Camping with Bushnell PowerSync


A break in the English weather meant a perfect opportunity for a camping trip and what better chance for the Memory-Map team to test some new Bushnell products from our equipment section.

Sun was on the forecast so to harvest what we could the new Bushnell Solarwrap Mini-Max along with the Bushnell Powersync Battery Bar were packed. I really like the concept here of what Bushnell describes as ‘owning your own personal, portable powerplant’. Although a bit of a mouthful sentence, I can certainly relate to it! Running out of battery on your Camera or GPS is very annoying, especially when you’re following a route or finding lots of nice things to take pictures of.

Fortunately for us, both these products can be charged at home via a standard USB charger, so that I did and I also made sure to pack my GoPro, Smart phone and IPad, all at varying states of charge. I wouldn’t normally pack so many gadgets to go camping with though the plan was to carry a mix of devices to test the claimed charging times of the chargers. So with the car packed it was pointed south in the direction of Cornwall and we were off.

Once camp had been set I began playing with the chargers and first impressions were promising. The battery bar felt really solid and being rubber coated it was surprisingly lightweight. It has two rubber flexi-caps at either end which cover the USB ports offering a decent degree of protection against the elements. There are two USB slots on one side for charging up to two devices at once which was handy as there were two of us with phones in the red. The other end has a mini USB port for charging itself along with a battery monitor button and four LEDs to show you how much charge is left. The first thing I did was press this and thankfully all four were glowing strong, which was a good start!


With the sun still high in the sky I unrolled the Solarwrap Mini-Max which revealed a surprisingly compact scroll of 84 (Yes, I counted) individual solar charging cells. The design is pretty much the same as the battery bar with the two rubber end caps, LED battery monitor and one USB port for charging. What’s interesting is that Bushnell claims you can puncture cells on this and that it will continue working. Although I didn’t fancy testing this, it is certainly handy to know that it’s not super fragile and will continue to work if it takes a tumble or two.


To collect solar energy the Mini-Max needs to be laid facing the sun so just imagine it’s sunbathing and in this case I attached it to the sun-facing side of our tent by threading a guy rope through the riveted holes on its Velcro cover.


Right, now to the bit you’ve been waiting for, did they actually work? First up was the battery bar, we got two and a half full smartphone charges out of it. This was from the red right up to full. I was also using my phone while it charged and unplugged from it with one of the LED’s still glowing as it was no longer needed. Bushnell claim two full Smart phone charges though if you switched your phone off I think you’d get closer to three. What’s also nice is it charges at the same speed as being plugged into the wall – it is fast!

On to the Mini Max this one was also pre-charged at home so it’s quite difficult to gauge the direct solar input. What I do know is the device gave me almost a full charge on the GoPro and it still had four LEDs glowing as it got dark, which I was more than happy with. Bushnell says it can charge three action cameras from a single charge so I potentially squeezed a fourth out with the help from the glorious Cornish sunshine.

There you have it, only a brief overnight camping trip but enough evidence for me to be confident in adding these Bushnell devices to my kit bag. With modern devices now more powerful and feature packed this can often put a strain on battery lives so we certainly recommend carrying a backup, and these two get the Memory-Map stamp of approval.

Which map scale would suit you best?

HD-Great-Britain-Maps-lrOrdnance Survey (OS) is the mapping agency of Great Britain, providing detailed high quality maps of the country. First established in 1791, the Ordnance Survey eventually mapped Great Britain at a scale of one inch to the mile. Drawn on a larger scale than the final printed maps – two inches or six inches to the mile – these old maps show incredible detail.

In 1854 a scale of 25 inches was initiated, and by the end of the 1800s all cultivated areas were mapped at this scale, which showed every building in outline ground plan to a high standard of accuracy.

In our technologically advanced age, Memory-Map was the first company to licence OS map data to produce digital maps for outdoor recreation and their OS Landranger 1:50,000 and OS Explorer 1:25,000 maps look identical to the printed Ordnance Survey versions.

The main difference between the two map products is scale – the number of times that you would need to magnify the map for it to be the same size as the real world; or the number of times that the real world has been reduced in size to become the map.

OS Explorer (1:25k) Mapping

The OS Explorer Map is at 1:25000 scale (so 4cm on the map equals 1km in the real world). It shows great detail of the area the map is covering including footpaths, rights of way, open access land and the vegetation on the land. This is the map you would use for your outdoor activities such as walking, horse riding and off-road cycling.

OS Landranger (1:50k) Mapping

The OS Landranger Map is at 1:50000 scale (so 2cm on the map equals 1km in the real world). The map covers a larger area than the OS Explorer Map, but not in as much detail. You’ll still find footpaths, rights of way and some tourist information features on the map. While some of the detail is lost, such as open access land on this map – it is still possible to use it when out walking for navigation with your compass. This is the map you would use for days out or short breaks and even road cycling as a larger area is covered.

Using Memory-Map is the easiest and quickest way to get Ordnance Survey Explorer and Landranger maps onto your PC, iPhone, iPad, or Android device; turning your mobile into an outdoor GPS to make navigation safer, easier and more fun.

If you’re a history-buff, Memory-Map also have a complete selection of historical Ordnance Survey maps available for use across multi-platforms, either in singular packages or combined.