Sun recharges your favorite e-gadgets
by Sarah (Steve) Mosko
- E-Magazine Blog as “Camping with Gadgets,” 13 Aug 2012
- Vall-E-Vents Sierra Club Newsletter, June 2011
- Fullerton Observer, Aug 2010, p. 10
- Surf City Voice, 21 July 2010
Does the prospect of spending a weekend away from your favorite e-gadgets (cell phone, laptop, iPod or PDA) stir up separation anxiety? Around our house we’ve dubbed this e-angst, and it can kill enthusiasm for an otherwise welcome family camping vacation.
For teens or adults similarly infected with e-angst, a diversity of devices are on the market which let you bring your e-gadgets along with you camping and also trim your carbon footprint because they utilize only sunshine for power.
An assortment of portable solar-powered chargers is available that adapt to virtually any handheld electronic appliance including digital cameras and GPS units. Most rely on photovoltaic silicon cell technology akin to what is used on rooftop solar panels. Many are small enough to fit in a back pocket or certainly a glove box so can travel with you virtually anywhere. The cost is as little as $15 on up to $150 depending on the capacity. Because rechargeable batteries are incorporated, gadgets can be recharged even after the sun goes down. Small electronics generally charge in 2-4 hours.