Running out of battery while travelling is one of the biggest concerns of the modern day traveller. We are all so reliant on our smartphones that we dread not having instant access to the world wide web. Forunately, with modern solar charges it is possible to stay connected even when you are spending weeks exploring the great outdoors. Let’s take a look at why they are needed and which are the best for travellers.
Many solar power battery rechargers are easy to carry over long distances, thanks to their portable, relatively lightweight design. Some also have integrated batteries, and the majority have USB ports and generate at least 4 watts of power. Unsurprisingly, solar rechargers are particularly effective in sunnier climates, although with significant investment in solar energy already under way in the UK, you needn’t assume that you must visit a ‘sunny’ location in order for them to be of any use.
Naturally, the increasing popularity and investment in solar power is a fantastic step in the right direction in regard to the environment. This form of energy does not release dangerous chemicals into the atmosphere, and research has revealed that humans could save nearly 90 percent more water by switching from coal to solar panels. Solar power rechargers don’t use electricity, and, depending on how much you use them, can be relatively inexpensive thanks to the fact that you don’t have to pay to use our sun’s energy.
A selection of the best solar power rechargers in the market:
With its durable faceplate, a 12-hour charging time, and a strong metallic design, this recharger is ideal for daily use. It will certainly suit an ambitious backpacker travelling to remote destinations with limited electricity outlets, although it is rather heavy at approximately 710 grams.
Renowned for its excellent battery life, the PowerBank CVADG-S69 does take a little longer to charge (16 hours), which means it may not be suitable if you are travelling to a destination at a time of year when there is less than 16 hours of daylight. Fortunately, it can be charged from a USB outlet in just 9 hours, although the 2-amp USB port and the micro-USB ports cannot be used at the same time.
Although it doesn’t include a battery, this recharger is particularly hardy and can charge a GPS in only three hours, which means travellers won’t have to worry about getting lost. It’s a great companion for camping and hiking treks, and can easily be attached to a tree.
The Voltaic Fuse 6W
Recharging a battery in daylight in just six hours, the Voltaic Fuse 6W can also be attached to large objects such as plants or backpacks, and is suitable for charging many types of electronic devices, from phones to video cameras. It also has a two-year guarantee and water resistance so you can take it during long, challenging trips where you’re likely to encounter mixed weather.
Wherever you’re off to, make sure you are covered
There are few situations more stressful than suffering a serious injury or illness and, after a long stay in hospital, facing an extortionate bill soon afterwards. This can happen to you if you don’t buy travel insurance, or if your existing insurance doesn’t cover you for your circumstances or travel destinations.
A situation like this can easily be avoided if you purchase appropriate travel cover that’s catered to your needs and protects you from hefty medical fees. Make sure the travel insurance also covers all of your valuables such as your solar power recharger, smartphone, laptop, and camera.
Laura Reeve is the Marketing Executive at Avanti Travelcare, who specialise in travel insurance for those with pre-existing medical conditions, and are one of very few that have no upper age limit on their policies.