MyFC PowerTrekk Fuel Cell Charger
This innovative new hybrid battery pack has a twist: its disposable fuel cells can be charged with water. Pour a little water into a “power puck” ($4 apiece; 1 oz.) and you’ll generate enough energy for a single smartphone charge. The PowerTrekk also has a lithium-ion battery pack that can be charged via USB cable, so you’re not wedded to the fuel cell system—at least for your first charge. At over $200, this device isn’t cheap, but does have a few advantages: it’s only 8 ounces and can power your phone or GPS off-grid faster than a typical solar charger; and it’s durable enough to bounce around in your pack and withstand splashes. IPhone adapter included.
$229 at REIBioLite CampStove
What’s cooler than a super-efficient camp stove that weighs only two pounds and requires only twigs for fuel? How about one that charges your iPhone. The heat generated by the BioLite fuels a thermoelectric generator that powers USB-chargeable devices: smartphones, headlamps, GPS devices and more. Twenty minutes of fire will not only boil water for your morning coffee and cook your breakfast, it’ll give you 60 minutes of talk time on your iPhone or Android smartphone.
$129.95 at BioLiteStove.comFlameStower
BioLite isn’t the only way to harness the power of your campfire for the benefit of your electronic gear. Debuting at this summer’s Outdoor Retailer product show, the FlameStower also uses a thermoelectric generator. You fill up the water reservoir and position the generator over an open flame or other heat source. Its USB output charges at about half the rate of a wall outlet, say the manufacturers, so you can completely charge an iPhone in about 3 hours, depending on the heat of the flame. Good for any USB-chargeable device, it’s only 8 ounces and collapses down to a very stowable 7.75” x 2.25” x 1”-package (inset). Available for pre-order.
$69.99 at FlameStower.comThe PowerPot
The third fire-powered charger on this list uses similar technology in a slightly different way. Whereas the BioLite is the stove itself and the FlameStower uses heat from another source, the PowerPot places the generator on the bottom of a pot you can use to boil up to 46 ounces of water. A flame-resistant USB cable will recharge your smartphone, digital camera or other device at slightly faster rate the other chargers—under 2 hours, the manufacturers claim. Like the FlameStower, you need to keep an eye on the water level, and, at 18 ounces with lid and cable, it’s a tad heavier than average camping pot. (Hint: the lid can be flipped upside down for use as a frying pan.)
$149.00 at ThePowerPot.com