You've driven out into the desert for a night under the stars. You take out your mobile phone to capture the moment and - battery low. You forgot to pack the charger. Variations on the dying-battery-shock scenario vary from being abroad with an unfamiliar plug system and no available adaptor to not realising just how fast an iPhone eats up battery power. Now, there are gadgets that you can keep in your pocket, rucksack or luggage that will charge your portable electronics anytime, anywhere, and speedily prove their absolutely must-have status.
Joy of joys. The ultimate treat for anyone on the go: a device that will recharge a laptop as well as any other 5V to 24V gadget, from an iPhone, iPad, iPod or BlackBerry to a sat-nav, mobile, digital camera or MP3 player. Mains-powered and supplied with a universal adaptor so you can plug it in anywhere, it gives two to five hours extra time on a laptop and up to 20 hours on other devices. Robust and tested in Afghanistan, it can withstand high temperatures, too. Dh839 from Ashleyllc in Dubai (www.ashleyllc.com; 04 397 7611).
FreeLoader Pro portable solar charger
The eco alternative: a nifty and economic little gadget that pulls open to reveal two little solar panels. After soaking up the sun for a couple of hours, it can power an iPod for 18 hours and a mobile for 44 hours. Unused, it will remain charged for three months. It can also recharge rechargeable batteries (and then use them to charge devices if the sun is refusing to shine). If necessary, you can recharge it via a USB port or mains supply. £69.99 (Dh415) plus £7.50 (Dh45) p&p from Firefox (www.firefox.com; 00 44 844 922 1010).
Proporta USB Turbocharger 3400 World Pack
This light and neat little device - smaller than a pack of cards - is first itself charged (via a cable supplied) from a car lighter, USB port or mains supply socket (plug adaptors are included so that means accessible mains anywhere in the world). Once charged, you simply plug one of the connector heads supplied into your iPod, iPhone, BlackBerry, mobile, digital camera or MP3 player. £34.95 (Dh207) plus £2.50 (Dh15) p&p from Proporta in England (www.proporta.com).