Improvements in thin film solar technology suggest that camping out will soon mean solar camping.
One stop at the local outdoors store, or a quick look at their catalogue, shows that many traditional camping products such as tents, lanterns and stoves are solar adaptable.
Most of these items sell for less than one hundred dollars, and offer the same advantages as their non-solar counterparts, without the hassle of needing battery or kerosene refills.
With a little imagination, and an investment in a portable, lightweight, solar powered generator, solar camping can easily move from the traditional roughing it experience to a high-end outdoor excursion.
Solar Energy Facts
Renewable Energy Resources
The key to a pleasant, high-end solar camping excursion starts by matching the portable solar generator with consumer gadget preferences.
Many solar-powered generators are designed to be compatible with today's specialty made twelve volt appliances such as flat screen televisions, coolers (semi-refrigerators), heaters or fans.
Don't like solar ovens? Bring a twelve volt stove, popcorn maker, coffee pot, microwave oven and/or toaster oven on the trip for a taste of home made cooking away from home.
What about family members allergic to the dirty outdoors? Packing a solar shower, twelve volt curling iron and hair dryer are often sufficient to keep even the most finicky stay at home proponents happy.
Can't live without your laptop? Some portable generators can easily be adapted to power them up. Add a wireless broadband network and you are good to go as long as the sun shines and the broadband bars are visible.
Whether you choose a low-end or high-end solar camping option depends on whether you want to get away from it all, or bring some of it with you. Either way, solar camping comes close to being a zero emissions camping experience.
For camping enthusiasts who enjoy solar oven, consider the pizza box solar oven, created in six simple steps.
Step One: Gather the following ingredients.
- Aluminum foil
- Black Construction Paper
- Clear Cellophane
- Pizza Box
- Writing Instrument
Once collected, follow a simple six step procedure.
- Check to make sure that the pizza box is clean and able to be folded shut in its original condition.
- Draw a square on the top of the box, allowing for a one to two inch margin around the edges.
- Use the scissors to cut the two side edges and the front edge, making it now easy to bend the cut cardboard backward.
- Cover the underside (inside) face of the cardboard flap with aluminum foil. Make sure to tape the foil securely so it is held firmly. The foil will act to reflect the sun into the box.
- Cover the now cut out rectangular hole on the top of the pizza box with the cellophane, again making sure it is firmly secured.
- Place some aluminum foil on the bottom of the pizza box, and cover it with the black construction paper. The black construction paper helps collect heat in the box.
By keeping the aluminum covered flap tilted toward the inside of the box, the sunlight will heat up the box (through the plastic wrap opening.
The black construction paper will help maintain the heat in the box, making it ready to cook some favorite camping snacks such as cold pizza and hot dogs.
© 2011-2012. Patricia A. Michaels