BEST SOLAR GADGETS FOR CAMPING
The modern outdoors enthusiasts and bush walkers are a different creature to the enthusiasts of old. With the introduction of solar power, being off the mains grid no longer means that you are without electricity. The sun allows you to bring your creature comforts no matter how remote your camp site is. Here are some solar gadgets that are guaranteed to make your camping experience easier.
Featuring a fold-up solar panel capable of charging your mobile, GPS unit, or iPod, the solar charger is the benchmark for solar gadgets. The larger sizes of around 24 watts can charge 3 devices at once and provide a solar panel efficiency of around 24%. They are totally waterproof and have a life of around 20 years, so you won’t have to replace it any time soon. They are also fairly modestly priced. A small 16-watt solar charger should set you back around 40 bucks.
SOLAR SHOWER BAG
Solar shower bags provide naturally heated water for your morning shower. The days of braving cold campsite showers, hopping from foot to foot, getting yourself psyched up to put your head under the flow of icy water are over. With just a couple of hours’ exposure to the sun, the water can be at a pleasant showering temperature. It also couldn’t be simpler, you just have to fill it with water and hang it in direct sunlight. The sun does the rest. They are incredibly affordable, with most prices starting at around 10 bucks.
A solar cooker harnesses UV light and converts it to infrared light which heats up food and liquid. It doesn’t depend on the outside temperature to cook the food, just the UV rays. So, it even works in low outside temperatures. They typically come in three designs, a small metallic box, a parabolic design or a fold out solar panel design. It takes a few hours to cook the food through, but won’t need you to constantly be paying attention, so you can leave it for the afternoon. They can be a little on the expensive side, with the best solar cookers going for several hundred dollars.
SOLAR CAR BATTERY CHARGER
The car battery charger provides a trickle charge to keep your car or caravan battery charged. This probably won’t be able to bring a battery back from the dead, but it can keep a battery fully charged. You plug it into the cigarette lighter socket and it can be used to charge any 12V device. These have a really long life, with many lasting around 25 years and can be picked up moderately cheaply. Prices range from between $20-100.
SOLAR LED LAMP
This makes the perfect eco friendly campsite lamp. They soak up the sun’s rays throughout the day and provide a source of light once the sun goes down. These are perfect for illuminating the campsite, or for doing some night fishing. They can also be positions a few meters away from the campsite for drawing away insects. They are incredibly energy efficient and have a long life since batteries are not required. They can be picked up for as little as $10.
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