Ways to Charge your Phone Without Electricity

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

A few weeks ago, thousands of people in North Carolina lost power due to two substations being vandalized. This illustrates that electric power is subject to interruptions, due to natural or man made causes. That’s why we must also be prepared for a power outage. You’ll need your mobile phone to communicate so you will need to find ways to charge your phone without electricity.

First of all, it is a good idea to keep your cellphone has fully charged as possible before any outage occurs.

Conserve power

If you know you have a limited ability to charge your phone, limit the amount of power you are using so the current charge can last as long as possible.

  • Lower the brightness of your phone’s display setting.
  • Put your phone on power saving mode.
  • Use the airplane mode.
  • Turn off apps you are not using.
  • Avoid using your phone’s flashlight – use other light sources such as a lantern, candle, or normal flashlight instead.
  • Unless absolutely necessary, avoid using the GPS function. I always advice everyone to have backup paper maps in case of an emergency.
  • Avoid extreme heat or cold, as extreme temperatures drain the battery.
  • Turn off whatever features you don’t need. Such as WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, etc. You can always turn them back on when you need them.
  • In an emergency, use texting instead of calling to get in touch with loved ones. A text is also more likely to get through during a disaster.
  • If your phone charge is getting really low, turn it off until you need to use it.

Ways to charge your phone without electricity

Portable power banks

If you rely on your smart phone, portable power bank/chargers are a “must have.”  Look for one that is “high capacity,” fast-charging and light-weight.  You also want to make sure it provides surge protection and temperature control.  Be sure it is compatible to your device.  A good example is one by Anker.

Solar charger

I think solar chargers are a great backup for charging small electronics, especially if you get a lot of sun in your area.  Here’s a solar charger I tested previously.

Hand crank charger

Another option is a charger that has a backup hand crank power generator, such as the Eton Boost.

Stove charger

The Biolite stove allows you to cook and charge at the same time.   It was not a fast charge, but the Biolite stove I reviewed a while back worked well. I have used the Biolite stove several times while camping as well.

Light charger

The SunJack Waterproof Lightstick provides backup lighting and charges as well.  The Sunjack Lightstick provides a bright light and is a power bank.   I tested it as well.

Selfie stick with power bank

Another source of backup power is the power bank that comes with the selfie stick.  This model also comes with a light.  In an emergency, it’s good to have as many backups as possible.

Portable power station

You can use a portable power station to power several electronics, not just your phone. There are many brands available, such as Jackery, Bluetti, EcoFlow and others.

Use your laptop

If your laptop is fully charged, you can plug your phone into the USB port and charge it.

Use your car

If you have a USB to 12-volt adapter, you can charge your phone through your car’s cigarette lighter slot.  (Of course if you turn on your car, make sure you are in a well ventilated area, not in an enclosed garage to avoid carbon monoxide fumes.)

Having several backup methods to charge your phone without electricity will ensure your phone will not run out of power when you need it the most.

If you found this article interesting or helpful, please consider helping us out (without costing you anything)! We are an affiliate of Amazon.com, which means we received a small commission if you click through one of our Amazon links when you shop, at totally no cost to you. This helps keep the lights on at the blog. Thanks!

About the author:

Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.



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  1. It is impossible to charge an electronic device without electricity. All the charging methods you mentioned involve electricity, whether stored in a battery or generated from a solar charger. You mention “power outage” in the opening paragraph, and in my opinion that term should appear in the headline. Semantics, lol. I know what you meant, but the nerd in me had to say something.

    Good to see you posting again.

    1. Hey Robbie, I do appreciate you pointing that out. You are right technically they all require electricity. I used the title to please the search engine gods, lol, but I’d rather please the readers. Thanks for the welcoming comment 🙂

  2. My wife and I charged in the car during the big freeze last year. I wouldn’t say I liked doing that because I was burning gas (a resource.) I like the hand-cranked chargers for quick texts and SMS messages, but fully charging a phone with one may take time and effort. The rechargeable power banks are incredible and getting cheaper. Thanks for all you do!

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