Tag: solar lantern

10 Solar Tools for Preppers

Sun going down at campground. It will be dark soon.
“It will be dark soon . . .!”

As we head into summer, our thoughts just naturally turn to outdoors activities – camping, hiking, picnics, travel in an RV.

If any of these is on YOUR list, even if it may have to be postponed, you’ll enjoy this week’s Advisory because it highlights some of the handiest, smartest and most useful tools you can find for outdoor, off-the-grid activities.

In summer, we can also expect power to be out because of storms, fires, etc. So solar tools and equipment are popular with preppers because they all operate at home when there’s a power outage!

Solar tools give you twice the value!

Joe and I have used versions of nearly every one of these items. Like everything else, there’s a new model nearly every time you turn around. And, like everything else that’s based on technology, prices keep coming down.

So let’s take another look at 10 of our favorite small solar tools and accessories, starting with items that everyone should own.

1 – Solar Powered Emergency Radio

Because we believe every household needs at least one emergency AM/FM radio, radios land at the top of our list. Once again, I have reviewed our own collection, and taken another look at our Emergency Radio Reviews page, and I come back to this radio as being one of our favorites.

Why? Briefly, it operates with power from AA batteries, a rechargeable battery, AC current (the cord is extra), DC current (plug into the car), hand-crank and solar! So, you can use it for music at your picnic, or as a light source in the campground, or to check in with the weather report.

Note that this radio isn’t tiny. It’s about 9 inches tall by 5 high by 2 wide. Check out all the features by clicking on the image or link below, which will take you directly to Amazon. Again, shop carefully to be sure you are getting what you really want. If necessary, take another browse through our Radio Review page to see all the features of emergency radios that you might want to consider.

2 – If a solar-powered radio is first on our list, then a solar-powered lantern or other light source will have to be second.

And here’s something new! You’ve seen before, perhaps, that we have really fallen in love with the expandable battery-operated emergency lamps made by VONT. Now here’s a very similar product that adds SOLAR as a way to keep the lantern charged and functional for longer.  

3 – Solar Powered Flashlight

We review flashlights practically once a month! (We buy them, too, because new models keep adding more features.) Check these out for yourself, your car, your kids. Our motto is a flashlight in every room or in every hand when camping.

This flashlight is rechargeable, waterproof and, you guessed it, powered by solar. (I really like the bright color, too.)

Hybridlight Journey 300 Solar/Rechargeable 300 Lumen LED Waterproof Flashlight. High/Low Beam, USB Cell Phone Charger, Built In Solar Panel Charges Indoors or Out, USB Quick Charge Cable Included

4 – And another new Solar Powered Flashlight with multiple accessories

Otdair LED Flashlight Solar Power Tactical Flashlight,Ultra Bright Flashlight,Safety Hammer,High Lumens Tactical,USB Rechargeable,5 Modes for Outdoor,Camping,Hiking

5 – Solar battery charger for all your devices

We’ve used and reviewed these regularly. They get better and better and cheaper. Here’s a new one. The charger itself gets charged up from the sun or from the wall plug using an adapter (not included), can serve as a lantern at night, and then can charge 3 of your devices at the same time, with 25,000 mWh! No reason for you not to know what’s going on!

6- This simple and lightweight solar lantern can charge your devices, too.

Hybridlight Solar Rechargeable Lantern/Cell Phone Charger. 150 Lm. Built in Solar Panel, Hi-Vis Yellow

7 – Solar security lights for home or for camping

When the power really goes out, not only do you lose your house lights but streetlights are out, too. And when you’re camping in the wild, you KNOW it will be totally dark!

Without any light , you’re going to feel – and be — a lot less secure.

Of course, you can carry a lantern or flashlight with you wherever you go, inside or out. But there’s a certain sense of relief to know that if someone or something approaches your campsite or home, they’ll be visible.

We use permanently mounted security lights in a couple of places at our home: in the car port, and also at the front steps. This solar-operated light is PORTABLE so you can hang it over a simple screw or nail at home or when you’re camping.

You’ll want to set the appropriate mode: turns on when motion activated, always on, or “smart” mode (dim gets bright when activated).

Solar Lights Outdoor, 3 Optional Modes Wireless Motion Sensor Solar Light, IP 65 Waterproof, Security Lights for Front Door, Yard, Garage, Deck, 1 Pack

8 – Solar powered pool pump

Don’t have a pool?

In an upcoming Solar Advisory we’re going to cover “bigger” systems, and that will include a roof-mounted solar system big enough to power your pool pump. Watch for that Advisory.

In the meanwhile, smaller water features also are quickly compromised when their pumps fail. I’m thinking about garden fountains, greenhouses, animal watering troughs, hydroponic gardens, etc. If your emergency preparations include a “survival garden,” you surely wouldn’t want to lose it just because the power goes off!

Therefore, time to consider a solar pool pump. This one might be the starter equipment you need.

Solariver Solar Water Pump Kit – 360+GPH Submersible Pump with Adjustable Flow, 20 Watt Solar Panel for Sun Powered Fountain, Pond Aeration, Hydroponics, Aquaculture (No Battery Backup)

9 – Solar oven for the adventurous!

I have to admit this is one tool I have never used. I have seen them being used (and smelled the delicious odors) at fairs, by Girl Scouts, at energy efficiency demos — and I have been threatening for years to get one for myself as a present! If kids can use ‘em, then so can I!

I find this model the most intriguing. It’s lightweight, folds up, comes with trivet and pot. Keeps the food protected as it cooks, has a thermometer so you know what’s happening. (Heats up to max 285 degrees.)

This is the mini-version, probably best for small groups of diners.  There’s also a larger one from this same company that comes complete with pots, pans and dehydrating racks. 

Sunflair Mini Portable Solar Oven

10 – End the day with a warm shower!

Looks like a UFO, doesn’t it? But no, it’s a warm shower, perfect for your campground or as adjunct to your RV or, in an emergency, when you have no other way to get hot water to get clean!

This shower holds 2.5 gallons. (You’ll have to act faster than usual, perhaps, to get all the soap off. ) The company also makes larger versions, but I know how much 2.5 gallons weighs and that’s just about as much as I want to struggle with.

I liked this brand for one particular reason: it has a temperature gauge!

Advanced Elements 2.5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower

Well, that is quite a list of solar tools! I hope you’ve found some ideas for gifts. Maybe your gift could start a conversation about renewable energy!

Again, we’ll be addressing larger solar systems in a coming Advisory. In the meanwhile, let’s look forward to some sunny summer days!

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. If you have favorite solar tools or gadgets, let us know about them in the comments!