Completely “roughing it” in the outdoors might become something of a thing of the past, if you choose to use solar camping gear during a trip.
It is a proven fact that sunlight contains around 1,000 watts of power per square meter. If you can harness that energy, your life can be made a lot easier – without the need of bringing extra weight to fuel your electrical or electronic devices. During camping trips, you normally want to bring only the essential items. Too much additional weight can be quite a burden to you.
The free energy of the sun can be used in several items. You might use one or two solar-powered devices, or your campsite can be surrounded with solar camping gear.
These items are often lightweight, and portable enough to be carried. These include radios, camp lanterns, flashlights, and AM/FM radios. The gadgets have their own photovoltaic cells, which gather energy from the sun.
For devices which don’t have their own solar cells, you can use a separate solar charger to power the device.
What is a Photovoltaic Cell?
A photovoltaic cell is made up of a nonconductor, with one side coated with metal atoms that produce electrons when they are exposed to the sun. The other side of the PV cell is coated with negative electron atoms. If you connect a wires, from each side of the cell, to a device, current will flow when the positive side is exposed to sunlight.
The downside of using a photovoltaic cell is that it can be less efficient than other types of power. A small solar panel can can only power equipment which doesn’t require a lot of power. What’s more, when you’re outdoors, you can’t always expect the weather to cooperate with you.
Chances are, you’ll experience bad days when the sun barely peeks out of the clouds. At times like these you’re solar-powered gadgets will not work. This is the reason why majority of these solar-powered camping gear feature additional energy sources, such as batteries, hand crank dynamos, or the option to charge them from a wall socket when available. There are even solar chargers that can recharge your AA batteries, so that you can later use them to run your small electronics.
Some people enjoy camping in RVs. Solar power can be used to charge the RV’s batteries. Photovoltaic cells can be discreetly placed on the dashboard.
There are people who like to take hot baths, even in the wild. A solar shower can be used for this task.
Or, by using a solar cooker, you can have hot meals without risking a forest fire.
As you can see, solar camping gear can make your outdoor life a bit easier and help you to enjoy nature even more – without doing additional damage to the environment you are camping in.
Anna Williams is a webmaster and a blogger who lives in a forest area of the Pacific Northwest, and helps others undestand the benefits of solar power, and how it can be utilized to save money and live a cleaner life.
Source Article: Basic Solar Camping Gear