We are entering a new era of energy sources and consumption, where people are beginning to consider their options when it comes to power and fuel. One of the best ways this has influenced the outdoor industry is by the popularization of solar-powered gadgets that can enhance any hiker, backpacker, camper, or traveler’s experience simply by enjoying the sun. GoalZero is one company that is really turning out the good stuff when it comes to solar technology, so if you’re interested in solarizing your outdoor trips, here are some of our suggestions to help get you started.
While solar power is a concept easy enough for a child to understand, the Extreme 350 Adventure Kit is no kid’s toy. While the price may seem daunting, this solar set is meant to put out some serious power — think festivals, jamborees, weekend camps…you get the idea. Where a generator used to be the go-to source for long-lasting energy, the Extreme 350 is superior in one critical way: its power source is virtually unlimited. GoalZero claims this solar generator can supply power to a 1,200 square foot camp continuously, making it great for base camps or mountain cabins as well. You can charge your devices, run lighting, or whatever your electrical needs may require using 3 sources: the included solar panel, wall charger, or car adapter. This kit is a great investment for avid campers who typically need a lot of energy.
If your power needs are really only limited to a cellphone or mp3 player, the Nomad 7M would be an excellent choice. Lightweight and compact, this folding solar panel features a DC output for 12V devices, as well as a USB port for charging most small electronics. A cellphone will typically charge with the solar panel in 1-2 hours, so provided you have service, you have unlimited battery charge on your phone. There’s an inside pocket where you can safely house your device, and the weather-resistant case will help protect everything inside. This would be a fantastic energy source for backpackers, who often spend long days in the sun, with a simple design to affix it to the outside of the pack!
And for those who are still on the fence about going all-solar, because many small devices are battery-powered, GoalZero gives you a hybrid gadget that still produces no waste: the Guide 10 Plus Mobile Kit. You can still use your battery-powered devices, but the Guide 10 includes 4 AA rechargeable batteries that are charged by the solar panel, thus completing the energy circle without any lengthy lapses in service. A built-in LED flashlight helps you get around dark places, and an inside pocket keeps your battery pack or devices safe from exposure. The Guide 10 is really a great way to go for those who are interested in harnessing the power of the sun.
Stay tuned for the next article where we show you all the fun solar gadgets that can be powered by these kits!