As the weather gets warmer in the northern hemisphere, people venture out for weekend camping trips, extended hikes and to take on trails like the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), Arizona Trail (AZT) or the Appalachian Trail.
These adventurers dissect their packs, analyze the value of each item and ask questions, “Do I need this?” or, “Do I want to carry this on my back for days at a time?”
When it comes to trip preparation having the right gear is critical.
When was the last time you thought about the role that portable power played in your pack?
How will you document your journey or stay connected to loved ones and emergency services?
At PowerFilm, we create portable power solutions that don’t add bulk, provide reliable power and keep you connected even in the worst conditions.
Before diving into our power solutions let’s address the question of power in nature.
“What role do electronics and access to power play in enjoying the outdoors?"
This question has been debated as long as there have been viable portable electronic devices that you can take with you.
On one side you have the purist who seeks to go into the wild and disconnect 100%. They argue, “The whole point of experiencing the great outdoors is hampered by screens and devices. Why can’t being outside be enough?”
On the other, you have the videographer documenting every moment of her journey. “I find beauty in nature and it has been the subject of my work for years. I love telling the story of people’s triumphs in the wild.”
With such opposite approaches to the same activity, you might be asking yourself, “Who is right?”
Let me explain.
There is nothing wrong with completely disconnecting from the increasingly frenetic pace of life.
Conversely, there is nothing wrong with a more documentative approach.
Both have benefits and drawbacks but need access to portable power.
The individual disconnecting can just as quickly take a wrong turn, injure themselves, or worse. When this happens having a source of power isn’t just important it could be a matter of life and death.
The documentarian will need to reach authorities in the case of an emergency but also has greater daily power needs depending on their electronics and camera gear.
With this in mind, what does portable power look like?
The term “portable power” is thrown around a lot and can mean different things to different people.
Small battery banks are portable and provide anywhere from 3Ah to over 30Ah. These solutions are ideal for charging small electronics.
Other larger power stations pack 100’s of Ah. These solutions are bulkier but continue to get lighter and more portable. They are perfect for charging larger draw devices such as drones, laptops, and more.
When batteries both small and large empty, you are out of luck. Then what?
Luckily, solar panels leverage existing battery solutions making them more powerful. Plug in a solar panel and charge no matter where you are.
Now, let’s dig into different solar panel options.
Most commonly you will see rigid crystalline panels that are only portable to a point and must be treated with care or they could crack.
These solutions are often very fragile, heavy, and difficult to pack.
PowerFilm offers an alternative to conventional portable power solutions.
We specialize in amorphous silicon solar panels that are paper-thin and incredibly durable.
Foldable Solar Panels are compact, lightweight, and easy to deploy.
Foldables are backed on fabric and come in a variety of wattages from 5W up to 220W.
Rollable Solar Panels feature the same thin-film solar material backed on vinyl and fully encapsulated making them 100% waterproof. Rollables range from 7W up to 60W.
LightSaver Portable Solar Chargers feature our thin-film solar material with an integrated battery. These all-in-one systems simplify the solar energy collection process creating powerful, lightweight systems.
Are you looking for a more robust solution? The RIVER Mobile Power Station Bundle pairs the lightweight power of the 60 Watt Foldable Solar Panel with the incredible power density of the RIVER Mobile Power Station lithium-ion battery.
See a Foldable, Rollable and LightSaver in action as filmmaker Francois Leger-Savard speaks about his experience using PowerFilm Solar products on a recent trek in Nepal.
Learn more about Francois’ storytelling process and how he uses the RIVER Mobile Power Station Bundle to help document more effectively and tell stories without babysitting a battery.
Looking to charge a phone on a hike, the LightSaver Portable Solar Charger is perfect. Weighing in at 4.9 ounces with an integrated 3.2Ah battery you can stay connected without adding too much weight or bulk.
Do you want to charge devices on a canoe trip? Rollables are the way to go. See how Expedition Ikivuq used Rollable Solar Panels to help document their journey to map an uncharted waterway in the extreme north of Quebec.