How to Get Electricity in Your Tent

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Electricity is by no means necessary when you’re camping, but it certainly makes everything easier. And it can be a matter of safety if temperatures drop unexpectedly while you’re camping. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to get electricity into your tent, whether it’s a bonus or it’s going to help you make it through the night.

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First, it’s important to think about safety before bringing electricity into your tent.  No matter what your power source might be, you need to take precautions. It’s generally safe, but it can be risky if you’re using electricity in damp conditions. It’s also important to only use a heavy-duty waterproof line that includes sockets that are resistant to water.

Exploring Your Tent Electricity Options

Now that you know how to approach the task safely, you can choose which option is best for you when bringing electricity into your tent. Here are our favorites:

Gas Generator

DuroMax XP4400E 4,400 Watt 7.0 HP OHV 4-Cycle Gas Powered Portable Generator Generators are one of the most popular off-the-grid energy sources. People even use them in their homes so they can continue to function when their community supply of electricity isn’t available.

Generators are reliable, but they tend to be noisy and emit fumes when they are running. There are plenty of reasons campers are annoyed by both of these factors. Most of the time, their goal was to get into the great outdoors and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of nature. Not a smell of burnt gas.

There are also a number of campsites that have put the kibosh on generators because of the pollution – noise and otherwise. If you intend to use a generator when camping, make sure you check ahead of time at your destination. Make sure it’s an option.

Check it out on AMAZON.

Thermoelectric Generator

Ajirangi Portable Thermoelectric Generator for CampingThermoelectric generators tend to be easier on the nose and ears, but they’re more expensive and less efficient than gas. These generators harvest energy created from temperature difference and turn them into what you need. They work in wilderness situations as long as you’re able to build a fire.

Check it out on AMAZON.

Pedal Generator

Pedal Power Bicycle Generator Emergency BackupA pedal generator is a people-powered option that offers clean energy but isn’t going to work for every situation. The simplest form of a pedal generator utilizes people pedaling on a bike. These generators are small and lightweight, so they work well for people who are hiking or backpacking. The key is to work to build a store of energy that you can use later on. For instance, you’ll pedal until you have a stockpile of energy and then use it to run your phone charger, batteries, or small appliances. Just consider whether or not you’ll feel up to working to generate energy after a long day of hiking.

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d.light S500 Portable Solar Lantern and Mobile Phone Charger for CampingSolar energy is one of the most popular choices for people living off-the-grid temporarily or permanently. It’s an option that is clean, quiet, and easy to maintain. Also, it’s free of charge once you invest in the initial set up and you never need to worry about anyone being bothered by the smell or the sound. It’s also extremely portable, and as long as you’re able to carry your solar panels to your destination, you are good to go.

The downside of solar energy is that you need to rely on the sun. If you get a few cloudy days that drain your energy storage, it’s not going to be a reliable system for very long. Most solar camping kits come with a portable battery pack, so that makes the system more reliable.

These systems are easy to set up and break down, but it is important to understand how they work before opting for this method of bringing electricity into your tent.

Check it out on AMAZON.


You can use a turbine that runs off of wind or water to get electricity into your tent. Obviously, in either case, you’ll need to rely on your geographical location and the elements to make it work. But turbines can be wind or water, which means if you aren’t near the water you can hang the device in a tree and collect wind energy.

Turbines can generate electricity from gusts of wind or water movement. They offer power output that’s strong enough to charge phones and other devices. They are free to use once you’ve got the initial equipment for setup.

Car Battery Charging

One option that works in a pinch or for a short period of time is your car’s battery. You simply plug into the cigarette lighter and run the electricity from your vehicle. This can help you charge a cell phone or operate a small appliance for a short period of time, but you don’t want to overdo it. Using your vehicle for electricity puts a strain on the battery. When you do it for too long, your battery will drain, and you won’t be able to start your car.

Battery Pack

Battery packs are portable and allow you to have a moderate amount of electricity in your tent. They are great for charging cell phones and other small devices. They might also be able to power lights and small electronics. These battery packs operate on lithium-ion batteries that are relatively safe and effective. However, there are restrictions on them when traveling by plane. Therefore, if you need to fly to your camping destination make sure you’re able to bring your battery pack and determine the best way to pack it.

One final tip when considering how to bring electricity into your tent: think about energy efficiency. The more energy-efficient your device, the less electricity you’ll need to operate it. Remember, you’re out in the wilderness to enjoy nature, so if you or someone you’re camping with intends to use their phone, tablet, or other e-device round-the-clock, maybe a camping trip isn’t the right way to go.

On the other hand, it can be nice to read in your tent before driving off to sleep and not need to use a flashlight to light your way. Electricity in your tent is a safe way to bring a few of the creature comforts of home along with you when camping.

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