The Benefits of having a Camping Radio for your Bikepacking
| Reuben Howe
Staying connected on your travels is important for more than just the local entertainment on the radio. Especially in America or Canada a radio can be the difference between being stranded or being saved. Consider a camping weather radio today and prepare for your next trip
#1 - Local Radio
With radio technology becoming a unique culmination of DAB and FM, a camping travel radio is the perfect way to pick up local stations you would otherwise be unaware of. Travelling the country or even the world is a lot more engaging with a mix of hosts, music, weather reports and more all Live.
#2 - Personal Music
Modern camping and survival radios have many extra features on top of the aerial and radio. The speakers can be controlled wirelessly via Bluetooth to set a camp alarm clock, play your own library of music, or play any other Bluetooth audio out loud. From campfire vibes to a rhythm in the woods you can do it all your way with a Bluetooth speaker.
For even more versatility look into models with a standard headphone jack. This will allow you private or public listening which is perfect for camps and tents with little noise-insulation between campers.
#3 - Emergency Radio
In the US and Canada, a weather radio can use VHF band reception to access 24/7 weather and emergency broadcast stations. NOAA weather radios are a vital connection to have access to when across the US and Canada due to bad weather like heavy snow, rain, excessive heat and more.
Outside of those regions you can still access radio stations and tune in to helpful emergency / informational broadcasts across the world. Be sure to check local frequencies when travelling, especially if you’re using the portable radio strap or lanyard for climbing or bikepacking off-road.
#4 - Unlimited Energy
The best portable camping radio has multiple charging methods for a built in rechargeable battery, so you can access features in any situation. When choosing a power source consider the following:
Solar Power -
The best camp radio needs solar panels in-built for passive recharge and battery maintenance. Camping radio solar panels stop the battery degrading quickly even when away from the mains for extended periods.
Hand Crank Generator -
A hand crank radio allows you to generate your own power from kinetic energy in any situation, when away from any sockets and with the sun down or hidden. This means you can crank charge even while caving. Batteries can be charged pretty quickly using these handles, and will at the very least give you guaranteed energy in a dire situation for torchlight, radio access or SOS modes.
Mains Charging -
Of course, the fastest and most efficient way of fully charging your device will be a mains socket or powered USB depending on the device. Some use a micro USB cable for increased compatibility with older systems. Keeping your weather radios fully topped up whenever possible is the safest way to use your portable radio, with the other methods serving well as backup / emergency power. Devices that use AAA Batteries will need replacement rather than being able to benefit from any rechargeable methods, do not try and use your hand crank or solar charging with AAA battery devices.
#5 - Extra Survival Features
Many modern survival radios come with extra features. For example, the Bluetooth speaker functions mentioned above. Beyond that, though, you can also access a powerful LED flashlight.
LEDs are small but powerful, with a higher energy to visible light ratio. This means less battery is used for more light, resulting in a perfect camping radio that won’t drain itself empty from one use of the torch.
Another feature of the best portable radio for camping is an SOS alarm. This sets volume beyond the standard maximum and triggers a strong, high-visibility strobing light. This can be enough to attract human attention, deter harmful animals or be used as a signal between you and your camp.
Finally, some models can be used themselves as a power bank. The rechargeable battery pack can provide a final recharge of a phone or tablet for vital maps or communication. In some situations, this can quite literally be a live-saver.
View Our Range
The August MB290 (UK) and MB291 (International) are compact, functional solutions to provide audio, radio, Bluetooth, light and multiple charging methods to any camp, car or home. The MB290 is an all-in-one audio device while the MB291 strips the Bluetooth functions in favour of weather radio NOAA tuning. View our camping range below and prepare for your next adventure today!