NMBL and I have a bunch of electronic devices for touring that gobble up electrons at a rapid rate. Most important is our helmet-comm system. We like to be in constant verbal contact as we ride to communicate hazards, hunger, and just the absolute beauty of the countryside we’re riding through. We’re also keen to put up blog updates and keep in contact with family when necessary. Like many people we do like our electron consuming devices.
Plugs don’t grow on trees. So how do we keep everything charged and happy while we’re riding around and camping in areas where there aren’t any electrical outlets? Well, read NMBL’s review of our charging gear for some insight. She’s got a rundown of our stuff and a bit on how we use it. We’ve definitely got some good stuff but could you imagine a light weight, flexible solar option that can be integrated into riding gear? We can… any solar cell engineers out there want to take up the challenge?
Feb 28, 2017 at 4:55 am
And don’t forget the option of wiring in a USB socket to the bike to charge devices whilst you’re on the go.
Feb 28, 2017 at 5:22 pm
Yes! A great option we haven’t set up yet. It’s definitely coming for both our bikes though. Thanks for the input.
Feb 28, 2017 at 5:51 pm
I tend to rely on this method on trips. It’s also worth looking at the sw-motech tankbags and powered tank rings. Not cheap but they look like a good option.
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Feb 28, 2017 at 6:06 pm
We’ve had great success with our Sena headsets for trips. They will take up to 8 hours of use before letting us know that they need a charge. Still, it would be nice to have the option of a direct plug-in. I still dream about having a flexible, light weight solar panel on the back of my jacket for that.
We’ll check out the tank bags as well. The wife has that fanny pack that she’s adapted for the batteries so that’s something that is usable on the bike. My tank bag has a headset-out port so I could put a battery in it and run a cable if need be. I haven’t tried it yet but maybe this coming summer.
One nifty item we have is a Biolite Stove (you can see it in some of our Olympic Peninsula pictures) which creates a charge as you burn wood and boil water or cook food. It can charge the headsets while we work to fill our bellies.
Feb 28, 2017 at 6:13 pm
Ive seen those – a really interesting idea. I wondered whether they’d provide enough charge to bother with.
A solar cell mounted or incorporated into a top box would be the go.
The reality is though most people don’t ride that far that would require this type of power.
Feb 28, 2017 at 6:28 pm
The Biolite stoves? They do. We can charge both headsets with ours, no problem.
What would be great as well would be to have the windscreen as a see-through solar cell. I know that there are companies working on those for house windows. They have a slight tint to them which acts as the photon catalyst. It’s a nifty idea.
It may be worth looking into getting our own flexible cells and adapting them. Like you say, mounted somehow (faring?) or on the beaver-tail on my pannier system. That could be set up on the molle webbing on the top.