It happens that when you are driving out to a trailhead for a hike, you may forget to charge up all of your devices. This video is about how you can top up your devices while driving and in the field. Here I have my typical devices; garmin fenix, delorme inreach explorer and iPhone 5s. All of them have about 50% power left. I happen to have my Goal Zero Nomad 7 solar panel and Guide 10 Battery pack as backup.
So since our hike happens to be about 2 hours away, I can take advantage of my cigarette lighter USB adapter and charge some of my device as I drive to the trailhead. Since where I’m going does not have any cell reception, I need my phone charged since I’ll be taking pictures and using the bluetooth to send messages via the inReach Explorer.
iPhone and Garmin fenix charged up relatively fast, but I really wanted to maximize the drive to really top up the Goal Zero Guide 10 battery pack. Once at the trailhead, I was able to top up everything except the Delorme inReach Explorer, Normally I’d have enough power to use the device for the hike and several others, but I really wanted to field test trickle charging using the Goal Zero Nomad 7 solar panel. I simply clipped the panel to my backpack and used the USB cable to attach to the inreach. I used bluetooth to operate the inReach using my iPhone.
Last time I used this method to charge up my inReach, I was at basecamp and had a great view of the horizon and the morning sun. I simply hung the solar panel off a brach and clipped the inReach to the panel. After 2 hours, it was fully charged.
Hiking under heavy forest and Northbound for an hour didn’t really help charge the inReach. Even the inReach worked harder to send messages & tracking. When you see hiker with this type of setup, they are probably hiking Northbound and over open areas. It is the only way that you could charge up; hiking within heavy forest just won’t do.
However, remember I have my battery pack and could recharge very easily that way.