We’ve created a couple of pages recently about the choices between staying connected or disconnecting when you are away on holiday. If you decide to stay online, or just have your mobile as an emergency contact, one thing you’ll almost certainly need is a charger!
There are a wider number of charging options than you might think, whether you need to keep a phone available for calls, as a games machine, an e-book reader or just a camera for when you’re out and about. Having a source of energy for your device is always useful.
The charging method we’re most familiar with, plugging the device into the wall socket.
If you’re overseas, you’ll need to remember to have a suitable adaptor so that you can actually use the wall sockets in the first place.
Secondly, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right connectors – for as long as device makers continue to make their products with different connectors, you’ll have to make sure you have connectors that actually fit the music players, e-book readers, phones, tablets or laptops that you take with you.
One of the most popular methods of charging on the go, a portable battery-type charger will enable you to charge a device which stores all of that energy for you to use later on.
Charge the portable charger from a normal wall socket when you have the chance to, then the portable charger can be used to boost the power levels of your mobile or tablet when you’re not able to get to a suitable charging point.
These devices often have a number of different connectors supplied with them, and these days can be about the size of standard AA battery meaning that they won’t take up valuable pocket space. Depending on the size of the portable chargers battery, you can often top up a phone a number of times before the charger needs charging again itself.
One thing about batteries is that they need some form of power to keep them charged. Wall sockets are our normal understanding of an electrical source, but what would you do if you don’t have access to the grid?
A solar power charger has the advantage of never needing to be plugged in, so you don’t have to worry about using these on long journeys where access to electricity is likely to be sparse. All they need is a little bit of sunlight to start charging your device.
One downside is that are often larger than portable chargers because of the surface area needed for the cells, but the introduction of flexible solar panels (ones that can be rolled up like sheets) is making this an ever more popular choice.
If you can’t get to an electrical source and a solar charger just won’t cut it, then good old fashioned elbow grease might be just the answer.
Wind up chargers just need you to exert some energy yourself and transfer it into your device, and this might be one way to keep your battery usage down as you won’t want to be doing that too often.
There are other options too, like the thermoelectric devices which can produce power from the heat you create when cooking or the dynamo method for cyclists.
Then there’s the mini wind turbines small enough to fit in your pocket, the one that’s powered by salt and water (yes, really!) or even the footballs that can be used as chargers (this is just silly now right?) and of course you’ve heard of device charging shoes, but they are all options to keep your device charged when travelling.
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ERGO Customer - December 2019