Tripping with Solar Power

Do paddlers here have experience using solar power while on extended trips?

I’m thinking batteries for phone, laptop, camera, GPS, etc - OK, maybe even a cooler…:slight_smile:

I’m not talking about carrying along a deep cell 12v Optima, running a hair dryer, elec fan/heater, and small TV. [insert funny…]

solar power
I use a small one to charge my cell when I bike camp. I mount it on top of my paniers…works fine.

A friend of mine uses a small ‘solar roll’ when he motorcycle camps for extended periods. That’s what prompted my post.

One guys solution
I haven’t tried it myself but here are some links to a setup a guy built for a paddle along the north coast of Australia

I used two thin film panels from Iowa Thin Films for a 6-month solo paddle trip in 04 for recharging camera, sat phone and laptop.

They worked awesome, no problems at all.

The laptop took about 4 hours to recharge and the phone and camera a couple of hours.

They both rolled up like a map and i could place them in my drybags when not used.

They were about 36 inchs long and a foot wide…two each.

Hope than answers your questions.


Good Stuff
Solid experience, thanks.

Nope …I put my trust is Energizer

what I used

– Last Updated: May-27-08 10:14 PM EST –

I did a 10+ day grip down the Columbia last year, and had a solar charger strapped to the back deck (in a clear dry bag). Here is a pic of it:

I bought the charger off of eBay for about $30. It recharges standard size rechargeable batteries. I used it to keep the AAA used by my GPS topped off (I used 2 sets of batteries, so would charge one set while using the other). Worked fine for this, thought got close to being short on power when we hit the continuous fog at the coast for the last few days.

Kept the charger in a map case dry bag on the rear deck, so we could charge as we paddled.

I have a 25 watt folding solar panel, it works well. I use it to charge, a laptop, cell phone, VHF radio, and digital camera. I got it from this guy…