Getting far, far away from it all may be a wonderful way to relax and recharge, but going ultra-primitive can be dangerous.
Civilization has its headaches, but it also has emergency workers, easy access to important information, and the safeguards that allow us to live our daily lives without the worry and fear our forebears must have faced every single day.
Fortunately, thanks to advances in alternative power sources and personal electronic devices, we can now enjoy everything nature has to offer without totally giving up our safety nets. Consider the ways in which having a few key devices and a Power Monkey Extreme Solar Charger or similar outfit can make all the difference between a memorable trip and a disaster.
1. Knowing Where You Are
In the backcountry, getting lost is serious. The first step in staying safe is finding and keeping your bearings. Fortunately, GPS technology makes this a relatively trivial matter in most locations. Still, if your GPS unexpectedly runs out of juice, you might suddenly find yourself in a world of trouble—unless you have a portable solar charger.
2. Keeping in Touch
Ideally, during any trek through the woods, you should be able to get in touch with the outside world in the event of an emergency and with your fellow travelers in the event that you get separated. Doing that requires two things: a cell phone and a two-way radio. Because both of those items rely on battery power, bringing a solar charger with you is an important part of keeping your communication options open.
3. Maintaining Awareness
Part of the fun of any hiking or camping adventure is getting away from the real world, so keeping up with the news is not a high priority for most people heading to the wilderness. While foregoing the latest political analysis and stock prices is understandable, failing to keep an eye on the weather can get you into trouble. Fortunately, a whole host of devices—from iPads with 3G connections to dedicated weather radios—allow easy access to this kind of information. Failing to make provisions for keeping this equipment charged up and ready to go is simply unsafe. A portable solar charging system is a great solution to this problem.
Forging into the backcountry armed with these kinds of important technologies and the ability to use the sun to charge them at will does not necessarily mean the wilderness is tamed. Both excitement and danger can be found in these wild, remote places. Still, by bringing a little bit of civilization with you, you can confidently keep your focus on the fun.