Whether you’re backpacking through Southeast Asia or camping in a US national park, one thing is for sure: at some point, your phone and other electronics are going to run out of power.
For some people, this isn’t going to be a problem. Maybe it’s even a benefit since they can look forward to some digital detox in the great outdoors. But for most of us, running out of batteries is a nuisance. Without your smartphone, you won’t be able to call for help in an emergency. Conversely, you won’t be able to communicate with friends and family. Besides which, for most of us, our smartphones have replaced our old cameras. Without your phone, how are you going to be able to take pictures of all the gorgeous scenery?
This is why it’s very important to have a backup in case you run out of power in a remote area. Hence, a power bank can come in very handy. But a good power bank for backpacking or camping needs to fit some specific criteria, such as:
It should have a hefty capacity, enough for multiple smartphone charges
It needs to be compact, so it doesn’t take up too much space in your backpack
It needs to be lightweight since you’ll be carrying it everywhere
It needs to withstand the harshness of travel: water, dirt, shocks, and scratches
If you’re traveling by air, it needs to be approved for air travel
And some nice-to-have features:
Solar panels that allow it to recharge on the go
A built-in flashlight
Fast charging, so if needed, you can quickly top it off at cafes, gas stations, airports, etc
Unfortunately, there’s no single portable charger that meets all of these criteria. For example, the smaller a power bank is, the less capacity it’s going to have, so you need to find a balance.