One thing that I find to be a must-have while in the wilderness is music. I know “How is that really roughing it”… but damn it people, I enjoy a little Phoenix while grilling steaks and potatoes over the campfire. And at night, after a long day, a softly played Broken Bells amongst friends and a few beers really sends you into the land of the relaxing abyss. However, what do you do if while traipsing through natures bounty you burn through your battery to the beats of B.o.B.? Plug it into your car? I suppose that’s an option… but now you risk draining your car battery and never getting home to that nice long hot shower. Well… of course we have the answer!
The Solaris 6 ($208) foldable solar panel charger. I’m not kidding, this sick piece of equipment is not only capable of charging your iPod (certain models only… worked fine on my iPod 4g, but wasn’t compatible with the iPod Touch 3rd gen… however newer models of the Solaris may fix this problem), but also has several different adaptors for charging a wide variety of things. The owner manual calls out specs for charging “AA” batteries, digital cameras, PDA’s, MP3 players, Portable games, Digital camcorders and even supports trickle charging for RV’s, Cars & Marine batteries. All of the above items, except for the trickle charge, all show a 2-4hr run/charge time… which when out in Nature goes by very quickly. With the huge variety of connection options the opportunities really are endless with what the Solaris can do. To top it all off it folds down into a nice compact shape and slips into the included bag easily. I tucked it in right next to my chonies and hardly even noticed it was there. Worthy investment if you ask me. Hell, you can even use it in your back yard if you just don’t have anywhere to plug in.