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As with any kind of hobby, camping has purists and non-purists. Purists say that if you’re going to go camping, everything should be as basic and natural as possible, meaning no electronics.

Car camping isn’t “real” camping. For everyone else, camping is just a momentary escape from the stresses of life. It’s all about the change of scenery, the enjoyment of nature, and new experiences. If you’re this kind of camper, solar gadgets can make your time in the woods more convenient and more satisfying. What benefits do they offer?

  • Solar energy is free and abundant. You don’t have to pay for access to the sun, and as long as you aren’t thick in the bush and the weather is okay, you should have several hours of sunlight every day.
  • Solar energy is clean and quiet. Coal, wood, and gas all produce waste that contribute to environmental harm. Perhaps the process of making solar cells isn’t completely green What Is Solar Energy And Why Hasn't It Taken Off? What Is Solar Energy And Why Hasn't It Taken Off? What's the big deal with solar energy? If it's really as important and necessary as so many claim it to be, why hasn't it taken over the energy industry yet? Read More yet, but using a solar cell is certainly the greener option. Plus, they don’t make noise.
  • Solar energy is reliable. It’s impossible to “run out of sun”, so solar gadgets will always work (as long as you don’t break them). Not only is this great for when you lack access to outlets, but they also double as useful investments for emergency situations.

And that’s just for the outdoors. Solar energy provides all kinds of other benefits when you install them for your home 6 Advantages of Solar Panels You Probably Haven't Considered 6 Advantages of Solar Panels You Probably Haven't Considered Solar power is becoming increasingly common among middle class consumers, with more and more people realizing the advantages of solar panels. Read More . That being said, let’s look at a few products that can really come in handy on your next camping trip.

1. Goal Zero Yeti 150 ($425) [UK]

The Goal Zero Yeti 150 is one of the best portable solar generators currently available. We’ve already outlined the benefits of a solar generator over a gas generator Solar Generators Vs Fuel Generators: Which One Is Best For You? Solar Generators Vs Fuel Generators: Which One Is Best For You? Would a solar generator make more sense than a gas generator? What solar generator options are out there? Those are the questions we’ll look at today. Read More before, and for camping, the solar option definitely wins.

solar-camping-goal-zero-yeti

This thing is pretty expensive so it’s understandable if it’s outside of your budget, but it packs a punch with its 150 Wh, 14000 mAh capacity. It also comes with three port types: 12V, USB, and AC.

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No matter what you have, this will charge it. You just plug the generator to a compatible solar panel and it works, but you can also plug it into a normal outlet which makes it even more versatile as an investment. The only downside is that it isn’t weatherproof.

2. RAVPower Portable Charger ($50) [UK]

If the above-mentioned Yeti 150 is beyond your price range, or simply way more power than you’d ever need, then the RAVPower Portable Charger may be the next best thing. What I love most about it is the foldable design.

solar-camping-ravpower

This charger has four panels: three of them have solar cells and the fourth is where the energy is stored. Each panel is about 9.5×6.0 inches in size, and about an inch thick when fully folded. It’s also made with a nylon material that resists water and mold.

With two USB ports, you can charge two devices at once. Mostly useful for smaller devices, like phones and tablets, but very useful for that.

3. Powermonkey Extreme ($155) [UK]

A third solar charger on this list? You bet. This one is so good that we couldn’t skip it but different enough from the above two that it still warranted inclusion. For maximum portability, go with the PowerTraveler Powermonkey Extreme.

solar-camping-powertraveler

It’s slim, it’s rugged, and it’s waterproof. The solar component has a clamshell design that you open up to start charging, and the charge is stored in a separate battery pack that you can carry around on its own — right in your pocket if you so choose.

Powertraveller Powermonkey Extreme 5V and 12V Solar Portable Charger Powertraveller Powermonkey Extreme 5V and 12V Solar Portable Charger Fully waterproof and ruggedly built solar powered charger Buy Now At Amazon $119.00

The battery also has an LCD screen that shows the current charge level, which is really nice when you’re on a hike for example. It has a USB port and a 12V DC port, which covers a broad range of what you can charge.

4. MPowerd Luci Inflatable Light ($15) [UK]

If you want beauty and elegant, this may not be the right light source for you, but if you want maximum flexibility and portability, then the MPowerd Luci Inflatable Light will fit the bill.

solar-camping-mpowerd

It’s inflatable — you literally blow into it — which means it’s also collapsible. The light covers approximately 15 sq. ft. and can last between 6 to 12 hours on a single charge depending on which setting you use: bright, super bright, or 1-second flashes.

MPOWERD Luci Outdoor - Inflatable Solar Light MPOWERD Luci Outdoor - Inflatable Solar Light This extremely durable solar LED light is completely powered by the sun, no additional batteries needed. Set it in direct sunlight for 7 hours and Luci Outdoor lasts up to 12 hours on a single charge Buy Now At Amazon $9.23

It’s waterproof, submersible, and also comes with a handy strap for carrying by hand or clipping to something else, like a backpack. Best of all? It’s dirt cheap.

5. ErgaLogik Compact Lantern ($17) [UK]

The MPowerd Luci is understandably not everyone’s cup of tea, so if you want something a little more protected and pleasing to the eye, consider the ErgaLogik Compact Lantern.

solar-camping-ergalogik

It’s tiny (about the size of your palm) and made with a hard protective case. Open it like an accordion to provide light over a radius of several feet and use one of three modes: low, high, and flashing. For times when no sun is available, you can charge it by USB.

ErgaLogik Compact Solar Camping Lantern with USB PowerBank Great for Camping, Hiking & Trekking - Best Camping Lantern - Best Solar Lantern - Best Emergency Light ErgaLogik Compact Solar Camping Lantern with USB PowerBank Great for Camping, Hiking & Trekking - Best Camping Lantern - Best Solar Lantern - Best Emergency Light 10 HOUR BATTERY LIFE: Provides over 10 hours of LED light on a single charge Buy Now At Amazon $15.95

But the nifty part is that it also has a USB outlet, which means this compact lantern doubles as a solar battery pack. How cool is that?

6. Suaoki Clover-Style Flashlight ($20) [UK]

Here’s one more light source that you might like. The Suaoki Clover-Style Flashlight is exactly what it sounds like: three panels that have LED lights on the inside and solar panels on the outside, shaped just like a clover.

solar-camping-suaoki

With three modes — low, high, and flashing — it’s about as good as the others, but the clover design has wider light coverage and can be “closed” to act as a more focused light source, which can be nice when you need more of a flashlight than a lantern.

Suaoki Collapsible Clover Style USB Charging and Solar Panel 18 LED Tent Lantern Lights - Orange Suaoki Collapsible Clover Style USB Charging and Solar Panel 18 LED Tent Lantern Lights - Orange Solar Charging: turbo charge via the micro USB port in 3.5 hours with full battery. Three individual solar panels support charging when in emergency outdoor conditions with no outlets or power source. Buy Now At Amazon $18.99

7. Eton Scorpion II Digital Radio ($45) [UK]

There’s nothing worse than going camping and being caught out in bad weather, which is why the Eton Scorpion II Digital Radio is something that everyone should consider bringing along.

solar-camping-eton-scorpion

It delivers NOAA Weather Alerts so you’ll always be prepared, but it also picks up on AM and FM just fine so you can listen to talk radio, music, or whatever else is around. But the best part? It’s a multi-functional powerhouse. Charge it in two ways: sunlight or hand crank.

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On top of the radio features, the Scorpion II also has a built-in flashlight and can charge mobile devices with its USB port. It’s like a digital multi-tool, great for casual campers.

8. Advanced Elements Solar Shower ($30) [UK]

Here’s one solar product that may appeal more to purists than non-purists: a water bag that you can heat up by setting it out in the sun. The solar elements can heat it up to hotter than ambient temperature.

solar-camping-summer-shower

So the next time you’re on a multi-day camping trip in the true wilderness and you want to take a hot shower, take an Advanced Elements Solar Shower with you. It holds 5 gallons, but a smaller 3-gallon version exists (UK) too.

Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower 5-gallon outdoor shower powered by solar technology Buy Now At Amazon $20.61

9. All Season Solar Cooker ($130)

Why would anyone need a solar cooker while camping? That’s what the campfire is there for, isn’t it? Well, yes, but there are things you can do with a solar cooker that you can’t do so easily with a campfire.

solar-camping-season-cooker

For one, the cooking is more reliable and even. You also don’t get the taste of smoke from a campfire, which can even be dangerous if you’re burning treated wood. But most of all, you can set it and forget it, whereas a campfire requires at least some attention.

All Season Solar Cooker 2.0 with trivet and 2 cooking bags included All Season Solar Cooker 2.0 with trivet and 2 cooking bags included New, larger version of the popular All Season Solar Cooker. Turkey Sized! Or two pots at once! Buy Now At Amazon $99.00

The All Season Solar Cooker uses the sun’s rays to cook your food, and the design makes it easy to capture sunlight even as the sun moves across the sky from dawn to dusk. If this one is too big, a smaller version is available.

10. GoSun Sport Solar Oven ($280)

The GoSun Sport Solar Oven began as a Kickstarter project and took off once people realized how useful it could be. It’s basically a vacuum tube that you put meats and vegetables inside, then cook using redirected sunlight.

solar-camping-gosun-sport

It’s large enough to hold enough food for a two-person meal, it works even in the winter, and it’s quite versatile: bake, steam, boil, and even fry if you’re daring enough. You’ll love it once you start using it.

GoSun Sport: Easy, Delicious, and Versatile Portable Solar Cooker GoSun Sport: Easy, Delicious, and Versatile Portable Solar Cooker EASY AND DELICIOUS - Just load with food and relax, no monitoring required. The stove retains your food's flavor and nutrition cooking from 360°, like a slow cooker, but faster. Bake, roast, steam and saute, nothing is off limits! When finished cooking, just keep the tray closed to keep your food hot and ready to eat for hours, no Sun required. Buy Now At Amazon $279.00

You might even consider starting with the GoSun Sport Pro Pack, which comes with an extra cooking tray and a durable carrying case for better portability.

Solar Gadgets Are Great for Camping

One reason to go camping is to get out in the sun, so why not make full use of what the sun can do? Harness its energy to charge up your devices, heat up your water, and cook your food — all without any waste or environmental impact.

If you want to get even more serious, you should check out these useful solar gadgets for your home 12 Awesome Solar Powered Gadgets That Every Home Should Be Using 12 Awesome Solar Powered Gadgets That Every Home Should Be Using Solar power provides cleaner, more sustainable electricity, but few people can afford solar panels, and few power providers invest in solar power generation. It's time to take solar power into your own hands. Read More , including indoor chargers, mounted lights, Bluetooth speakers, and more. And don’t forget about non-solar gear, too. Here are a few camping items that may make your next trip even better 8 Gift Ideas Under $100 For Campers And Hikers 8 Gift Ideas Under $100 For Campers And Hikers Christmas may not be ideal for hiking and camping, but that doesn't mean we can't start preparing for next summer. Here's 8 awesome gadgets that will kick your next adventure up several notches. Read More .

What do you think about bringing solar gadgets on a camping trip? Is the convenience worth it or does it defeat the whole purpose of going out? Let us know in the comments below!

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