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Backpacking with a solar iPhone charger

My iPhone brought me closer to the Sun.
Erika Harris
  • On January 20, 2014

Guest Post By Erika Harris

I am a biophiliac.  I love life, and being in Nature is one of the things that make me feel most alive.  Just one problem:  There are no outlets for charging your devices.  Obviously, depending how far off into Nature you are, you may not get (nor want) a data signal for email/internet use, but technology is still a friend in helping you capture some of those beautiful sounds, and still and moving images.

A recent* backpacking trip in the backcountry of the Rocky Mountain National Park motivated me to find a solution.  Sure enough, there was one:  Goal Zero’s Nomad 7, a foldable solar panel for charging handheld devices:


Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel (affiliate link)

Three nights and four days in wilderness helped me pay attention to things I typically hadn’t considered.  Things like:

  1. How much garbage + waste  do I produce each day?
  2. How much water do I drink and clean with each day?
  3. How much electricity do I rely upon each day?

That third question opened my eyes to my relationship with energy.  I live in a high-rise condominium with no solar panels.  My reliance upon modern conveniences is still very much plugged in to traditional grids, and fossil-fueled sources.  But seeing my iPhone charged by the Sun did something to me.

The Sun, which democratically and freely shines on All, has more than enough energizing power to sustain our lives’ needs…  without causing biospheric damage or resource-based war.  So why isn’t the world solar-paneled and retro-fitted tip to tail?  Here’s some inspiring innovation to go along with that question: click here.

(*Originally published September 15, 2011 on