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Solar Camping

When I take the kids camping we depend on certain modern conveniences.
  • fan when it's hot
  • iPad when their bored
  • LED lights at night to see in the tent and prevent our friends from tripping over our guy lines
  • headlamps or flashlights for getting around
  • 6VDC rechargeable pump for the air mattresses
Many of my peers rely on 120 and long extension cords, However, at some of our locations these resources are limited and from time to time the host vendor will unplug us. At least two peers have CPAP machines and they need the battery option to make it through the night.

Battery power has many challenges especially in large groups including kids. It's not like you can plug-in to any socket and expect to find it there when you return. During a recent trip a kid reached into my car's open hatch and to a friend said she was going to "steal" some bug spray. Steal suggests that she knew the difference between right and wrong. So something similar might happen with rechargeables when I'm not looking. That said I'm not sure what's going to happen with a solar setup.

Solar panels seem to be veiled in voodoo. There is no clear explanation on how to compare one with the other. Not just brand quality and functionality but what it means and how they compare. The Anker brand seems to charge $150 and the big blue $60. The wattage, voltage, and connectors vary.

I'm not sure there is a good solution for hiking. Clearly having a quick charge for town visits makes sense but solar is a huge question.


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