Camping Power Supplies and Power Packs - How To Get Power While Camping

The idea of getting away and enjoying what nature has to offer appeals to most people. However, no one really wants to do without the convenience of powered equipment like lights or music. Fortunately, by taking a power pack along with you, you can have those modern conveniences while still enjoying the solitude of nature. Here's what portable power packs offer people who want to camp with the trappings of the modern world.

ArkPak at campsite

Power Packs

Portable chargers are the simplest way to take power with you, and they range in sizes from the tiniest that will recharge your cellphone a time or two to the extremely large and thirsty 2500W diesel generator. While these are extremes, there are smaller power packs that are well suited for a camping trip without leaving you without power or being banned in most campsites. Here are some of the features you want to look for when making your power pack decision:

Solar Charging Possible - You want your power pack to be rechargeable from solar panels. That way you can store the power for when you need it, and it can recharge during the day while you are off enjoying yourself. It also doubles as a survival or emergency power pack.

Connection and Charging Ports - A power pack without USB ports will not be much good for you if you need to recharge your phone, tablet or any other USB driven device. Additionally, you want it to have a 12V power socket like the cigarette lighter style and a 120VAC plug in for other devices like laptops or small TVs. You also want to make sure you can connect a set of jumper cables, and an Anderson style plug is nice for certain applications too.

Battery Capacity - Things like small refrigerators, coffee pots, slow cookers, lights and other appliances need a lot of power to run. A typical coffee pot draws 100 watts of power, and if it takes you an hour to drink your coffee, you need 8ah of energy every morning. That comes out to 56ah a week, and that does not include any other power you may need for LED campsite lighting, charging phones and tablets, or operating portable fridges.

Additionally, power packs do not discharge their entire capacity...which means a power pack that lists 50ah of storage capacity might only be able to discharge 25ah before having problems with voltage drop-off.

ArkPak Features

  • Battery capacity of up to 130aH
  • Built in USB, 12VDC, 120VAC connections
  • Side power terminals for solar panel connection (or whatever you need that requires a raw 12VDC connection)

If you decide to install a quality deep-cycle battery in your ArkPak, you can use up to 75 percent of the power without a significant drop in voltage OR a decrease in battery life. That means that an ArkPak with a good battery blows away a lot of the smaller, cheaper battery packs available (and some of the most expensive options too). 

It's true - a lot of hard-core campers argue that camping isn't supposed to be about electronics, portable fridges, LED lighting, watching DVDs at night, etc. But we think hard-core campers who dismiss the value of portable power packs just haven't experienced the benefits.

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