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​4 Solar Gadgets You Need for Your Next Camping Trip

With active crowdfunding campaigns for all kinds of devices, including a solar-powered cooker and water boiler and a solar-powered cooler that can actually create ice, solar-powered camping technology has made big strides in the last few years.

There's just so much battery power you can rely on and so much you can take with you while you're exploring the great outdoors. For campers, hikers, and other nature lovers, solar power is an important and sometimes underutilized resource.

It's also a non-depleting resource. Even in rainy or cloudy weather, the best solar gear will charge as long as there is some daylight available.

For people who fly alone or on longer off-grid journeys, having an infinite source of power is invaluable. If something goes wrong, you'll still have access to a power source so you can see, cook, or call for help.

For backyard parties, picnics, tailgating, or long days at the beach, solar-powered devices may also have a special party trick. With a cooler that ensures cold drinks even on the hottest summer days, you'll make a lot of friends.

Here are a few solar-powered gadgets to pack for your next camping trip.

1. Solar-Powered Battery Pack

When considering a solar power system for your next trip a solar-powered battery should have a spot. They are inexpensive and have a guaranteed lifeline in the event of an emergency.

Battery packs come in a surprising amount of configurations but there are some considerations for choosing the right one for your camping trip. You'll want to strike balance between portability and power. Choose a pack that can handle a large capacity; some go up to 20,000mAh. You'll also want one that is light and packable for your backpacking excursions.

In addition to size and power, what kind of devices will you be attaching to it? Make sure your choice supports the different plug options you will need. You don't want to get to the backwoods just to find out your phone won't plug into your battery pack!

2. Lights

Many old-school campers rely on bulky lanterns to provide light in the backcountry. These devices are heavy and require potentially dangerous fuel to produce light. Enter solar-powered lights. These small devices usually feature LED lights and multiple light level settings to customize your experience.

You can easily glam up your camping experience by using solar-powered fairy lights or hanging LED lanterns. They are light, packable, and never run out of energy!

3. Cooking Gear

While traditional fuel-powered camping stoves will always hold a place in the lexicon of camping gear, alternative ways to cook food in the backcountry are on the rise. There are solar-powered "ovens" on the market now that can reach temperatures of 500 degrees and cook a meal in 20-30 minutes. These stoves can even boil up to 13.5 ounces of water making them a sustainable option for preparing rehydrated meals.

4. Showers

Tired of using baby wipes to keep clean in the woods? Maybe you prefer to go all-natural but your partner may not appreciate it. If you're camping at a campground but if you are in the backwoods, the options are limited. A solar shower is a packable and efficient solution. Using a solar shower might take a little planning because most use a passive solar heating system (the sun warms the water directly). Hence, you'll have to fill the bag and hang it in the sun for a while, but when you're ready, you'll have a nice warm shower to get you clean after a long day of hiking.

There are many other solar-powered gadgets to play with like speakers, generators, and coolers. Next time you are packing for a trip to the woods, either a campground or off-grid, consider taking along some solar-powered options. Not only will it bring peace of mind knowing you won't run out of fuel or power, but you will also be helping conserve natural resources. 

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