Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
What would happen to you if the power grid went down? Would you be in a panic as the batteries in your flashlight and radio slowly die, or would you have all the electricity you need to run your devices until power is restored?
For a very long time, solar panels and solar-powered devices were simply too expensive for the amount of power they generated. But over the past decade, solar technology has improved very rapidly, becoming more efficient and less expensive.
For a few hundred dollars, you can use solar power to light your home, cook your food, charge your devices, heat up your water, and more.
Solar power is completely renewable, it’s everywhere (at least during the day), and most importantly, it works. In this article, we will cover nine different products that harness solar energy and don’t require any electricity whatsoever. While these products can certainly be used in a survival situation or for general outdoor use such as camping and hiking, they can also be used in your everyday life as well.
By using less power from the grid, eventually they will pay for themselves!
1. Mini Portable Solar Oven
A portable solar oven is a great thing to have in a grid down situation. While you can certainly build a fire and roast food over that, the solar oven allows you to cook food without having to constantly attend to it. With enough sun, you should be able to cook anything you can think of on the Sunflair.
It folds down nicely for transport and also comes with a thermometer, a trivet, a silicone pot (collapsible), and a bag for storage. This is a great tool that is equally at home in an RV or camping trailer as it is in a survival kit or bug out bag.
2. Solar Lantern
The AGPtek Solar Lantern offers you five different power methods: solar, cranking, plugging it into an AC adapter or a car adapter, or installing 3 AA batteries. That means you have alternative options at night and on cloudy days.
Regardless of which method you choose, this lantern consumes very little energy thanks to its polysilicon solar panels which simultaneously emit a brighter light than most other lanterns on the market.
3. Solar Powered LED Sensor Light
This LED senor light is very easy to install. And since it is solar powered, there is no need to plug in any wires. Instead, it will charge itself with the sun’s energy during the day to create over twelve hours of non-stop light during the night.
The sensor has a total range of ten feet at an angle of one hundred and twenty degrees. The entire device is completely heatproof and waterproof and will hold up well in any environment. Total lifespan of the solar panel is five years.
4. Hybrid Solar Powered Flashlight
The Hybrid Solar Powered Flashlight has a total burn time of eleven years when on LED, or twenty-two years if it is used continuously at night. Of course, it’s very unlikely that you’ll have your flashlight continuously for that long, so it’s more than possible that this flashlight will last the rest of your life.
Other than the fact that it is solar powered rather than battery powered, this flashlight will act just like any other flashlight. An additional neat feature: it is completely waterproof and even floats.
5. Solar Backpack
You probably didn’t know solar backpacks even exist, but they do, and they are great for any outdoor enthusiast. Just like any other ordinary backpack, the ECEEN Solar Backpack comes with more than enough pockets and compartments for storing gear, equipment, and personal documents. The durable nylon fabric means it will hold up perfectly well while backpacking, hunting, hiking, or biking.
But the real standout of this backpack is the fact it is solar powered; to be more specific, it is powered with seven watts of very efficient and scratch resistant solar cells. Thanks to this solar power, you can use this backpack to charge a number of devices including mobile devices, GPS systems, and MP3 Players.
6. Solar Air Lantern
This durable LED lantern just needs a few hours of sunlight to provide you with light all night long. The best thing about this lantern is how little space it takes up. When deflated, it’s only 1 inch tall and about 4 inches wide. The light fills up a 150 square foot area.
It’s waterproof, it floats, and you can even charge it while trekking through the wilderness by hanging it on your bag.
7. 5 Gallon Summer Shower
Personal hygiene is very important in any survival or outdoor situation, which is where the Advanced Elements Summer Shower comes in handy. You simply fill it up with 5 gallons of water through the opening at the top, screw it shut, and leave it out in the sun for a few hours to heat up.
Once the water reaches your desired temperature, simply tie it to a tree to take a shower. It also includes side pockets for storing shampoo and soap, while a temperature gauge tells you how warm or cool the water is.
8. Solar Powered LED Flashlight and Radio
This solar powered product is cool because it combines two necessary survival products into one: a radio and a flashlight. The flashlight part has an LED light that can deliver over a hundred thousand hours of light during its lifetime.
Meanwhile, the radio can be used to listen to emergency broadcasts. While you can power the internal battery for both the radio and the flashlight with a hand crank generator, you can also charge it by leaving it in the sun for a few hours.
9. Solar Device Charger
Our last item is this solar device charger by Anker. All you have to do is unfold it, set it in the sun, and it will charge devices such as smartphones and tablets. You can even hang it on your backpack so it charges your devices while you’re on the move. You can also charge two devices at the same time.