Need to charge your phone while off the grid? Here are some of the best ways to do so
12/17/2018 // Mary Miller // Views

In our modern world, it is easy to take our cell phones for granted. We use them for communication and to access information. That's not even counting all the extra features that higher-end models have or all the applications you can download. However, cell phones need electricity to function. If SHTF and the power grid fails, how then will you be able to keep your phone powered? Here are some of the best ways to charge your phone when off the grid. (h/t to

It is important to have at least two viable options for charging your phone when off the grid so that you have a backup in case the first one fails. Ideally, you should have one that works during the daytime and another that works at night. No matter what option you choose, you will also want to have with you two long charging cables that are specific to your device. You will also want to limit your use of your phone while charging to maximize the power it can get. If you are mechanically inclined enough and happen to have the right materials at hand, you might even want to build your own small-scale generator to produce your own electricity. (Related: Learn how to build an off-grid generating system to produce electricity in any situation.)

Spare batteries

The simplest and most straightforward solution to a cell phone that's losing power by the hour is to replace its dying battery with a fresh and fully charged one. However, this method only works for phones or devices with detachable batteries. Simply keep one battery in your phone and while the other charges at a charging dock. They should be easy to use and ready to swap at a moment's notice. Swap them once until one of them reaches full power to keep both batteries from draining completely. This can help to reduce the amount of time needed for recharging. Of course, this method will still need to be supplemented with an additional power source.


Solar chargers

With a solar charger, you can charge your phone as long as the sun burns bright. This is a double-edged sword, however, as your ability to generate electricity greatly depends on the weather and the time of day. You won't be able to get much power during cloudy weather or any at all during nighttime. It will also depend on the size of your solar panels. Smaller solar chargers may be convenient and lightweight, but they may not convert as much sunlight to electricity as much as larger models can. Additionally, solar chargers often have the reputation of being expensive, but with the rise of innovations, more affordable options can appear over time.

Thermoelectric stoves

Imagine being able to cook your food, boil water and charge your phone all at the same time. All of this is possible with a thermoelectric stove. The way it works is simple. All you have to do is light a fire in the stove. The longer and hotter the fire burns, the more the stove will supply electricity. However, these units are not without their drawbacks.

For one thing, they will require fuel and plenty of it. Some models can burn wood, while other models use bottled fuels. Another disadvantage is that they can take a long time to charge your phone, possibly even longer than solar chargers. Still, it is a great method for charging if you want to multitask and have plenty of fuel and time to kill.

Hand-crank phone chargers

There is nothing like going back to the basics and using your own hands to provide power. Crank chargers are among the best and cheapest solutions for power generation. You effectively rely on your own manual strength to charge your phone. As long as you can keep winding the handle, you can generate power. To avoid tiring yourself out, have a friend with you so that you can take turns cranking the charger.

If you want to learn more about staying prepared when off the grid, you can read more articles by going to

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