Tips To Using Solar Power While Traveling or Hiking

Carrying power banks could prove to be a bit heavy when you are hiking or traveling. That’s when the idea of harnessing solar power comes to the rescue. Making use of solar power is not only economical but eco-friendly too.

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If you too are thinking of making the best use out of solar power while traveling or hiking, we got you covered!

The best gadgets to harness solar power while traveling

 The Tag Along Solar Battery with USB port enables you to charge your phone or any device. It operates on an inbuilt Li-Polymer battery like the batteries available in mobile phones. It constantly stocks sunlight to the inbuilt battery when placed in sunlight.

The 3.5Watts foldable detachable solar panel and 2000mAH battery gear from main backpack has an innovative design. Your phone will simply not run out of power day or night.

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Caption : 3.5Watts foldable detachable solar panel

The 22% high effective transfer solar cells in a secure anti scratch hardened covering and sewn into high-wear PVC fabric for weather-resistant exterior durability.

Another notable gadget is the solar/dynamo waterproof LED flashlight equipped for all terrains and situations. It is water-proof, flood-proof, floats on water and constructed of sturdy casing to avoid shock from loose wires.

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Caption : Dynamo waterproof LED flashlight

The flashlight can also be recharged with solar power or by hand crank, so as to never leave you in the dark.

The Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel has a nice, compact size which snugly fits in a backpack and offers a reasonable charge time for most tiny gadgets. It contains a dedicated USB port and 12v port with adaptor cable.

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Caption : Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel

With the panel, you can charge any USB powered gadget such as iPod or GPS or with the Goal Zero Guide 10 kit, 4 AA batteries can be charged for headlamps.

How a solar powered phone charger can help you?

Solar powered phone chargers provide users the freedom and adaptability to use their smartphones and portable mobile devices everywhere without incurring any danger of draining of battery juice. For heavy smartphone and gadget user power management is a major hurdle influencing your ability to operate your smartphone. Smartphone draw hugely on power and need to be frequently recharged to function optimally. Functionality of a smartphone and its power utilization are positively correlated. It requires increased power with additional features. Present day smartphones incorporate cutting-edge technologies to aid them preserve and handle power better.

Apollo 2 is a charger with a smartphone type  battery and a solar panel. If you need slight charge and a small solar recharging power, the Solar-5+ 5000mAh charger made by Creative Edge is very useful for outdoor and is water and dust resistant.

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Caption : Apollo 2 charger

Equally reliable and portable is the SunFerno Flintstone that is custom made for hikers and outdoor lovers. The Goal Zero, 2 Port 21 W Anker and the Instapark Mercury 10 can hold your phone, additional battery pack and USB charging cable.

To charge a phone what you require is a lightweight gadget with a USB port. However, for charging many and bigger devices such as laptop it is necessary to choose a versatile device. The Goal Zero Venture 30 battery charges your high energy gadgets in a powerful manner. Both USB ports will emti 2.4 A simultaneously.
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Caption : Goal Zero Venture 30

The Powertraveller Solarmonkey Adventurer is 2-panel chargers that is weatherproof and has a “daisy-chain” feature that make it easy to charge your appliances while the internal battery is getting charged through the solar panels.

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Caption : Powertraveller Solarmonkey Adventurer

It is able to charge iPad and iPhones. The Brunton Power Essentials Kit which is not light and lesser versatile, but is reliable for low performance grades.

How a solar panel can help you while traveling?

Solar panels create voltage quite smoothly and that also under minimum light conditions. Some of the ratings given may not correspond to the real power output because when the manufacturer’s rate panels they put more importance on flash testing. Testing devices estimate the voltage generated by the cells and after that the watt rating is evaluated by multiplying it by current or the amperage. If there is over estimation of the amperage, than the general rating will be misleading. The panel may generate huge voltage to make your phone charge, but it may have have ample current for it because of the tiny size if the unit and the panel’s efficiency. Thus, it is very convenient for manufacturers to make people believe based on their testing process that 8 watts are being produced by the solar panel when actually it does not produce that much.

 The Instapark Mercury 10M18U containing battery is a portable solar panel with 2 USB ports and is a wonderful option for charging your mobile or small electronic gadgets.

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Caption : Mercury 10M18U

When it is integrated with an external battery you get a smartphone and tablet charging storehouse.

Various latest solar panels contain a USB connector, while others come packed with adapters, alligator clips, charging lights, extension wires or carabiners. It is not easy to say what accessories are paired with a panel or which have to be bought exclusively or the exact connection for a panel. This becomes a hassle while attempting to charge older cameras specially the ones that cannot be charged through USB. So, always make certain that you know the accessories required and the exact ones that accompany your panel.

Many people like to use the mono and multicrystalline technique compared to the thin-film design as they are more efficient and provides rigid surface treatment to the cells and do not delaminate with the passage of time. The polycrystalline panels are not so pure and are less efficient. The monocrystalline panel is becoming the industry grade due to its superior quality and it saves weight and quickly charges at camp.

Always figure out the panel size and type of system you need for charging your phone. Find out the number of appliances for charging and then compute the required wattage for charging them. If it’s half cloudy or the panels are extremely dusty in that case you may actually require double the wattage. You should also consider the days you have to rely on the charger and the “days of autonomy” in off-grid mechanism where you have to continue for days with no sun input.

Author Bio: Wanda Greaves is the co-founder of BatteryChargersExpert.com – a website that helps people to find, use and do anything with their batteries, chargers or related electricity devices.