Taking Tech into Nature using Solar

Taking Tech into Nature using Solar

Taking tech into nature using solar is a great way to leave the stresses of work and everyday living behind as you escape into nature. Taking tech into nature isn’t looked at with an evil side eye anymore but typically as a necessity to camping and hiking. It doesn’t matter if you are doing a weekend car camping trip or out on a full-week hiking expedition in the backwoods of Yosemite, it is hard to leave technology behind. We need to keep our phones charged in case of an emergency, lights to see when it gets dark out, and also to help us cook if we haven’t mastered campfire cooking quite yet.

The most often piece of tech taken out into nature is the cell phone and it is a good idea to bring along a couple external USB battery chargers. Ideally, don’t go smaller than 3000mAh as that gives you a full day’s charge. Invest in a solar power mat and charge it up during the day so you can then charge all of your devices at night in the comfort of your tent.

If you are hiking into a basecamp or not in an away where there is available light, think about getting a solar powered lantern that also has a turn crank on it. The batteries last a long time and it can be charged by the sun, and in extreme circumstances you can crank it to produce light. High-powered LED lanterns now come as small as 3” and can be powered by the sun.

Anytime you are going camping and they don’t have electrical plugins at the campsite, bring your own. Portable battery chargers are about the size of a car battery and have many functions to them. They can not only power everything from a laptop to a blender, but some models come with battery cables to jump your car if needed. They can be charged by plugging into a wall socket or even your car as you drive to your next destination. Some of the newer portable battery chargers are also solar powered and are starting to come very compact and lighter. The original models were pretty large and quite heavy! Don’t forget to buy the solar generator kit that will not only charge up your battery charger but also have the ability to power up a refrigerator!

Keeping charged up in nature is no longer a difficult task and can be done with a few key items and so many now are solar-powered. Don’t just go for the least expensive model either, most of these are meant to last for many years and is one of those items that when you need it out camping or hiking, you really need it. Solar powered devices make taking tech into nature a breeze!

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Robyn is one of the Travel Moms and also the founder and owner of Celeb Baby Laundry and the Mom to 2-year-old Ava. She was recently named one of 2013's most Influential Moms In Canada.

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38 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Pamela March 5, 2014 at 11:04 am - Reply

    This sounds really cool, would love to try it!

  2. DD March 5, 2014 at 11:20 am - Reply

    This sounds really interesting. Wow, I guess I never knew about this.

  3. BusyBee March 5, 2014 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    There are a few companies that do solar panels on back packs so you can charge a cell phone. Great for emergencies

  4. Stephanie Mayo March 5, 2014 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    Great piece! I’ve been thinking of doing more hiking lately but, of course, have been thinking of looking into solar to charge my things. Do they really work well?

  5. Nikki March 5, 2014 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    I have used those back packs with solar panels on them they are just amazing.

  6. Janelle March 6, 2014 at 1:10 am - Reply

    I’m surprised it took this long to come up with the idea. Genius

  7. Allie March 6, 2014 at 1:12 am - Reply

    Sounds perfect for my future RV living. I would love to have these.

  8. DD March 6, 2014 at 11:52 am - Reply

    That would be a great thing for an emergency. I agree Busybee!

  9. Robin (Masshole Mommy) March 6, 2014 at 6:10 pm - Reply

    I don’t do any kind of outdoor living. I won’t even camp. All my friends think I am weird, but I will definitley tell them about this :)

  10. amanda ripsam March 6, 2014 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    I would love to try a solar generator kit when we do our yearly camping trip.

  11. Tough cookie mommy March 6, 2014 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    It’s amazing to me that with all the solar technology, how much energy continues to be wasted by humans.

  12. MK March 6, 2014 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    I love the idea of using solar energy, I keep meaning to get one of those cell phone chargers that relies on the sun!

  13. Mandy@ TheHouseholdHero.com March 7, 2014 at 12:11 am - Reply

    How cool is that! I don’t need one but if I did any outdoor living, I would want it.

  14. Jennifer Williams March 7, 2014 at 12:12 am - Reply

    I love all the products that have come out to allow us to take our technology with us. I love going hiking with my kids but I want to know that my cell phone will work if I need it to.

  15. Erica March 7, 2014 at 8:06 am - Reply

    I have a portable phone charger but haven’t used it yet. I’m planning on using it when I attend a conference this June. I haven’t gone camping in a long time, maybe 7 years! It’s on our to do list for this summer though!

  16. Scott March 7, 2014 at 8:49 am - Reply

    Good idea. When we camp we leave the cell phones off and away from us so we’re not tempted to use them. This would be good in case of an emergency.

  17. Britney March 7, 2014 at 10:55 am - Reply

    This is interesting! I’m excited to go camping this year and will have to use some of these ideas! Thanks for posting!

  18. Amber Nelson March 7, 2014 at 11:57 am - Reply

    That looks very interesting. Definitely something I haven’t thought about.

  19. Beth March 7, 2014 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Great ideas! I live in an area where a lot of people use solar power for just about everything. It’s nice to have options!

  20. Melanie March 7, 2014 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Solar power can be used for just about anything these days. That’s great!

  21. Kristen March 7, 2014 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    I am planning on passing this along. I have a a friend who goes on 3-6 month hikes alone.

  22. Rosey March 7, 2014 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    This makes camping so much nicer. Well, for me anyway. :) I know the guys still like to ‘rough it’ though they do like their phones charged too. ;)

  23. Amy March 7, 2014 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    Such great ideas for camping. I like the portable battery charger idea – especially if we can find one that has the cables to jump a car. Getting stuck with a dead battery while camping is no fun

  24. Ashley Gill March 7, 2014 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    I’m not one to go camping, but if I do, I so need one of these! Can’t imagine what I’d do without my phone out there..

  25. Pam March 7, 2014 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    A solar charger for cell phones would also be great for an emergency kit! They make so many great solar things now.

  26. Triplezmom March 7, 2014 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    I want to get one of these before we go camping next summer. And for when the power goes out!

  27. Pam March 7, 2014 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    I don’t go camping too often anymore but these are great tips for going on any type of vacation. You can find yourself stranded just about any place now days and could be in need of these devices.

  28. Amanda Love March 8, 2014 at 5:23 am - Reply

    I don’t really do outdoors so I don’t have any solar anything. I do think it’s a great idea though to have something like that.

  29. melanie March 8, 2014 at 10:35 am - Reply

    We are planning on going camping this summer, my husband loves the outdoors. It will be the first time taking our girls. :)

  30. Tess March 8, 2014 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    Solar power is used for so many things these days. We dont go camping anymore but it was fun when we did.

  31. BabsProjects March 8, 2014 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    I don’t like camping. I cannot imagine living outside. But, you have some great tips and I am pretty sure it will be helpful to regular campers.

  32. Nikki March 8, 2014 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    That is so cool! I love solar energy. I wish I had the money to convert my whole house to it.

  33. valmg @ Mom Knows It All March 8, 2014 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    I haven’t tried a solar powered phone charger yet. It’s a great idea though.

  34. Shiny March 9, 2014 at 9:00 am - Reply

    I can think more positively about camping with powered things in the mix.

  35. Eliz Frank March 9, 2014 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    So fascinating! As I learn more and more about solar energy, it impresses me.

  36. Erin March 9, 2014 at 11:36 pm - Reply

    Wow, what a cool idea. I can see these becoming an integrated part of lots of gear in the future.

  37. Kristen from The Road to Domestication March 10, 2014 at 7:18 am - Reply

    Great post! I know that energy efficient home improvements are a big tax write-off…I wonder if solar things are, too?

  38. Aisha Kristine Chong March 10, 2014 at 8:06 am - Reply

    Wow, so astonishing. These ideas are great. Love to try it some day.

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