Recently, I sat down with my family to watch the animated action movie "Home" on cable television. The film is about a huge colony of little aliens on the run through the galaxy from another "evil" alien. After finding earth and relocating all the humans to a "happy storage place," the alien colony decides takes over earth and all of its homes and buildings for some rest time. They decide to "hide out" for a while. Of course, one human child is left behind during human relocation and story shares a funny, interesting and adventurous wave of action about a young human girl and her new alien friend as they try and find her mother and, at the same time, save the planet from that evil "alien" who finally discovers the colony hideout.
The movie was really fun, but it also got me thinking about solar energy, portable solar electronics, solar generation and emergency preparation? As it turns out, I found myself making a mental list of the kinds of solar products that might be beneficial if I was involved in such an earthly takeover...or to what portable solar panels or other solar gear to include my emergency preparation kit when we ARE finally taken over by aliens, or when I'm visiting California during "the big one."
Solar energy generators, portable solar backpacks and portable solar rechargers are becoming more and more reliable and effective at harnessing free solar energy from the sun. And if you're already into off grid living and survival, some of the products listed here are probably already in your "Go Bag" or your "Bugout Bag." But in disaster preparation or even alien earth invasion, lighting up the night with a solar recharger can really help to restore your spirit, and keep your phone or tablet connected to the world. Or, if your're a diabetic, it might be the power of solar energy that will literally save a life by keeping insulin chilled in that solar refrigerator.
Indeed, the idea of portable solar gear that use free solar energy off-grid or produced during an outage, is pretty amazing. And it's now possible to harness everything you need to live and play off the grid in comfort including solar refrigerators, solar lighters and fire starters, solar rechargers, lights and more. Portability is key, particularly for your "go bag" or when you've got to relocate in an emergency. Let's check out this list of nine (9) cool solar tools and devices that maybe you did realize existed, but will need to have handy during the real alien invasion...
Capturing solar energy is the fundamental advantage of solar energy, and personal scale portable solar panel chargers can do the job. The popularity of portable solar panel chargers is continuing to emerge because the prices for these devices are improving and they offer rugged designs, pack and folding ease, USB and 12volt power connections. These devices can be used about anywhere and charge almost anything in the sunlight.
There are three ways to light up almost all of the solar camp lanterns on the market today. These power features give you the most flexibility during almost any type of camp or emergency situation. First, lanterns can be charged by connecting a compatible solar panel or similar solar recharger into the internal USB, mini-USB or similar power input. Second, the device can be charged directly from any standard wall socket or computer based USB power source or connection. Third, lanterns may be charged via their integrated hand crank, when you are really in a pinch. Finally, you can orient the lantern to capture solar energy with its integrated solar panel.
The four charging options are great for many situations. And once your lantern is charged, many of them have the capacity to provide not only camp light, but also offer a built in USB or mini-USB output port to power small handheld devices (phone, camera, GPS) to keep you connected and informed.
A solar air lantern is portable solar light with general and emergency use. These products are made up of a solar cell and LED light system integrated into an inflatable and waterproof structure that distributes the light for the user. The inflatable structure allows for the light to be easily deflated and re-inflated over and over. When not in use and deflated, a solar air light may be conveniently stored. The devices are light and buoyant. Then don't need batteries or fuel such as kerosene; and there's no need to plug it for power. The Luci Solar Air Lantern by mPowered, Inc. and the LuminAID are excellent examples of air solar lights.
We talk a lot about capturing solar energy and converting it to energy. Well, capturing solar energy via a black shower bag to heat water is useful too. In an emergency situation or by choice during a camping trip, something a simple hot shower can be a real morale booster. Solar showers allow you to bath, but also to wash dishes and wash your hands in warm water. With a pockets for soap sometimes provided, and ergonomically designed wide handle grips for comfortable transport, you'll enjoy having peace of mind knowing that when the electricity is off, at least you'll have a hot shower. These devices heat up in direct sunlight, and/or you can also pour your own warm water into the bags for an outdoor shower too.
The Solar Fire Starter Lighter & Survival Tool, pictured below, is a unique pocket-size fire starter and lighter! This solar lighter and firestarter is designed to harness the power of the sun by focusing the sun's radiant energy to a precise focal point that can reach hundreds of degrees! The lighter never needs re-fueling, requires no maintenance and can be stored indefinitely. Perfect for backpacking, boating, hiking and as a great addition to any survival tool kit.
Using solar technology, the Casio Solar Watch pictured immediate below will take the worries out of knowing the time. The micro solar panel in the face of the watch captures sunlight to recharge the on-board battery. You may be skeptical that a solar watch is like sundial, but you're in for a treat knowing that you'll never need to replace batteries with a solar watch.
Being able to learn about local news and weather is often critical in an emergency. With this in mind, the amazing hybrid solar-powered weather radio is another essential device for your emergency preparation kit. These devices are tough and durable and offer multiple ways to recharge in a power outage. You typically will have dual charging capability, NOAA weather radio functionality, an integrated light and a charging port to recharge other devices.
When you're traveling and hiking or doing just about anything outdoors, it's nice to have a reliable bag to carry some of your things. In terms of and emergency preparation or "bug out" bag, it's nice to have a ready to go bag to grab and run. But what if the bag itself could be part of your portable energy arsenal? What if your emergency prep gear was stuffed in a solar powered bag? Crazy? Not so. Solar powered gear bags are here and built with the the idea that you can charge as you go and keep a battery pack ready for recharge that is also integrated with the bag itself. Very cool and very smart.
We're pleased to present some of these great ideas for your emergency preparedness kit. Feel free to tell us your thoughts and ideas!