Solar Power Anywhere
With as much time as I spend outdoors, I have always wondered why there were not any portable and dependable solar devices that I could rely on to charge my cell phone. Before new technology, my cell phone and laptop were really the only devices I depended on to gather and send information to others. It always seemed that I needed just a bit more battery power to complete an assignment or make a call. I would then have to go back to my vehicle or a motel and wait out a “re-charge” before I could complete my task. Other times it would be a rush to plug in my cell phone to the car charger so I could send pictures or make those necessary calls to home or business.
Well, all of that has changed! While at a POMA writers’ conference in Utah last summer, I was approached by Goal Zero to field test one of their solar charging units. The minute I laid eyes on their outdoor display in the form of a base camp, my wheels started turning. As I looked over the different Goal Zero units I knew right then this could change the way we operate outdoors. There was a unit for every need, large and small. Upon my return to Missouri, I was very anxious to give this product a try and put it to the test. Goal Zero sent me the Sherpa 50 Power Pack, the Nomad 13.5 Solar Panel, and the Sherpa Universal Inverter.
In early fall in Missouri, we had set up a base camp for the archery and firearms deer season. The Goal Zero Nomad 13.5 and Sherpa 50 would be our source of solar energy for cell phones, laptops, game cameras, video cameras and our HD GoPro camera. I could download pictures from the cameras to my laptop by using the Sherpa Universal Inverter and my iPod, using the USB cord. Our equipment was charged daily. While in the field hunting, I left the Nomad 13.5 panel hanging from one of the tent poles to receive charge during daylight hours, even with cloudy weather! The Sherpa 50 was never drained of its power completely and it had plenty of use. It was very unique to have that renewable power at my disposal in our camp, which was completely off the grid.
My second field test was on an Ozark stream in January during cold weather. I had set up a kayak day trip and combined the Goal Zero equipment with our GoPro cameras. I strapped the Nomad 13.5 Solar Panel on to the front deck of my kayak and ran the charge cord into my iPod, which was inside my pack under the deck. The GoPro cameras use a USB cord that also connects to the Sherpa 50 Power Pack. There was plenty of water dripping on the panel from the paddling but the panel is weather resistant and the water did not affect performance.
Nomad 13.5 Solar Panel
- Charges Sherpa 50 in 6-10 hours
- Foldable and compact design, fits any backpack
- Weather and water resistant
Sherpa 50 Power Pack
- Charge many devices: USB, 12V and AC (with inverter) outputs
- Powers laptop for an additional 1-3 hours
- Powers cell phones and Goal Zero LED lights for 20+ hours
- Long-lasting rechargeable lithium battery; 5-8 year life
- Recharge from Nomad solar panels, wall (AC) or car (12V)
Sherpa Universal Inverter
- Use with Sherpa 50 for AC output
- 100 watt output
- Universal 110v and 220V AC