How to keep your smartphone and tablet charged when you are away from the mains. Three great portable chargers that keep smartphones charged when camping or on the beach.

You see that yellow circle in the sky? That's the sun, and we've seen a fair bit of it this year. That in turn has inspired large portions of the UK population to take part in traditional British summer pursuits: walking around town centres with their torsos exposed, and crowding into dingy pubs to watch strangers lose at sport.

There are other summery pursuits, however. Camping, hiking, going to the beach. All are great, fun and healthy activities. Getting away from it all is a great way to unwind, but for many of us it is just as important to stay in touch. And the best way to do that is to keep your smartphone charged and check email and messages from time to time. At least, for as long as your phone stays charged up.

There are few plug points on campsites, and very few at all on the beach or deep in the UK's many forests. So we've been exploring ways to keep your smartphone in charge when you are far away from mains electricity. And here are three examples that may not be the most powerful, but are certainly ingenious ways of giving your devices a quick boost wherever you are. Here are three great portable chargers that keep smartphones charged when camping or on the beach. See also: Best travel gadgets: Top tech to take on holiday with you this summer.

Powertraveller powermonkey extreme 12V

We start with the powermonkey extreme. This is a portable battery pack that will give your gadgets a boost. It also offers a solar-powered charger for your phone or tablet. It's easy to carry, ruggedised and stylish in a way. And it does hold a good amount of charge. You should get almost a week's power out of the powermonkey - more if you top it up with solar.

For more, see: Powertraveller powermonkey extreme 12V review - battery pack and solar panel powers up phone, tablet and more.

Freeplay TUF

Want to stay charged up using only your own energy? The Freeplay TUF is a wind-up radio and torch with which you can charge your phone. It's principally intended as a radio and torch, but it contains a discrete battery charger port from which you can give your phone a boost. We wouldn't recommend using only the Freeplay TUF as a portable charger, but from time to time it will give you that little extra boost.

For more, see: Freeplay TUF review: wind-up radio and torch will charge your smartphone's battery.

BioLite Camp Stove

 This one is a cracker. The BioLite CampStove is a portable charger with a difference. As well as being a camping stove, it also generates power from burning biomass, so you can charge your phone from burning twigs. Again, we would recommend that you use the BioLite principally as a stove, but enjoy the additional benefits of it giving your phone a top up. You have to burn a lot of fuel to get the BioLite to fully charge your phone. I mean, hours.

For more, see also: BioLite CampStove review: portable phone charger generates power from burning twigs, sticks and more.

So there you have it. Three delightfully elemental ways of charging your devices, via sun, man power, or the power of fire.