Maybe it's a GPS, maybe it's an iPhone (since smartphones can replace GPS devices now), maybe it's a GoPro camera, maybe it's an MP3 player, maybe it's a walkie-talkie, etc. No matter what you carry, each of these gadgets will eventually loose their battery power.
A mountain chalet that receives guests may have a power generator, on which you can learn more at GeneratorAid.com, but as a hard core mountaineer, I rarely check into touristic chalets. I prefer a snow pit, a bivy tent or an alpine shelter. However I still enjoy electric energy if I can have it.
So what do you do you do when you're powerless?
You take charge!
How? With a portable solar panel by Goal Zero.
Nomad 7 is an ultra compact solar panel that will power all your gadgets
Small, light, versatile and incredibly useful. That's how I would describe the Nomad 7 camping solar panel.
Think about having the independence of roaming the wild as much as you want, without worrying that you'll run out of power! Indeed, this small folding solar panel brings power to you. Anywhere.
It doesn't have to be sunny. As long as you have daylight, you have power.
Now, if you're environmental friendly, you can use the Nomad 7 to charge small portable electronic devices even when you're at home. I definitely do that with the Nomad and with the larger solar kits (GoalZero is a generous company and the people working there are very friendly).
I love to read at night using the flood light from Estrella and I also love to have it in those cliff jumping trips where we drink beer and eat sunflower seeds in the evenings - either in a cave or simply outside, without a tent. It's a good source of light to share it with the rest of the camp as well, especially when cooking together with your fellow climbers or mountaineers.
You get three cables with the panel:
- A universal USB cable (small plug at one end, regular plug at the other end)
- A car-like plug - if you have car adapter cables for your portables you can use them with this plug
- A cable with thin plugs at the end for the Guide 10 outlet
Let's get technical (like I know what I'm talking about...)
The panels themselves use mono crystalline solar technology and the Volts and Watts are as follows:
- USB output: 5V (5 Watt max)
- 12V output: 13-15V (4 Watt max)
- Guide 10 output: 6-6.5V (7 Watt max)
It takes about 5 hours, exposing the panel in a bright sunny autumn day, to charge your GoPro HD camera from empty to full. This is amazing in my opinion! It's only double the time that it normally takes to charge it at your computer through an USB connection. In this case though, you get free energy from the sun! :-)
The charging time of any gadget can vary depending on the power of the sun (winter vs summer), the angle at which the sun beams hit the panel (try to maintain a 90 degree angle if you can) and the clearness of the air. The higher you go on the mountain, the clearer the air, the brighter the sun.
You'll love the fact that your items are being charged while you walk. Strap the lower part of the panel with the waist belt of your backpack for a firm and compact setup.
The Sony HX9V is also compatible with this solar panel. However, for larger cameras (DSLRs for instance) that take longer to charge, carry an extra battery and a charger so you can actually shoot with the camera while the spare battery is being charged.
Where to buy your own Nomad 7
Apart from their website, you can also get your portable solar panel at these online retailers:
A smart thing to carry in the field, not only for leisure but also for work (if your work involves small electronics or gadgets).
Can be easily tucked in your backpack, between your clothes. It's light. Can be carried on the backpack. It's just neat!
I also think it can be a life saver in survival situations: charging that GPS or phone so you can find your way back, making that call to the rescue service because you were able to charge the walkie-talkie, etc.
I would definitely buy one (I got it as a sponsorship).
If your friend's birthday is approaching, this could make a great gift. I'm just sayin'...
Take charge and be safe outdoors. Cheers!
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