Portable Solar for Camping
Think that camping has to be an electricity-free affair? Think about portable solar power. Anywhere the sun is shining, you can generate and store power for reading lights, music, photography equipment and whatever other small items you might want to power.
Portable Solar Photovoltaics
There are a number of solar electric systems designed specifically for use in the case of camping or similar activities.
Flexible paneling is particularly well suited to be rugged and durable in such conditions. It can be rolled up and packed away just as you would with a sleeping bag. The flexibility also makes it easy to set up anywhere. You can drop it, step on it, get it wet-it will still work just fine.
For example, one particularly useful application might be to charge a small heater during winter camping. More practically still, you can use solar power to generate lasting night light or power for your cell phone or PDA.
Solar thermal for camping
You can buy it pre-made
The Solar Sunshower is an excellent innovation. It's a fold up 7 gallon vinyl batch holder with a foot pump to add water pressure.
Or you can do it yourself.
Don't forget the practical possibility of making your own batch heater to heat water. If you know you're going to be camping in one spot for a few days, why not fill a large tub (painted black preferably), fitted with a proper hose and drainage and filled with water. It makes a great warm (or even hot) shower, no matter where you are!
The sun's free rays can be concentrated and used to slow cook food. These look like a small fold out oven that faces the sun. Insulated fiberglass and a glass door protect the food, while mirrored metal folds deflect and concentrate the sun's rays. You can also make your own. Click on links nearby to find out more about how these work.