The PowerPack Revolution

I'm going to tell you about the best bit of kit I've bought in the last 5 years;-) 

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30 years ago when Kate and I started cycletouring in France we had no electrical equipment with us whatsoever, with the exception of a small torch. As we cycletoured in France in summer having to carry lights wasn't an issue.

As time went on the situation even got easier as LED headtorches alleviated the need even for spare batteries. Happy days...

But you know what has happened over the years. First I found I increasingly relied on a portable radio (LW so I could avoid French radio and listen to TMS) and cassette player (so back came the spare batteries) and then mobile phones, a digital camera, MP3 players and even (to keep in-touch with our business in France) a small laptop and then a tablet.

And of course all these items were all the better for being rechargeable. Then about 10 years ago I had a rather expensive MP3 player pinched from the campsite loos where I had left it charging. With this loss of trust (innocence – the first time in France) the whole problem of charging all these electronic bits of equipment became more and more burdensome – sitting by your phone for an hour whilst charging it is no-one's idea of fun.

And then as so often happens I learnt a new trick from one of my old customers. My phone had gone flat and there were no powerpoints in the little campsite we were in. Quick as a flash he whipped out a small black battery pack and 'job done'...

I know for many of you this is yesterday's news but for the other Luddites out there a battery pack will just eliminate so much stress you will not believe it.



What are they for and why are they so good?

This is the best bit;-) You see these packs have far greater capacity than any phone or tablet. Mine is this one and will fully charge a tablet – with most two or three times, my simple phone ½ a dozen times and my MP3 player more times than I can count. Likewise it'll charge my camera.

OK so that's fairly obvious – it means you only need to hit a power-point every three or four days instead of every day, but it's better than that. Firstly security... These things are cheap and every supermarket sells them so even if they are pinched whilst charging in the loos it's not like losing a £500 phone. They also mean that if your phone goes completely flat you can still just plug the pack in and use the phone and, unlike using a normal mains charger, you can be asleep in your tent whilst the phone is next to you, switched on AND charging...

A good battery pack like the one I use will also provide plenty of current to run a tablet – far more than a standard plug-in phone charger – some tablets simply won't even run on these. So even a flat tablet will run and charging is fast – a decent power-pack will charge phone and tablet at the same time. No need to carry a bulky tablet charger – the battery-pack will do it all.

This obviously is brilliant for anyone cycletouring somewhere easy like France, but for expedition tourists who may have access to a power point once a week it's a game-changer. You can get ever larger power-packs, but even a small one like mine will run pretty much everything you might need including rechargeable lights for a week or more if you're careful. In the past the alternative would be to rely on a dynamo system with all the problems and costs involved – no more...

So I'm late to the party, but what a brilliant, brilliant piece of kit - my only word of caution would be to buy one from a known manufacturer - some packs don't hold anything like the charge they claim...


A Small Favour

We hope you've enjoyed reading this short article and will go on to read many more. This website exists both as an information hub for cyclists – (and we offer free advice by email) - but also as a commercial site to sell our cycling holidays. For 27 years we've been the only company in the world offering fully equipped cycle camping holidays and now also offer hotel based holiday and even run our local campsite which is uniquely well geared up for passing cycletourists.

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