Thursday, June 5, 2008

Backcountry Power

Planning an extended photo adventure into the backcountry away from all modern conveniences, including ELECTRICITY?

Are you asking yourself, 'How am I going to charge my laptop, digital wallet, and my all-important camera batteries?

This was the dilemma I faced several years ago while planning a photo safari into Botswana's remote bushveld. Not only did I need electricity for charging my own equipment, more importantly, I needed it for charging the items of those who would join me; and, it needed to be light enough to pack into my duffel bag along with my clothing.

What does Botswana have more of than anything else? Sunshine! Therein was the solution to my problem.

Solar power would supply our much needed electricity. I began searching the internet for equipment that would meet our electrical demands. Here's what I settled upon . . .

A NotePower 30 solar charger, consisting of three 10-watt solar panels, is the heart of my backcountry electrical system. The panels are built into a ballistic nylon notebook-sized binder complete with shoulder strap. Unzip the binder, lay it flat in the sun, plug in the adapter cord and you have solar power at your fingertips. Best of all, when folded, it becomes a compact 12" x 13.5" x 1.75" carrying case and weighs just a few ounces over four pounds.

In addition, I pack a sealed lead acid battery for storing the electricity produced by my solar charger, a triple-outlet DC receptacle, a variety of adaptors, and an accessory cable sporting twin alligator clams on one end and a DC receptacle on the other that allows me to connect either the triple-outlet receptacle, or directly to a 12-volt battery, should the need arise.

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