Who doesn’t need power in the woods. We are all carrying something that requires batteries or a charge. For me, its my Iphone. It is my camera, my GPS and a host of other things. Plus its kinda fun to play on while hanging in the hammock. Keeping it charged has proven to be a task to say the least.
Solar chargers and I have not really ever got along. I wanted them to and have always been highly disappointed. Last summer I jumped on the Joos Orange bandwagon. I nearly hucked it in the stream, against a tree and I’m pretty sure I hurt its feelings after all the names I called it. First of all, its dang heavy. Crazy heavy, but for power in the woods I was willing to pack the weight…..once. Needless to say the Joos was sent back to REI.
I then started carrying battery packs. New Trent offers a great 5200mAh battery pack. One battery will charge an Iphone or a Droid twice. They weigh in at 5oz and one would last for an over-nighter no problem and three would last a week. But still up over 15oz just to keep the ol’ Iphone going. What else does a guy do.
So, I was reading Lady on a Rock’s blog. BTW…great blog. Fun to read and great pics. She is Thru-Hiking the CDT right now.
On her June 13th post she wrote:
My Suntactics Solar Charger ROCKS! It is fast, really fast. Did I say fast? I love that I don’t have to depend on outlets. It charges my phone and my camera zippy fast. It works on hiking breaks or on top of the pack. http://ladyonarock.wordpress.com/2013/06/14/june-13-walking-with-forest/
So I jumped on ol’ Google and my eyes began to water, or maybe that was me salivating. Either way, some kind of saliva was involved. After a few days of reading and searching and dreaming I talked myself into it. It really didn’t take much, to be honest I’m a huge gear junky
I was really excited to be “wowed” by this thing. And really looking forward to having it charge my Iphone “fast”. I hit camp on a cloudy afternoon and pulled it out. No charge, I was not totally surprised because you do have to have sun and Suntactics makes that very clear on their website. The clouds finally moved on and the sky opened up. Let the charging begin!!!
My Iphone was at 85% and it made quick work of getting up to 95%. I was impressed that it even charged anything at all to be honest.
The next day I had worked my Iphone down to 52% and was ready for a charge. I plugged it in and let the sun do its thing.
I made some hot chocolate and ate a pop tart. Then I lounged around in my hammock. One hour later I went to check the progress. Remember I was at 52%!!! I was hoping to be around 75%. Honestly that would have been great. The Iphone showed 92%. I nearly spit out my pop tart and spilled my cocoa. DANG!!! When she said fast, I’m here to tell you she meant FAST!!! I plugged my sons Ipod in. It was dead btw. Gave it an hour of some good ol fashion sun and an hour later he was at 3/4 of a battery.
The Suntactics sCharger-5 weighs in and 8.5oz with the bag. Thats half of what I was carrying with the battery packs for a week. And now I get to play games and watch movies and take pictures and video of myself then look at them later. No more being cautious and counting my charges from the battery packs. This solar charger gets two thumbs up from me.
Here is a link to Suntactics web site: http://www.suntactics.com/