Electricity while camping

How To Produce And Store Your Own Electricity While Camping

You like to go camping in remote places and you know the problem that you would like to use your electric coffee machine or other electrical devices. The problem is that in remote places, for example in the national park, there are few sockets where you can plug in your devices to operate them. In this article I would like to show you a few tips and tricks, so that you can also produce your own electricity in the wild and thus operate electrical devices.

You can take a gasoline or diesel powered generator with you, set up a solar panel system, use the power of the water to generate electricity or set up a wind generator to produce your own electricity.

You should read this article through to the end, as I’ve been going camping for many years and have also come into the situation a few times where I am in the need to use electricity. So i have developed a few techniques that make it possible for me to live absolutely off grid, even for several weeks if need be.

Type Description Product Example Remarks
Car BatteryIs charged by the vehicle’s alternatorXS Power D6500 XS SeriesProbably need a power inverter so it doesn’t fry your electronics. Take note not to use it for long because you might not have enough charge to start your car
Gas Powered GeneratorProduces electricity by burning gasoline or dieselPortable GeneratorBulkier and heavier compared to other types of generators. Many campsites have banned usage of gas generators because of fumes that they emit.
Solar Panels Produces electricity through sunlightECO-WORTHY Solar Panel KitVery well suited to produce energy yourself. Easy to transport and relatively cheap to buy.
Hydropower Produces electricity through hydropowerApplianParFew products available. Little energy yield. Impractical.
Wind Turbine Produces electricity through wind powerPikasola Wind Turbine GeneratorVery high energy yield. Unsuitable for mobile applications. Very suitable for stationary energy generation.
Thermoelectric GeneratorProduces electricity through heatBioLite FirePit+Suitable for small devices such as cell phones or bower banks. Not suitable for larger applications.

Here are a few ways you can generate your own electricity far away from civilization.

  • Energy generation with the help of the car battery

Of course, it is also possible to use your own car battery for a short time as an energy supply and to generate a 110 – 220 volt power output, using a converter. This is of course completely sufficient for a quick coffee or tea in the morning, but if you want to operate a few more devices or, for example, want to operate an electric heater all night long, this method is of course not the right one. You could of course leave the engine of your vehicle running all night to charge the car battery, but this is very harmful to the environment, causes great wear and tear on the vehicle engine and consumes a lot of fuel.

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So this possibility is ruled out.

  • Energy generation by means of a gasoline or diesel powered generator

Generating energy by means of a generator that runs on fuel is probably the simplest. You simply buy a generator in the nearest hardware store that you like and that is not too expensive, and you’re good to go.

But wait, a gasoline or diesel powered generator doesn’t just have advantages!

If you drive to the next national park, set up your tent or roof top tent and set up your generator a few feet away from your campground, you must of course also remember to bring enough fuel with you.

Another disadvantage of such a generator is that it is very loud. Although modern generators are now much quieter than older models, modern generators also develop a volume of up to 90db or even more under full load.

So what if you sit in front of your tent and want to read a book in comfort or want to quietly drink a coffee from your electric coffee machine? Then you have the constant hum of the generator in the background … not so nice, right? In some parks it is also not allowed to use or operate a gasoline or diesel powered generator.

As you can probably guess, these generators are not one of my favorite methods of producing your own electricity while camping… I would now like to introduce you to a few alternatives that I consider more suitable than gasoline generators.

  • Energy generation with a solar system

I believe that generating energy with the help of the sun is a better alternative here. Modern solar panels are now so well developed that they can deliver enough electricity even when there is little sun shine or when the sky is cloudy or overcast.

You don’t need a lot of solar panels to charge your batteries during the day. Two to three good solar panels are enough to generate enough energy. It is also no longer as complicated to operate a solar system as it used to be or as you might think now.
You can even buy everything you need in a complete set today. All you then need is one or two extra car batteries with which you can store the energy generated.

Now I would like to explain to you in detail how you can generate your own electricity with solar energy without major problems.

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What do we need?
Solar panels;
these convert the sun’s rays into electricity.
Controller; a solar controller converts the electricity coming from the solar panels into usable energy.
Car batteries; The car battery stores the generated electricity, so you can use the electricity whenever you want.
Energy converter; This converter converts the energy stored in the car battery, usually 12 volts, into usable energy for your devices. The converter converts the stored electricity of 12 volts into an effectively usable electricity of 110 – 220 volts. So you can operate your electrical devices as normal.

Please pay attention to quality when selecting the individual components. If the devices are very cheap, the built-in components are usually not of high quality and the components can break down quickly or even cause fire hazards.

For this reason, I would like to recommend a few components that I consider suitable and that are of good quality.

When you have arrived at your campground, you can either place the solar panels at an angle on the ground, facing the sun, of course. Or you can attach the solar panels to your vehicle using a simple bracket.
Then all you have to do is wire the individual components together, that’s it. It is best to position the car batteries so that they cannot get wet or exposed to rain. Maybe you still have space in your trunk where you can stow the batteries.

Then you can lay the cables or sockets where you need them, either in your tent or in your roof rack tent.

  • Energy generation by hydropower

The generation of energy by hydropower is basically not too different from the generation of energy by solar energy. You just need a flowing body of water. If you set up your camp near a river, you can use the power of the water to drive a turbine and thus produce electricity.

The only disadvantage of a turbine that is powered by hydropower is that these turbines usually cannot produce as much electricity as solar panels, for example. This is mostly due to the design. To be able to produce that much electricity, you would either need several such turbines or a very large turbine. However, this is usually very impractical as you only have limited storage space in your trunk.

The connection of a hydropower turbine is the same as you would connect a solar system. You also have to connect the hydropower turbine to a controller that converts the electricity generated into usable energy that you can use to charge your car batteries.

  • Energy generation by wind power
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Generating your own energy using wind power is also very effective, but usually not particularly practical when you go camping. The wind turbines that provide sufficient energy are usually a bit larger and not particularly practical on the campground.

Wind power is more suitable for fixed locations, such as in your own jard or field. The construction is usually not that simple either, since the blades of the wind turbine are very long and have to be screwed onto the generator.

The wind turbine also needs a solid foundation. This means that the wind turbine cannot fall over even in stronger winds.

The great advantage of a wind turbine is of course that it does not depend on sunlight and can theoretically produce energy 24 hours a day, regardless of whether it is day or night, whether it is raining or sunny outside.

I therefore recommend that you set up a wind turbine at home in your garden and produce electricity there with which you can then charge some car batteries and, for example, operate your electrical garden tools or charge the battery of your lawnmower.

The connection of a wind turbine is also very easy and straight foreward. The connection is comparable to that of a solar system. You also need a controller that can convert the generated energy into usable energy. But it also applies here, pay attention to quality and do not buy the cheapest wind turbines that you can find in online shops. I recommend this shop or online shop, where I have had very good experiences with the quality and durability.

  • Energy generation by fire and heat

Yes, you read that right, it is also possible to generate energy using fire and heat! But there are usually no ready-made solutions that you can buy and get started right away. Most of the time, these systems are also rather small and produce less energy than other options that I have already described to you here.

To generate a finished solution using fire energy, I’ve come across this product several times and I’ve read a few test reports about this machine. This is actually a good idea, but rather unsuitable for many consumers to operate. With this oven you can charge your mobile phone or charge your power bank.

What I would also think of would be if you built some kind of steam engine that would generate steam and use this steam to drive a turbine which in turn would also generate electricity. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any finished product here … so here you would have to let your creativity run wild and build a machine yourself.

But even such a machine would probably be unsuitable for camping, as it would be difficult to transport such a large and complex machine in your car or trunk.


It is therefore possible not to have to forego the convenience and luxury of electrical energy even when camping. Today it is very easy to produce your own electricity. My personal favorite is solar energy. Since you do not need many components for the solar system and all components can be easily transported in your vehicle. Modern solar panels and accessories are no longer expensive! You can order the components you need online and have them delivered to your front door.

It is best to test the construction and commissioning at home in your garden in peace, so you know exactly what to do when you arrive at the campground.

Write to me in the comments under this article about your experiences with energy generation when camping.