Backpacking trips are an excellent way to get outdoors and appreciate everything Mother Nature offers. When you go on your trip, you’ll need to bring useful items with you. If you’re thinking about sustainability, here are the six best solar-powered items you can get for your next backpacking trip.
1. Weather Radio
As great as nature can be, it can also be unpredictable. When you’re in the woods, the last thing you want to do is get caught up in a storm or be unaware of an event happening in your area. Weather radio has been around since the 1950s, thanks to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Nowadays, you can get a solar-powered radio, giving you access to weather information whenever you need it. These devices can access AM and FM signals and NOAA’s 24/7 weather broadcast. So, when you’re not using it for the weather, the radio can serve other purposes like playing music.
2. Charging Bank
Typically, backpacking trips mean embracing the outdoors and leaving the tech gadgets at home. But, in today’s world, it’s difficult to leave electronics behind, especially for your safety. Devices like your phone can be your best friend in an emergency. You’ll need a way to keep them charged if you’re going to be away for multiple days at a time.
One solution to charge your phone is using a solar panel bank. These banks act as wireless charging ports and most are compatible with Apple and Android devices. All you need to do is let it charge during the day by unfolding it. When you need a charge, use an appropriate cable for your phone to hook up to the bank.
One thing to consider about solar-powered devices is where you put them and where you use them. High temperatures can affect the efficiency of solar cells. Hotter air can reduce the output of solar batteries and make them less efficient. If your trip is in a hot climate, be careful when selecting a solar gadget.
3. Lights and Lanterns
Lanterns are essential for the outdoors. The only natural light you get is from the sun, so when darkness comes, you need ways to help you see. Solar-powered lanterns can be a terrific tool for your next backpacking trip.
In general, solar-powered lights are much better than their incandescent counterparts. They’re low maintenance because you only need to change the batteries once every few years, depending on the lantern you get. Many lanterns provide 10 or more hours of light, ensuring you have enough illumination to get through the night. A significant benefit of solar lights is they’ll work almost anywhere in the United States.
Music is an excellent way to fill the air while hanging around the campfire. Making smores to the sounds of John Denver, The Eagles and more can bring nostalgia. A solar-powered speaker is the best way to keep the music going all night.
These devices come in handy because they don’t require any plug-ins. Most speakers these days have Bluetooth capabilities, so you can easily play your campfire playlist from your smartphone. Many are also water resistant and can act as a charging hub for your phone or other devices.
5. Shower Bag
If you’re at a campground, there may be some showers you can access. But, when you’re in the middle of the woods, the closest shower could be tens upon hundreds of miles away. A convenient option to use is a solar-powered shower bag for camping.
These bags heat water with no plug-ins required and their temperature gauge will show when the water is ready to use. Hang the bag to where it is above your head and the nozzle will disperse water. Some of these bags have extra space designated for soap and shampoo. If you need to clean, these shower bags can come in handy when you’re deep in the woods with no bathroom in sight.
Smartwatches have become a staple for people who love the outdoors, fitness or both. Now, you can add solar-powered smartwatches to your list of backpacking essentials. These gadgets connect you to technology without making you feel like you’re relying on it.
This Internet of Things device has many benefits you can use on a backpacking trip. While walking, you can track various health statistics for your body, such as heart rate, blood pressure and step count. The global positioning system feature will help you stay on track while hiking. These solar-powered smartwatches have a long battery life, so your watch should last the whole trip.
Solar Gear for Your Backpacking Trip
Backpacking trips are a fantastic experience for those who want to get into nature and leave the world behind, but being off the grid doesn’t mean you have to cut off technology completely. Check out these six solar-powered gadgets for your next outdoor adventure. These solar devices benefit the environment and your wallet.