Back in the “good old days”, heading bush in your 4×4 meant loading up a swag, an esky full of food and drink, a load of firewood and little more. While there are still certainly those purists out there who wouldn’t go camping any other way (nojudgement – just the essentials can be a great time!), for the rest of us times have certainly changed, largely thanks to portable power.
These days, the humble esky has been replaced with 12V fridges and freezers, keeping our food and drinks cooler for longer. Our entertainment options have gone from telling stories around the flames of a campfire to most of the same luxuries we enjoy at home, like TV and Netflix. And communication no longer means simply relying on the patchy reception of a UHF radio.
If you’re looking to enjoy all the creature comforts of home on your off-road adventures, then you need to ensure you have a portable power pack for camping that will go the distance and service your needs. Here’s a look at a few options for ensuring you have the right portable power station for your next trip bush.
Understanding the Importance of Portable Power
In the world of camping and 4×4 adventures, the concept of portable power is akin to having a secret weapon in your arsenal. It’s the unsung hero that enables you to venture further, stay connected, and enjoy the comforts of home even when you’re miles away from civilisation.
However, as we mentioned above, we all managed well enough with the just bare essentials for years; why exactly have portable power stations become so important for off-roading experiences? Here’s a quick rundown of just how effective and valuable these systems are for the modern day 4×4 adventurer.
One of the primary appeals of camping and 4×4 adventures is the opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of city life. Portable power stations empower you to embrace this freedom without completely sacrificing the modern conveniences you cherish. Whether you need to charge your phone, power essential appliances, or light up your campsite, portable power ensures you can do so even when you’re off the grid.
Safety and Preparedness
When you’re exploring remote or unfamiliar terrains, having access to reliable power can be a matter of safety. A portable power pack for camping allows you to keep your communication devices charged, ensuring you can call for help or access GPS navigation in case of emergencies. It’s your lifeline when you need it most.
Comfort and Convenience
Camping doesn’t mean you have to rough it entirely. With portable power, you can enjoy the comforts of home, from running a portable fridge to keeping your lights on during those pitch-black nights. It’s the key to elevating your outdoor experience and making it more enjoyable and convenient.
This is particularly effective when camping with the family. Imagine hooking up your screen to your portable power station, cosying up with the kids, and flicking on a film to watch beneath the stars. Now that’s what we call a magical experience!
Versatility for All Adventures
Portable power solutions come in various forms, from 12V control boxes to portable solar panels and self-contained systems like the ARKPAK APDC20. This versatility means you can tailor your power setup to suit the demands of different adventures. Whether you’re embarking on a weekend camping trip or a week-long 4×4 expedition, there’s a portable power solution that fits your needs.
Embracing portable power can also align with sustainability goals. Many portable power options now include solar panels or the capability to charge from solar sources. This reduces your reliance on fossil fuels and minimises your environmental footprint, making your outdoor adventures more eco-friendly.
Peace of Mind
Perhaps one of the most significant advantages of portable power is the peace of mind it provides. It eliminates the uncertainty of running out of power during your adventure. With portable power at your disposal, you can focus on enjoying the journey, knowing that you have a reliable source of energy.
Types of Portable Power Solutions for 4×4 Enthusiasts
Of course, having something as powerful and functional as an ArkPak is sensational, but you still need to keep the battery charged. There’s a few ways to do this. One way is to keep the battery charged from your vehicle battery. This works well if you’re traveling day to day and not stopping in camp for more than a day at a time. But if you’re planning to set up camp for a few days or longer, then your best option to keep your battery charged is to utilise solar power.
A battery box is the name given to a portable box that can house a range of 12V batteries that can be used to power everything at your campsite from your fridge or freezer to your mobile phone chargers. The thing is, your basic battery box has been well and truly superseded.
Our patented ArkPak is a modern portable power station range that has taken the very basic concept of a battery box and improved it 100-fold. As the only “battery box” on the market that has a built-in AC-DC and DC-DC charger, investing in an ArkPak means there’s one less thing you need to worry about when you’re preparing to head bush.
Simply put, you choose a battery (whether it be a gel, lithium, AGM or something else), place it in the box, connect your powered devices and you’re good to go. A 5V USB 2.1 amp socket, 2x 12V accessory sockets, a 50A Anderson socket, external battery terminals, a low voltage cut out, manual isolator switch, time tracker tech, a battery management system with an LCD display and a 7-stage smart charger.
Let’s take a closer look at these two popular portable power packs and what they can offer on your next caming trip.
ArkPak 730 vs ArkPak 730 Pure Sine
Our ArkPak comes in two variations, the ArkPak 730 and the ArkPak 730 Pure Sine. Both of these top-of-the-range products will set you up for a fantastic camping or off-roading experience with their advanced features and technologies, but there are a few differences to be aware of.
The ArkPak 730 features a 300W modified sine inverter so you can plug in your 240V devices, while the ArkPak 730 Pure Sine features a 300W Pure Sine Wave inverter. This means you have the same kind of 240V power as your home has, no matter how remote you travel.
With ArkPak, you can plug in sensitive electronic devices such as drone and camera chargers, laptops and computers and even CPAP machines and keep them charged and powered as long as the battery has charge.
If you’re looking for an even more powerful system, you might want to consider our new second generation ARKPAK APDC20. This advanced design packs a punch with its 20 amp DC-DC charger, 1000W Pure Sine inverter, in-built MPPT solar regulator, and four USB ports (three for Type A, one for Type C).
This powerhouse can charge all common deep cycle batteries direct from your vehicle. You can also run more than just lighting and phone chargers – think kitchenettes, mini fridges, coffee machines, and more.
You can also plug in your solar panels directly to the ARKPAK APDC20 to harness the power of the sun, meaning even more power to last you throughout the day and into the night.
Choosing the Right Portable Power Station
Selecting the ideal portable power station is a crucial step in ensuring a seamless and enjoyable camping or 4×4 adventure. With numerous options available, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and the demands of your outdoor excursions. Here’s a handy guide to help you choose the right portable power pack for camping or off-roading:
- Power Capacity: The first consideration is the power capacity you need. Assess your energy requirements based on the devices and appliances you plan to power. If you only need a phone charger and kettle, for instance, something lighter will be enough. For more heavy-duty uses like fridges, coffee machine, and computer equipment, you’ll want to opt for something more power-hungry.
- Battery Type: Most portable power stations typically come with either lithium-ion or lead-acid batteries – the ArkPak allows you to choose the best battery solution for you. Lithium-ion batteries are lightweight, have a longer lifespan, and offer better performance, making them a preferred choice for most users. However, lead-acid batteries may be more budget-friendly and suitable for specific situations.
We wanted to ensure the ArkPak was flexible for all budgets and requirements by allowing you to select your own battery. Thanks to the removable and interchangeable battery, you’ll never need to send the unit away to service or replace your battery – simply unplug!
- Portability: Consider how portable you need your power station to be. If you have limited space in your vehicle or require a versatile setup that can be moved in and out, a smaller and more lightweight option like the ArkPak 730 might be ideal. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more permanent installation, a larger unit may be suitable, like the ARKPAK APDC20.
- Output Options: Examine the output options of the power station. Ensure it offers a variety of outlets, including AC, DC, and USB ports. This versatility allows you to charge and power different devices simultaneously.
- Recharge Options: How will you recharge the power station during your adventures? Look for stations that offer multiple recharging methods, such as solar panels, vehicle charging, and standard electrical outlets. This flexibility ensures you can keep your power station charged wherever you go.
Solar Panels: Harnessing the Sun’s Energy on the Go
Of course, having something as powerful and functional as an ArkPak is sensational, but you still need to keep the battery charged. There are a couple of ways to do this:
- Keep the battery charged from your vehicle battery. This works well if you’re traveling day to day and not stopping in camp for more than a day at a time.
- If you’re planning to set up camp for a few days or longer, then your best option to keep your battery charged is to utilise solar power.
Solar technology has come a long way in the last decade or so, and portable solar stations are readily available and a very reliable option for campsite power. Ark has a number of solar options that will work hand in hand with your ArkPak or battery box.
The Amorphous Foldable Solar Panels are our premium solar offering and are available in both 30W and 60W, generating 2-4.2A per hour. These panels will work in low light and partial shade and are lightweight and compact so they don’t take up unnecessary space.
For a more budget-friendly option, check out the ArkPak Freedom Portable Solar Panels, available in 7W and 14W. While these are a bit less powerful than the Amorphous model, they’re great for quick trips into the bush or if you only need a touch of power on the go.
Consult the Experts at Ark for All Your Portable Power Needs
Having the gear you need to power your campsite is one of the key elements of modern camping, and Ark are the experts when it comes to portable power.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to enhance your upcoming adventure. Get in touch with the seasoned experts at ARK today, and discover how we can elevate your outdoor experience to new heights.
Whether you’re a seasoned explorer or just beginning your journey into the wild, ARK has the power to transform your camping and 4×4 adventures. Get ready to embark on unforgettable experiences with ARK by your side!