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Thread: Backpackable Solar Panels...

  1. #1
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    Default Backpackable Solar Panels...

    anyone buy any before? & If so, how were they? I just bought a tent & wanna go backpackin' for some pics & what not, & would like to know if solar panels would be a smart buy, for recharging small photo batteries, & iPods, & what not...

    Thanks

    Marv

  2. #2
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    I have the solio and have used it successfully. You buy the charger then buy the appropriate tip for whatever you are charging. I charge mine before I take the trip and am able to put in a full charge over night.

    It does take a while to charge it up while on the trail, but usually enough to keep what you need going.

    Only problem I had was with one tip for my cellphone that quit working.

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    Generally buying more batteries is a cheaper and smaller option than buying a solar charger. Also, if the weather doesn't cooperate (and when can you ever count on it cooperating in Alaska?) a solar charger is pretty much worthless unless you buy a large and expensive one that can still put out enough power under overcast skies.

    For low cost camera batteries I go to eBay and find any seller operating out of Honk Kong. Usually in two weeks you're all set to go for under $10 apiece.

    Of course, this does nothing for Apple products. Which is another reason not to buy them. But there are AA battery powered chargers for iPods and iPhones, so a slightly cumbersome workaround is possible.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    IIRC, BRWNBR has experience with these...shoot him a PM or maybe he'll see this thread...

  6. #6
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    I know that you can't charge an ipod via just any old power source. It has to be a microprocessor controlled powersource that the ipod will recognize and allow the unit to take a charge from it. If the particular solar panel doesn't specifically state that it will work with an ipod, then it most likely will not.

    The flexible/packable solar panels that will charge regular batteries (AAA & AA sizes) do work and they work fairly well. You can use it in Alaska weather just fine. They don't need "nice" weather or sun. They work just as well in overcast or even rainy conditions, plus we have daylight in Alaska for 20+ hours a day. You can put your batteries in the charger back in camp at 7pm and have fully charged batteries waiting when you get up in the morning. The unit I'm familiar with will charge a couple AA cells. That will keep your GPSr going and if you buy a camera that takes standard batteries, it will keep that running also. One of the key points I looked for when buying my digital camera was that it runs on standard AA batteries the same as my GPSr. I hate cameras and other devices that use a specialized battery pack of some sort.
    Winter is Coming...

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  7. #7

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    I hunt & fish in all kinds of remote conditions and when it comes to batteries, I keep it simple. Video camera batteries and double AA for everything else. Doesn't run on AA it doesn't go with me. Video camera batteries taken are calculated by the number of days I'll be filming, and the hours of tape I expect to roll off. GPS obviously based on given hours when left on. All camera batteries are labeled and tracked for performance, don't pack an old battery sheep hunting that's only half affective, take new ones tested and proven.
    Alaska Outdoors Television ~ Outdoor Channel

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I'm with you. All my camera gear will take AA's and I only pack lithium batteries for them. The Ipod..well I just leave it at home when I'm camping.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  9. #9
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    Well, TD & Doug, you can REDUCE the amount of batteries you take to the field with RECHARCHABLE batteries... see the SIMPLICITY in it?

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