As we all know, alternative energy is a real concern today. Scientists have indicated that we must try and reduce our carbon footprint on the earth.
One of those ways to improve is by powering our homes with heat from the sun. When converted, the rays can actually produce electricity to light up the house and recharge gadgets.
Millions of gardens and walkways are lit up with sun generated light systems. And they don’t have to be expensive, either, because all the discount stores sell them.
Yet what about when you are away from home? To be honest, it is probably more essential that you find a way to power things. You are not going to find electricity at most campgrounds, especially if you are tenting.
Trailers and RVs may have access, although they usually pay extra. But they certainly don’t allow tent owners to hook up.
So why not bring along something that you can use? It seems the perfect balance between conservation and needing power is to use solar power panels for camping. In reality, if you get something you can carry, you could even use them when you setup camp after a day of hiking, kayaking or backpacking.
There are several types of systems available.
- First of all there are the folding panels, which are not too expensive, but may be very heavy and bulky. But if you are leaving them at the site for the whole season, then they will work fine.
- Second, you can research solar blankets, which are on the more expensive side, but the benefit is they are lightweight and easy to pack. They tend to be good quality and we found that most outdoors enthusiasts that have used them say they are good quality and last forever, meaning your investment can be for a lifetime if you take care of the blankets. The convenience is also a huge selling point. Just drape it over the car or truck and when you are transporting it, pop it under one of the seats in the vehicle.
- Third, fixed panels are another possibility, although you have to be a full time camper, for sure, to warrant the installation and such. You also have to make the right decision in choosing a location. We read that some people have them permanently installed on their vans and other vehicles. Not sure I like the idea of that. But certainly, there are many other configurations that would work for you.
- Fourth, you can think about individual items, such as the garden lights we talked about above. Many kinds of lanterns are available for lighting. Plus, they have portable showers for heating the water, water purifiers, camera chargers, audio speakers, coolers, generators and even portable ovens for cooking on the fly.
- Fifth, one idea that sounds great is the backpack with the full charging system. These are generally in strip form, like the USB chargers.
Since my brother and I like to think we are doing our small part with conservation and keeping things as natural as possible, it does seem logical that solar power panels for camping have a place in the enjoyment of the outdoors.