Like it or not, electronic devices have become a part of everyday life; and while I love to get away from the trappings of modern-day society, I have to admit, I often take at least one electronic device into the backcountry. In my opinion, some of these devices can be valuable survival tools and shouldn’t be overlooked when hiking in the backcountry, or when preparing for an emergency.
But what happens to those devices when they run low on power? If you’re in the backcountry, or if you’re faced with some sort of disaster where the electric grid has gone down, do you have a way to keep your electronic devices going?
Enter the GoalZero Guide 10 Adventure Kit
Goal Zero Guide 10 Adventure Kit is a small portable solar panel kit that can keep just about any USB powered device going indefinitely, without ever having to rely on the power grid.
How it works:
The Adventure Kit comes with the GoalZero Nomad 7, a small folding two panel solar charger, which can be used in combination with the Goal Zero Guide 10 battery pack. The Panel can be used to directly power a USB powered device, or to charge the Guide 10 power pack.
In testing, I found the Nomad panel could fully charge the Guide 10 battery pack – which has 4 AA Batteries – in about 4 – 6 hours. The rate at which it charged depends on how much direct sunlight the panels receive. Once the batteries in the charger were full, I was able to then use the power pack to charge my iPhone in about 3 hours.
I was able to charge the iPhone directly from the panel, but because of the circuitry in the iPhone this was actually a bit of a challenge. Whenever it got cloudy, the iPhone would stop charging and I then had to unplug, and then replug the USB cord to get it going again. This problem is specific to the iPhone and something that I’ve found with just about every panel I’ve ever tried it with.
The Battery Pack: The Guide 10 comes with a set of four rechargeable AA batteries (and a charger) which can be plugged directly into Nomad 7 Solar Panel. Since there are so many devices that can be powered by AA batteries, this makes it one of its top selling points.
The Car/Cigarette Adapter: With the addition of the car/cigarette adapter, the Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit adds functionality that most other chargers don’t have. This was a major plus, when using older devices that may not have a USB power port. For instance, it allowed me to charge my SPOT Global Sat Phone – something that none of my other kits could do.
Reliability: Out of all the panel/charger kits we’ve tried, this one was one of the most reliable and well made kits on the market.
Lightweight & Compact: As someone who doesn’t like to add a lot of unnecessary weight to my pack, I was extremely pleased with how lightweight and compact this kit was.
Can’t charge an iPad, and I had some issues charging an iPhone directly from the solar panel (again, I think this is more of an issue with the iPhone, and it can be resolved by charging directly from the battery pack).
The Ultimate Survival Accessory for Those that Need Power
What I really liked about this panel, and I know it might sound weird at first, was something that a lot of other companies forgot to add, and that’s the pocket. While this may seem trivial, I found the pocket turns this panel into the ultimate survival accessory for those who like to travel with electronic devices.
If you’re looking for a great everyday carry kit, or something to carry in the backcountry, you might want to take a look at buying one of these panels. I can fit just about everything I want in an EDC in the back pocket, plus I give myself the ability to power my devices indefinitely.
What fits in my GoalZero Adventure Kit?
- The Guide 10Battery Charger: The charger can be used to charge devices or to charge 4 AA Rechargeable Batteries.
- Smart Phone: Which can be used as a communication device, a GPS, and it can be filled with Survival books, backcountry maps and PDF’s.
- Altoids Survival Tin: The Tin is filled with a pocket knife, matches, some emergency medical supplies, fishing gear and some other survival necessities.
- Flashlight: The flashlight takes AA batteries; so the charger can also keep my flashlight going forever.
- A Small Multitool
- Various USB Cords: Cords depend on what devices I have.