Solar Powered Devices To Keep You Connected Outdoors
If you’re preparing to go for a multiple day hike in some far off destination or you need to keep your electronic gadgets charged as part of your bug out plans, then you have some nifty options to choose from if you want to stay connected with the help of your mobile device. There are a load of solar-powered devices out there that could help you do this and we’ll be looking at some of them in this article. Let’s start with the most basic and look at two of your options with solar chargers for your mobile device.
Powertraveller Solarmonkey Adventurer
Powertraveller specializes in solar powered charging options for mobile devices. One of its products is the Solarmonkey Adventurer portable solar charger ($117 on Amazon.com). The rugged solar charger has an internal 2500 mAh lithium-polymer battery. The storage battery can be charged in just 12 hours in optimum light conditions with the built in solar panels or it can also be recharged through the socket.
Weighing in at just .6 lbs, the Solarmonkey Adventurer is light enough to tack on to your hiking bag or bug out bag so that you can juice up your device while you’re already out in the sun. The Solarmonkey Adventurer has a USB with a 5v output so it can charge mobile phones such as the Apple iPhone and Android smartphones. It can also charge 5v gadgets such as portable games consoles, e-readers and more importantly for you, your handheld GPS system.
Another option for charging your mobile device outdoors is the JOOS Orange ($149). Its maker claim that it can capture up to 20 times more energy than comparable solar chargers and unlike the Solarmonkey Adventurer, has a larger storage battery with a 5,400 mAh capacity. Like the Solarmonkey Adventurer, the JOOS Orange can charge your mobile gadgets and it even has device adapter tips for LG, Samsung, iPhone and iPad devices.
The drawback to this solar charger is its weight. The JOOS Orange weighs 1.5 lbs and will definitely add some weight to your pack. However, its makers also say that it charges at least 3.5 x faster than its peers.
Earl Backcountry Tablet
If you don’t want to bother with a separate device to charge your gadget, then maybe a device with an integrated solar panel will work for you. The Earl tablet was designed specifically for the outdoors and the Android-powered device has some nifty features for the outdoorsman.
Early backers can preorder the Earl tablet on Kickstarter for $249 which is 30 percent less than its retail price. Earl has a laminated solar panel that charges a 3000 mAh battery which has enough juice in it to run the tablet for 20 hours. The integrated mono crystalline solar cell can charge the battery in just 5 hours in direct sunlight.
The rugged tablet is water, dust, shock and mudproof and has a 6” high visibility E-ink screen that you can also use as an emergency lantern. What’s very useful about the device is its GPS and it can be combined with everytrail.com to give its users access to over 300,000 trails. It also has internal weather sensors and should you need to call for help, it can also function as two-way radio.
Whether you’re planning for your next great outdoor adventure or just getting ready for the next disaster, these are just some of your options that will help you keep you connected while off the grid.
Author bio: G. Castaneda is a freelance writer and solar power enthusiast. When he’s not enjoying the outdoors on his bike or hiking up mountains, he’s updating the world on everything solar at solar power today.