugged body and water resistant
  • Works with other battery operated devices such as cameras, phones, iPods, PDAs
  • Versatile: battery pack, solar charger which can hang from your pack or tent, AC power adapters for most overseas countries
  • Comprehensive range of adapters to suit most devices
  • Consistently good reviews on the web going back several years
  • Capacity to give 3 full charges for your iPhone in ideal conditions

If you haven’t seen the need for additional battery for your iPhone check out some of these articles:

Read a current review or visit the manufacturer/s website

Powertraveller Powermonkey eXplorer Review from FitTechnica
Powertraveller website

NB This product has been around since at least January 2008 and has undergone several improvements since its release. Be careful in placing too much faith in early reviews as there have been improvements.

View other related iPhone posts
Creative Commons License
This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


One thought on “How to Keep your iPhone Charged in the Outdoors”

  1. There are other solar chargers around, but few had the good reviews, the versatility or the long history. If you have had experience with other solar chargers you are welcome to let others know.


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