How to have electricity when camping. Photo by Zendure Power Station on Unsplash

How to Have Electricity When Camping

Camping can be a fun and rewarding experience to enjoy the great outdoors. However, one consideration is how you will power devices and appliances while camping without access to electrical outlets. Thankfully, there are several options for bringing electricity to your campsite so you can keep your gear charged and run small appliances.The most basic option is using the campground electrical hookups available at many developed campgrounds. These provide access to AC power through outlets at your campsite, often with options for different amperages. You simply need to bring a long extension cord and adapter to connect. The downside is availability is limited and fees apply.For more flexibility, portable power stations are a popular choice. These are battery packs ranging from 150 to over 1000 watt-hours with AC outletsDC ports, and USB charging. Top brands like Jackery, Bluetti, and Ecoflow offer models ideal for camping. With a solar panel kit, you can recharge the station during the day.Solar panels allow you to harness the sun’s energy directly. Foldable panels with built-in charge controllers can charge phones, tablets, and other USB devices. Larger panels paired with batteries offer higher capacity for running appliances. Positioning is important for maximum sunlight exposure.To power small devices like phoneslaptops, and lights, a basic battery pack may suffice. For running mini fridgescoolersfanslanterns, and string lights, a solar generator with 100+ watt-hours is recommended. With the right gear, you can camp comfortably off-grid and enjoy modern conveniences!

What to Consider When Thinking About Electricity for Camping

Before delving into the various options for obtaining electricity while camping, it is important to consider a few factors that will influence your decision-making process. First and foremost, the duration of your camping trip plays a significant role. If you’re embarking on a short weekend getaway, your electricity needs may be minimal compared to an extended camping excursion spanning several weeks. Additionally, consider the specific devices or appliances you plan to power. Are you looking to charge your phone, laptop, or camera? Do you need to power a mini-fridge or medical devices? Understanding your power requirements will help determine the capacity and capabilities you’ll need from your chosen electricity source.

Different Electricity Options While Camping

Fortunately, there are several options available for obtaining electricity while camping, each with its own set of advantages and considerations. Let’s explore the most common options:

  1. Power Banks: Power banks, also known as portable chargers, are compact and portable devices that store electrical energy. They can be charged prior to your camping trip and then used to recharge smaller devices such as phones, cameras, or portable fans. Power banks are lightweight and easy to carry, making them ideal for short trips or situations where you need power on the go.
  2. Power Stations: Power stations are larger and more robust than power banks, offering a greater capacity to power multiple devices simultaneously. These portable power stations typically feature multiple outlets, USB ports, and even AC sockets, allowing you to charge a wider range of devices. Power stations can be recharged through various methods, including solar panels, car chargers, or traditional wall outlets.
  3. Solar Panels: Solar panels have gained popularity in recent years as a sustainable and eco-friendly option for obtaining electricity while camping. These panels harness the power of the sun to convert sunlight into electrical energy, which can be stored in batteries or used to directly power devices. Solar panels are lightweight, easy to set up, and can provide a continuous source of renewable energy during your camping trip. However, it is important to consider the weather conditions and the availability of sunlight in your camping location, as these factors can impact the efficiency and effectiveness of solar panels.
  4. Gas Generators: Gas generators have long been a traditional option for obtaining electricity while camping. These devices use gasoline, propane, or diesel fuel to generate electricity. Gas generators are known for their high power output and the ability to run larger appliances or devices for an extended period. However, they can be noisy, emit fumes, and require regular refueling, making them less eco-friendly and potentially disruptive to the tranquility of your camping experience.

Features to Consider When Shopping for a Way to Use Electricity to Use While Camping

When selecting the best means of obtaining electricity while camping, it is important to consider a few key features that will ensure a reliable and efficient power source. Here are some features to look out for:

  1. Capacity: Opt for a power source with a sufficient capacity to meet your power needs. Consider the number and type of devices you plan to power and choose an option with an appropriate power output or storage capacity. This will ensure that you have enough energy to last throughout your camping trip without worrying about running out of power.
  2. Portability: The portability of your chosen electricity source is crucial, as it should be easy to transport and set up at your campsite. Look for options that are lightweight, compact, and come with carrying handles or straps for convenient mobility.
  3. Recharging Options: Consider the recharging options available for your chosen electricity source. Solar panels provide a sustainable and renewable option for recharging, especially in remote camping locations. Car chargers and wall outlets offer more traditional methods of recharging if you have access to a vehicle or electrical outlet. Having multiple recharging options allows for greater flexibility and ensures that you can replenish your power source when needed.
  4. Durability and Weather Resistance: Since camping involves being exposed to the elements, it is important to choose an electricity source that is durable and weather-resistant. Look for options that are designed to withstand outdoor conditions, including water and dust resistance. This will ensure that your power source remains safe and functional, even in challenging weather conditions.

How to Find the Best Choice for You?

Selecting the best means of obtaining electricity while camping ultimately depends on your unique needs and preferences. Consider the following steps to find the perfect fit for your camping adventures:

  1. Assess Your Power Requirements: Take inventory of the devices and appliances you plan to power during your camping trip. Calculate the power consumption of each device and estimate the total power capacity you will need. This will help determine the appropriate capacity and power output of your chosen electricity source.
  2. Evaluate Portability and Convenience: Determine how important portability is for your camping setup. If you plan to embark on backpacking or hiking trips, lightweight and compact options such as power banks or solar panels may be more suitable. On the other hand, if you’ll be staying at a stationary campsite with convenient vehicle access, larger power stations or gas generators may be feasible options.
  3. Consider Sustainability and Environmental Impact: If sustainability and eco-friendliness are important to you, prioritize options such as solar panels or power banks that can be recharged using renewable energy sources. These options reduce your reliance on non-renewable resources and minimize the environmental impact of your camping activities.
  4. Read Reviews and Compare Products: Before making a final decision, read reviews and compare different products on the market. Look for product specifications, customer reviews, and expert opinions to gain valuable insights into the performance, reliability, and durability of each option. This will help you make an informed decision and choose the best option that aligns with your needs and preferences.


Having access to electricity while camping can greatly enhance your camping experience by providing convenience, safety, and comfort. Whether you need to charge your phone, power medical devices, or enjoy the luxury of a mini-fridge, there are various options available to meet your power needs. From portable power banks and power stations to solar panels and gas generators

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