When I am out and about on one of my multi-day canoe wilderness trips, I generally leave my cell phone at home. I leave a float plan with my wife, and she knows that she probably won't be hearing from me again until the end of the trip. Therefore, I have never bothered to find a way to keep my smart phone batteries charged.
Looking forward to 2013, I am planning a trip that will involve a lot of communication needs and public interaction, as well as a need for the ability to post to a trip-specific facebook page from my smart phone. Service won't be a problem because I won't be in the wilderness, but this will be a week long trip using a phone who's battery life is measured in hours. So, I've been looking for options to charge my phone while living off the grid, and am looking to hear what others' experiences have been.
The best options I have come across are:
1) A charger that uses standard batteries to charge the phone. This, of course, eats up standard batteries, and that doesn't sit well with me.
2) Solar charger: Good reviews, when the sun is out, but charge time is a long time, and...the sun needs to be out. And I don't relish leaving my phone out with the charger while paddling...one capsize and its all over.
3) Just buy multiple batteries for my phone. Expensive option, and not worthwilfe for a trip or two that I might need them.
4) ...and the option I will probably go with: A hand-crank dynamo charger, such as may be found on those emergency radios. They are being made now with USB outputs that one can use with most phone charger cords. Wind away and charge the phone. And, I get a radio and weather reports...and even a flashlight.
So...any experience out there with any of these? Other ideas?