Solar-Powered Gadgets For Your Next Vacation

It can be hard to know what to pack for a trip. This can be especially hard if you aren't sure there'll be reliable sources of electricity or if the outlets will work with your equipment. Solar-powered gadgets can save the day.

Camping Trip

Your attention might be drawn to solar lately since your community may be participating in a solar stimulus program or your neighbors might be installing solar panels or even a Smartflower or solar tree. However, you might not know about the many solar-powered gadgets that can make traveling anywhere go a lot smoother. If you're going off the grid on your next trip, you can't be sure of anything. You need to be prepared for any and all occurrences. The weather could change suddenly, the water in the streams could be contaminated and there could be nowhere to take a shower or charge your phone. If your trip involves hiking, consider investing in a solar hat. These hats have solar receptors on the brim and an attached cord, which means your phone can be powered entirely by walking in the sun.

If you question the quality of the local water, there is also a solar-powered water purifying station that removes pathogens from water and can double as a handwashing station. For meals without building a fire, there is now a solar oven that can cook a meal for two in about twenty minutes because it can reach a very high cooking temperature when in direct sun. There are also solar-powered coolers, lanterns and a shower bag that can hold 5 gallons and heat the water to over one hundred degrees.

European Trip

The big dilemma about packing for a European trip has always been what to do about your electric items. In the past, you either had to go without or invest in different cords. Bringing along a windowsill solar charger can solve this problem. They can charge your phone or tablet and also have built-in flashlights, which can be handy in unfamiliar surroundings. If the day turns cold while you're out sightseeing, you can put on a tech jacket, and quickly become almost 20 degrees warmer. This new innovation doesn't use panels or warming pads. Instead, the very material of the jacket has the ability to absorb light and turn it into heat. A really practical travel accessory is a solar-powered backpack. This item is made of waterproof fabric and the zippers are hidden to dissuade potential thieves. It has room for both a laptop and iPad as well as a phone and all of the personal items you normally carry.

The best travel backpacks have solar panels as well as USB ports so you can charge as you sightsee and never have to worry about finding an electrical source.


If you're not planning on a trip this year, you can still make use of solar energy around the house on your staycation.

Something to really lift your mood and beautify your home is the solar-powered rainbow maker. It can even provide two different science lessons. By showing the internal gears and solar panel, the device demonstrates solar power. It also demonstrates refraction by showing how light through a crystal creates rainbows. Have a tea party in your yard and do it easily and safely without carrying hot water from the kitchen to the patio. A solar-powered water kettle can boil water in minutes when exposed to sunlight. If you extend your tea party into an evening get-together, the lights on the underside of your solar-powered garden umbrellas will start to come on. They are powered only by the sunlight that the umbrella protected you and your guests from all day.

Solar power was once only something that replaced the use of fossil fuels. Now there are many innovations that harness the power of the sun to make your life easier and more beautiful both at home and on vacation.