Here's how to keep your devices charged, topped off, and ready for use no matter if you’re in the wilderness or driving to work.
The various uses of mobile devices are astounding. Long gone are the days of using T9 to send a message a blurry image from a tiny camera phone. Now the modern cell phone has more processing power than all of mission control did to get us to the moon. Now you can capture HD video, video chat with anyone in the world, pay your bills, buy groceries, keep up with friends, and even unlock your front door.
I could go on, but you get the point. We use our portable devices for pretty much everything these days and sometimes not having these devices could mean a minor inconvenience or a matter of life and death. That sounds a bit extreme, but having directions out of a dangerous situation, or the ability to call or signal for help, can make a huge difference in any situation.
I’ve always been a sucker for backups and redundancy. Maybe it’s because I’m an engineer, or a a geek. Or perhaps being prepared is just smart. One of the most invaluable tools I carry around with me is a USB battery pack. Trust me, it doesn’t sound sleek or amazing, but if I had a nickel for every time someone had to borrow it from me, I’d be able to buy a million more of power bricks.
So what is a power brick? Well if you’re not familiar with them, they are basically battery packs you plug a USB cable into. Instead of plugging your phone or tablet into the power adapter in your wall, you can plug it into a little power brick and—voila!—your device will begin to charge as if it’s plugged into a wall.
A few years ago, these devices were pretty expensive, upwards of $100 for a heavy and bulky model. Now many companies make these power bricks to be the size of a tube of lipstick; others are powerful enough to jumpstart your car.. The price can range from $10 to $100, and they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
All in all, they do the same thing: they provide supplemental power to your devices when there’s not an outlet nearby.
Here is an example of the small one: Link
Here is an example of the large one: Link