How to Charge Your Smartphone Without Access to Electricity

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The Sterling Creations team


A Dan Thompson contribution
How to Charge Your Smartphone Without Access to Electricity

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By this point, the act of plugging your phone in for a charge at night is
about as mundane as brushing your teeth or showering. but what would you do
if nothing came out the other side of the outlet?

Our phones are only as good as the batteries they have installed in the
back, so learning how to keep them alive and kicking without a reliable
source of power is imperative for anyone in an emergency situation or

Whether it’s a natural disaster or just another day on the hiking trail,
these are a few of the best ways to keep your phone alive after the power
goes out.

*The PocketSocket

Living up to its name, the PocketSocket is about as simple as personal power

come. The charger features a standard 12v outlet, into which you can plug
any device through a USB charger or AC converter. Once jacked in, you just
crank away at the handle, and watch as your battery slowly climbs up the bar
and out of the red.

Though the actual rate of power does vary depending on the device you’re
trying to keep alive, overall the average boost you can expect is about one
minute of cranking to one percent of battery while the device is still on.
Turned off, this statistic boosts a bit more, to about 1.5 percent per one
hundred rotations.

Admittedly this doesn’t sound like much, which is why the PocketSocket is
recommended for emergency situations only. If you find yourself stranded on
the side of the road with no power left and a totaled car, the PocketSocket
can give you just enough time to get an emergency service on the line and
out to your location.

The K-Tor PocketSocket 2 sells for $64.95
from the company’s website.

*The SivaCycle Atom

What about those long bike rides, where you’re out enjoying a sunny day on
the street, but the music streaming into your headphones is chewing up
battery life faster than your phone can keep up?

That’s where the SivaCycle Atom
comes in.

The Atom is a small, human-powered generator that works by hooking onto the
gearset of your bike, and by harnessing the movement of your wheels, charges
a small battery pack that can be used to bring your portable devices from
dead to daylight in just a matter of minutes.

The Atom differentiates itself from other bike-based charging solutions with
its extension that allows you stay plugged in while you’re on the road, so
you never use more power than you have to while you’re still in motion. For
anyone who commutes to or from their work on a bike and needs to stay
connected at all times, this device is the ultimate in keeping your devices
happy and full of juice no matter where you go.

The only drawback for the Atom is the relatively small capacity of its
portable battery pack, which rates at just 1650mAh. In layman’s, this
amounts to about 15 percent of a charge on an iPhone 6. But even so, while
that may not sound like much, in a pinch it’s still better than nothing at

The SivaCycle Atom is one of the pricier solutions here, but considering
that you get a portable battery pack and the entire bike kit for $129.99,
the tradeoff is more than worth the extra bump in cost.

The Levin Solar Charger

The Levin Solar Charger has many benefits over other solar chargers you
might have seen ranking near the top of your Amazon search list.

While many of those chargers boast bonuses like big batteries and wide panel
footprints, none do as good of a job combining all the features we care
about most. The Levin is a powerful, durable, 100 percent waterproof solar
panel that can easily fit in your sidebag without any fuss and does
everything we need it to for the amazingly low price of just $24.99.

Though not optimal for cloudy days lost in the wilderness, the Levin is
still a solid piece of tech that belongs in any serious backpacker’s
toolkits. The 2.1A output from the 6000mAh onboard battery provides more
than enough charge for any cellphone, and even produces enough electricity
to keep tablets and laptops running long past their due date.

When left out in direct sunlight for 7-8 hours of exposure, the charger will
get an iPhone 6 up to about 50 percent battery on a single surge. The Levin
will also hold its charge for weeks at a time, which means that you can
power it up when it’s convenient, and save what you need for when the going
gets tough and the lights go out after a big storm.

You can snag your own Levin Solar Panel in
your choice of four colors, which
for our money is one of the best portable sun chargers on the market today.


So what should you do the next time a natural disaster strikes and you run
out of battery to call friends or family members in the crisis? It turns out
the best kind of power is human power, and these alternative mini-generators
have got more than enough to spare.

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