Thursday, July 31, 2014
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Charging Your Cell Phone While Hiking

Charging Your Cell Phone While Hiking

On my recent shake down hike I tested a new piece of gear for charging my cell phone.While reviewing products, my focus was to find something that was small, light weight, that I could charge my iPhone 5 two to three times on.

The product that I found is the Poweradd Pilot X1. This product met my criteria for needing a small (3.5 x 1.6 x 0.9 inches) and light weight (under 5 ounces). The best part of this piece of fear is it is only $15.99 from Amazon. 

Upon receiving it I immediately began the testing the unit. It informs you that the unit will not be at full working capacity until it has been fully charged twice. Over the course of a few days I drained my battery down and hooked up my phone to the charger (from the comforts of my office). Below are my results:

Battery Before Charge Battery After Charge Time Elapsed
13% 97% 1 hour 50 minutes
5% 25% 1 Hour (unit died)
28% 100% 1 hour 11 minutes
30% 100% 1 hour 18 minutes
11% 66% 50 minutes (unit died)

To recharge the unit fully, it did take 5-6 hours. This was only annoying to me because I was testing the unit and wanted results quickly. In a normal circumstance, I could charge it overnight while sleeping in a hotel or hostel.

I am very happy with the results of the unit. It held up well on the section and charged my and my hiking partners phone after a cold night (low 40s) drained down our batteries. I am going to be able to easily get 2 charges out of the unit and for my section hikes that is more then plenty. For a thru-hiker, I can imagine it would last between towns or hostels for sure.(Note: This is a standard USB charger, so it could charge anything with a USB or Micro-USB Charger).

Tip: Remember to keep your phone in airplane mode while hiking so the battery does not drain – read more tips on keeping your battery charged here.

For my situation I have not been able to find any negatives, but there could be some for you. It only charges one device at time and requires a longer time to recharge. That could be a pain if you are only resupplying in town and not spending the night.

Overall this device (and others like it) allow for a greater lifespan for your electronics while out hiking. This could end up saving you lots of time or your life in an emergency situation.

About Jeff Vreeland

I currently hold titles of a father, husband, geek, aspiring outdoorsman, storyteller, and BBQ Cook. I am a section hiker who will be hiking the GA section in June of 2014.