Camping & Survival

Salt and Water to Recharge Batteries: G-MAG Salt Water Battery Charger

Two common items found in abundance in your home can be used to charge rechargeable batteries. Unlike solar power panels, the G-MAG salt-water battery charger will work in the dark, when it is overcast and in bad weather. Using typical table salt and tap water, you can create an electrical current powerful enough to charge six AA batteries in just two hours.

This fuel cell battery charger from Greeninvative Magic may initially sound like it works magically from unicorn sprinkles, but it actually uses a simple chemical reaction to create an electrical current. Without getting into the particulars, a fuel cell converts chemical energy into electricity. In this case, salt water, magnesium and oxygen are used to create the current. To create an electrical current, the fuel cell must have an anode (negative), a cathode (positive), and an electrolyte. Magnesium is the anode, oxygen the cathode and salt water is the electrolyte. These fuel cells are non-hazardous, friendly to the environment and do not produce any harmful bi-products.

The “magnesium-air fuel technology” works using the included salt package, sea water, table salt, and even urine. However, the salt water eats the magnesium anode, so the G-MAG salt-water battery charger will charge batteries about 15 times. The included six AA batteries stay good despite the actual charger wearing out. You can simply purchase another new G-MAG salt-water battery charger or a standard battery charger for rechargeable batteries.

Perfect for campers, hunters, hikers or during natural disasters, the G-MAG salt-water battery charger is about the size of two cell phones and weighs only five ounces without batteries. It will easily fit into the pocket of your bug-out bag, backpack or in your survival gear storage. If kept dry, the salt-water battery charger has an unlimited shelf life. Cheaper than stocking up on tons of batteries for your flashlight, emergency radio and other necessary electronics, the G-MAG salt water battery charger comes with the plastic charger, six rechargeable AA batteries, one 4-ounce water bottle, six salt packets and instructions.

Charging times vary per how many batteries you need charged and how much juice is left in each battery. Two AA batteries takes 40 minutes, four AA batteries takes 80 minutes and six will take two hours. Completely dead batteries may take up to five hours for a full recharge and will reduce the amount of times the salt-water battery will charge. It will charge any NiMh or NiCD rechargeable batteries.

Instructions for Use

  1. Place as many batteries as needed to charge into the battery holders as shown.
  2. Add one 1.5 teaspoon of salt, or one salt packet (included) into the included water bottle.
  3. Fill the water bottle with tap water until the fill line.
  4. Shake up the salt and tap water for a few seconds.
  5. Remove the top filler plug on the G-MAG unit and pour in the entire mixture of water and salt.
  6. Replace the top filler plug.
  7. Once charged, drain the water from the side drain plug.
  8. Flush with fresh water.

While the batteries are charging, make sure all the vents on the unit are clear of obstructions.

The G-MAG salt-water battery charges the equivalent of 90 AA batteries. If space is an issue, you have budget concerns or worried about the shelf life of typical batteries, the G-MAG salt-water battery charger guarantees electric power when you need it.

Have you ever had to use the G-MAG salt-water battery charger? Tell us about it in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (5)

  1. Brad,
    There are 4 AA battery holders available that will take the 5 Volts developed by 4 AA Batteries and charge through a USB output in the side of the case. iPhones may be problematic, but Samsung and others can charged and charged again by using batteries charged by the GMAG Powered charger.

  2. Peteyraymond, I have used these chargers over and over again for the last 2 years and they work as advertised. AA Batteries will power their associated device until the Voltage reaches about 80% of the fully charged voltage. (Full charge is about 1.3 Volts for a rechargeable AA Battery) That time of useful service varies depending on the total capacity of the battery in milli amp hours (mah) marked on the side of the battery. A 2300 mah battery will last longer than a 1400 mah battery and 1400 mah battery will last longer than an 800 mah battery. A brand X 1400 mah battery will last just as long as a brand name battery of the same capacity. The unit will charge 6 mah batteries about 15 times. If they are charged before they reach 80% of fully charged voltage, the unit will charge more times – may be 16 or 17. If 800 mah batteries are being used, the unit will charge them 20 to 22 times. It all depends on the capacity of the battery. In general, the unit will charge 1400 mah batteries 15-17 times. The unit charges 6 batteries 15 times and is the equivalent of 90 batteries. Even at 50 cents each, it would cost $45 to buy 90 batteries.

  3. So when are they going to make this to recharge cell phones? Sounds great as a utility backwoods battery charger, but the added ability to recharge cell phones would make it complete for the camper, hiker, and hunter as ell as for emergency power outages.

  4. Sounds good, and at 20 bucks, seems worth it.

    By the way, it’s “inclement” weather, not “incremental” weather!

    Thanks for the tip!

  5. Sounds interesting, but I’d like to hear what an organization like Consumer Reports has to say about it. I’m not a scientist, but I have a number of questions about it. How many hours do the batteries last? How do they compare to, say, Eveready Energizer batteries? The ad says the charger will last “about” 15 times before charger depletion. That means it may not last that long. The salt water charger costs $20, which isn’t too bad. But you can buy a lot of good batteries at Walmart for $20. I’d like to hear the thoughts of someone who’s used the charger for an extended period of time.

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