Solar Power

A critical need for modern camping expeditions


With today's recharable cameras, ipods, and gizmos, low wattage power is becomming critical. Bringing extra double A batteries is not enough. After lots of reasearch and testing, we came upon a system that worked relatively well. It's not perfect, but it did the job.
By Day - Plug in a solar panel into a small car battery jump starter. I removed the jumper cable connectors to shrink the unit. Then place the battery and other components in a waterproof day bag. Ideally use a white dry bag because heat is not your friend here. Use small bungies to secure the solar panel over your gear and burry the battery bag in with your other gear.
Make sure you have a 12 volt battery tester with you to check the voltage coming from the panel or battery.

The Sunlinq 12 watt solar panel worked great! It's sturdy, waterproof, and did the job. I would not recommend getting anything of lower wattage. It took a full day to fully recharge our battery if we drained it.

By night - plug in a 120 volt inverter to charge toys. This unit also had a USB port which was great bonus. We also took a small 12 volt pump for air mattresses. What a treat that was!