I spent three days camping and hiking in the mountains of Utah last week and used my iPhone to snap the above photo while slightly downhill from the summit of Mount Timpanogos, which has an elevation of 11,749 feet. In preparation for this trip, I researched for a sustainable, backpacker-worthy solution to keeping my iPhone powered in order to take photos, jot notes, listen to music, and maybe communicate with family when presented with an available signal. I don’t have an iPad, but this solution works for both iPhones and iPads, either one. Here’s what you need:
#1: Instapark 10-watt Portable Solar Charger
Price: ~$70 on Amazon.
This foldable, 10-watt package has a pocket with the USB charging ports to keep your gadgets unexposed while the panels harvest energy from the sun. I received a defective version, and the manufacturer immediately replaced the product.
#2: Anker Astro2 Dual-USB 8400 mAh Battery Pack
Price: ~$55 on Amazon.
A battery pack gives you the ability to store power to charge your iPhone even when there’s no available sun. I powered the Astro2 with my solar panels and got several phone charges out of this little workhorse.
#3: Nite Ize Gear Ties 6-Inch
Price: ~$6 (2-Pack) on Amazon.
Nite Ize makes colorful gear ties that can be used to strap solar panels to your backpack, tent, or anything else. With two sets of these ties, you can strap the solar panels to the top and bottom of your backpack and bank solar power all day.
What do you use to keep powered while in the middle of nature?