Hello my friend and welcome back! In today’s post, we are going to take a look at the challenge of keeping your portable electronics charged while bugging out. We will also take a look at how to overcome them and what you will need. Grab a cup of coffee and have a seat while we visit.
When the time actually comes to bug out, you will probably be carrying portable electronics with you such as GPS, flashlights and hand-held radios just to name a few. Now granted, if there is an EMP, then this may not be applicable, otherwise use every advantage you can get.
So what are some of the ways available for keeping them charged? There are expensive ways and there are cheaper ways to go and it’s up to you to decide which is right for you. While Goal Zero makes a really nice line of solar charging products, I tend to find their pricing high for my budget. There are also inexpensive self-charging solar batteries which usually contain around 1.5 to 2 amp hour battery life. This is fine if you’re charging a cell phone or something that you’re not using very often.
If you’re using it very often, you will quickly find that it takes longer to charge the battery than it does to run them down. What you’re looking for is one with the highest amp hour charge that you can get. Another issue is that most of these batteries only put out 5 volts DC, so if you need 12 volts then you’re pretty much screwed.
There are also portable solar panels which you can fold up or attach to the outside of your pack while walking and produce a decent wattage which is what you want. With solar panels, the higher the wattage, the better and the faster they will charge items. You can use them to directly charge your portable battery packs or attach a USB charger to them for charging your double “A” and triple “A” batteries, while on the go.
Now all of this is great, if you live where there is plenty of sun, but what if you don’t? If you are traveling through densely packed forest or in overcast conditions then you may find that these are not sufficient for your needs. The last thing you need when you can’t see the sun is to run out of power in your GPS or flashlights. Something like that could ruin your whole day.
There are other options such as 12 volt 7 AH batteries, which you could drop into the bottom of your bag for when something needs charging. At about 6 inches long and 2 ½ inches wide, they weigh only 3 pounds and usually cost less than $20. Because I live in South Louisiana and sun is seldom a given, I needed something I could depend on. I purchased a small USB adapter that I can hook directly to it and a cigarette lighter adapter also. With these I have the ability to recharge all of my batteries, regardless of the weather and it takes up very little room in my Bug Out Bag.
The battery only weighs about 3 pounds but if weight is a large factor, then you may want to go another route. I keep 3 changes of rechargeable batteries for every electronic device I carry with me and a charged 7 AH battery as backup. It’s the best way I know to be sure I will always have the power I need if I am forced to bug out and leave my home.
Standard batteries and solar power are not the only to keep your electronics charged. I recently saw an ad for a table top wind generator. I have to admit that it looks pretty neat and I wonder if it can actually live up to its hype. It was priced at over $100 and I don’t know about you, but I could buy a lot of batteries for that much money.
The thing is to be prepared by having more than one way to charge and power your electronics when you bug out. Just keep in mind that the weather may not participate and you may need to find other means of charging your devices. Read and learn about basic electrical principles because when SHTF hit’s, you will surely need to know them, if you want to survive with your electronics.
Welln that is it for today and I hope you have enjoyed today’s post. Until next time, stay safe, stay strong and stay prepared. God Save America!