No Power? No Problem! The Marsboy Portable Solar Charger

With each passing day, our reliance on portable electronics grows.  These little devices are powerhouse computers that store our calendars, digital reference libraries, photo albums, tasks lists and just about everything else you can think of.  Life before gizmos; can you even imagine it?

In spite of our reliance on electronic devices, there is a downside. They consume energy like crazy and require frequent recharging using electricity.  I know some folks that are so dependent on their devices that put them through a charging cycle twice a day!

Therein lies the problem. With our reliance on smart phones, tablets, and eBook readers, a grid down power outage will leave us with a muddled mess of information that is inaccessible.  Those hundreds if not thousands of documents, photos and eBooks will no be available until power is restored.

No Power? No Problem! The Marsboy Portable Solar Charger | Backdoor Survival

Thankfully, in the past four years great strides have been made in the area of portable solar chargers.  Not only have they become a cinch to use, but they have come down enough in price to be highly affordable.

With that introduction, I would like to introduce you to the Marsboy 15W Portable Solar Charger.  This easy to use solar charger is so simple that the operating instructions are printed on the cover.  You can’t get much simpler than that.  And the best part?  I have one to giveaway for free to a lucky Backdoor Survival reader!

Just the Basics: The Marsboy Folding Portable 15W Solar Charger

Here is what you need to know about the Marsboy Portable Solar Charger.

The Marsboy consists of a compact unit measuring 7.5 by 10 inches when folded and weighing just 1 pound, 10 ounces. It includes three solar panel that put out 15W.  These panels are sturdy!  While I don’t recommend it, I dropped a couple of rocks on one of the open panels and it suffered nary a scratch.

There are two integrated USB ports tucked into a Velcro pocket.  One is 1A and the other is 2.5A.  For my tests, I plugged in an iPhone and iPad in simultaneously and they both began charging immediately.  It is a good thing when that green lighting icon appears from the get go!

No Power? No Problem! The Marsboy Portable Solar Charger | Backdoor Survival

Later I plugged in my Goal Zero battery charger and likewise, my drained, AA rechargeable batteries charged right up.

There is one thing to keep in mind with solar charges such as this one.  You do not want to keep your phones, tablets, and eBook readers baking in the direct sun.  Luckily, smaller handheld devices can be tucked into the Velcro pocket while being charged and larger tablets can be shaded by the folding panels themselves.  Which brings me to the next point: the panels are in a study case that will stand up, accordion style on it own.  Flimsier panels will not do that.

Although I had to provide my own cables, I saw that as an advantage.  Some of the solar chargers I have tested in the past were a mess of cables with assorted tips that had to be mixed and matched to get the charging cycle started.  These days you can purchase USB cables inexpensively (I like the Amazon Basics brand) so what I do, is keep a set in the Velcro pocket.  Easy peasy.

In my usual style, I leave it up to you to seek out additional specifications by taking a look at the product specs on Amazon.  What you really need to know, however, is that the Marsboy 15W Solar Charger works and that it is easy to use.  You do not need a PhD is engineering to figure it out.  This is my kind of product.


The Giveaway

Okay peeps; here is the part you have been waiting for.  One of you will win a Marsboy Solar Charger of your own. How cool is that?

To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below.  Select one or more of the options after signing in using your email account or Facebook, the choice is yours.  The best way to start is by clicking on “Free Entry for Everyone”.  After that, each option you select represents an additional entry.  There are a number of different options so pick and choose or select them all.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their prize within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

The Final Word

You know the rule, one is none and two is one.  When in comes to charging your electronic devices (which I fondly call gizmos), you need a secondary source other than electricity.

The Marsboy Solar Charger fits the bill at an affordable price plus it is very easy to use.   Just unfold it and plug in your devices.  Easy peasy. Performance is best when the panels are pointed directly toward the sun, but if not, you still get enough juice to charge most devices; it just might take longer.

This is a fantastic product that will make a fine addition to your emergency kit.  I invite you to check it on on Amazon and of course, to enter the giveaway.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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Bargain Bin:  Below you will find links to the items related to today’s article as well as some of my favorite prepping essentials.

Marsboy 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports:  This portable solar charger is easy to set up and easy to use.  With two USB ports, you can charge two devices at once which is a real timesaver.  Well constructed and well priced.

Amazon Basics USB Cables:  I swear by these cables. They are not the cheapest but they are also not the most expensive.  They just work!

MPOWERD Luci EMRG Inflatable Solar Lantern:  This is the original Luci EMRG Solar lantern. I have put mine through its paces and it is one tough cookie.  It has weathered both a wind storm and rain storm while hanging outdoors for a month.  Lightweight, waterproof and shatterproof, Luci EMRG provides ultra-bright, reliable light to guide your way indoors and out, through blackouts or extreme weather conditions.  At $9.99 with free Prime shipping, it is a great value.

Luci EMRG 250_18

Kindle or other eBook reader:  Are you surprised?  If the grid is down, you are still going to want to have access to your eBooks and reference manuals plus some way to keep your mind occupied.  I happen to have both a reader and an iPad and both can be charged using an inexpensive solar charger (see below).  A basic Kindle Wi-Fi is only $69 and a Kindle Fire HD is as low as $129.

Solar Charger for Standard Batteries:  I use this Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Power Pack for charging AA and AAA batteries using the sun.  It works great with the Marsboy Solar panels.

Inch Premium Glow Sticks – Assorted: These 4” glow sticks are fantastic!  Each stick glows for 8-12 hours, and comes with a pre-attached hook and lanyard.  They are well priced and hold up well when packed around in a pocket or handbag.  For more information about glow sticks and chemical lighting, read 10 Reasons to Add Glow Sticks to Your Survival Kit.

UltraFire Mini Cree LED FlashlightFAVORITE!  At the time of this writing, this one is only $3.40 with free shipping.  It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof.  Plus, it uses a single, standard AA sized battery.

mini Cree_0         


Shop Emergency Essentials Sales for Fantastic Deals!

Emergency Essentials | Backdoor Survival


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Amazon has a feature called Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are ‘wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are.  All you need to do is select the category from the left hand side of the screen.

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Which are the best oils for your survival kit?  This article describes my top picks.

9 Best Essential Oils for Your Survival Kit | Backdoor Survival

  1. I would really enjoy learning to charge up batteries, run a small radio, and/or create light, using a solar panel – so this sounds like the perfect gift for me – hope I win! Thanks

  2. The hardest part of prepping for me is practicing the skills I am learning. Book knowledge is great but the practical is more important. Being able to access my knowledge without having to look it up is my goal.

  3. With all the normal demands on ones budget prepping can take a back seat. So I look for prepping items off the beaten path. Garage sales, discount grocery stores, army navy surplus, trade with friends, barter. You’d be amazed at what can be found for nearly nothing.

  4. Biggest battle – is having the time to practice the art of prepping. Work 10 or so hours a day, always something to do at home, weekends filled with grandkids activities and then the stuff you gotta do to get ready for the work week ahead. Need to carve out more opportunities to camp, hike with bag, etc.! Thanks Gaye – appreciate your material.

  5. Since I’m THE ‘prepper’ in my family, my biggest struggle is being prepared for everyone. Luckily it’s just myself, my husband, our adult son and to small pets.

  6. I’m fairly new to all of this, so I’m struggling with how to get started without feeling overwhelmed. I’m trying to balance the budget with the supplies, and this would go a long way toward helping.

  7. I worry about an IMP or a financial collapse. In either, should I have my debts paid down to keep someone from repossessing my home, or should I run it high and let the financial institutions take the hit? Any ideas?

  8. The thing I struggle with the most is keeping my focus on one thing at a time. I have a chaotic mind and seem to never be able to keep focus on anything

  9. Knowing how many cans I have of what. I used to keep a clipboard and change # evertime I use something, then I became inconsistent.Practicing skills is another, finding time.

  10. I have water, some food, some gear, lots of knowledge but I’m 65 with a bad heart. 10 minutes in the garden and I’m a sweaty mess with a thumping heart. My only option is to bug in. I have no confidence in my ability to protect my wife. Kids live far away, Neighbors are sketchy. No group to rely on. What can I do besides buy more ammo. Thanks for your info, the charger looks great.

  11. My biggest struggle is finding the time (and money) to get all that I need and learn how to use it. I would be so much more motivated if I had a community of like-minded people to plan and practice with, but I don’t, so it’s hard to say, oh I think I’ll sit here alone for 6 hours and try this out. Having your articles really helps.

  12. I struggle with finding enough money out of the budget to keep preparing and with the husband who doesn’t quite get it yet and thinks that nothing will happen.

  13. THe thing my family struggles with the most is food allergy preps. There are few choices available to us. Lot of beans and rice I guess.

  14. My most difficult thing is space to do everything I’d like (currently a renter). I’ve maxed out the closets, the bed space, the furniture. So far I’ve kept it from looking like a warehouse. That portable solar power setup looks nice and compact. Love to have it 🙂

  15. My struggles are keeping everyone and pets healthy to stay on the journey with me. It’s a big burden riding on my shoulders to be organized and wise enough to be their rudder in hard times.

  16. I struggle with lack of money. Trying to get items that you feel are real important without breaking the bank is near to impossible in some instances. FYI this is the reason I enter all your giveaways. You have super items that if I can win it is one more thing less to worry about!

  17. My biggest struggle is financial. I have canned tons of food from my garden (yay!) and saving water in scavenged soda bottles (love a good haul from a friend’s party), and learning all I can. But buying tech is just not possible.

    1. Money is a problem for everyone but if you check the local BOGOs (buy one, get one free) you’ll have one for your prep stash. One or two a week will get you there in no time. Be proud that you’re doing what they need.

  18. Money is my big problem. Another is figuring out electronics-computers,tablets and understanding all of the terms and abbreviations to be able to fit them into prepping.
    Also figuring out a solar charger that will do it all.

  19. My biggest concern is getting my husband to continue helping me prep. Plus, I just found out I am diabetic, and am very depressed over that.

  20. Glad to see I’m not the only one who struggles most with finding the time to plan for the future while also trying to get what needs to be done NOW done!

  21. I believe I read where you are in Arizona? Where? I live in Phoenix and would love to meet you if you are close by. You have picked a good time of year to come as it has cooled off. Right now keeping focused is hard but know there are items we need to still get and do. Love your site and blog. Enjoy Arizona!

  22. I really appreciate your information. We are an elderly couple with one son (who works all the time) and neighbors who are in about the same boat we are in. There is little interaction except at our local church. Not many of us are able to ‘prep’ but we struggle to do the best we can. We worry about our grandchildren and great-grandchildren and the kind of world that they are inheriting. Again, thank you for all your information. We rely strongly on your articles.
    This solar charger appears to be just the item that would benefit us!

  23. My biggest struggle would be potable water. Altho I am within 1/4 mile of a lake, I would not drink the water without a lot of treatment!

  24. My biggest struggle is finding enough money to do all that I need to do. Being on a fixed income with no increase except for the cost of everything going up is really pinching my funds.

  25. I struggle with getting all my “stuff” organized. Since my family is not on board it falls on me alone to find the time.

  26. I struggle with figuring out how best to cover the larger things–water, power, heat, sanitation, communication, self-defense–while on a budget and with a family who is not really on board.

  27. I seem to always be finding new gadgets that I have got to have! There is always something newer/better/more gee-whiz that I read about that I end up wanting. That can get very expensive, so I struggle trying to limit myself to only those items that are really necessary.

  28. This solar panel looks really handy. I’ve been working hard on building a food supply. Does anyone have advice on refrigeration?

  29. My biggest struggle is knowing where to draw the line. I would love to cover my roof with solar panels & fill the basement with food, but can’t justify the cost. So, I muddle along taking halfway measures. Second struggle, my wife’s not on board- already sees me as “hoarding.”

  30. Not knowing what to prepare for. Financial collapse, EMP, etc. Some basic preps are the same but it is unclear what is most likely to happen.

  31. I struggle with information overload. After reading and researching about the different components of being prepared (food production, food and water storage, personal protection, etc, etc.) I end up jumping between the different areas too much and not really feeling that I’ve accomplished an adequate level of preparedness in any of the areas.

  32. I really wish my husband was more supportive with certain preps. He’s okay with what I do,but trying new things ie solar panels or things of that nature he is a little more reluctant . I have others that think it’s a great idea but really don’t want help with long term plans. I feel at times that I am the only one who is concerned with our well being.

  33. Finding a way to convince my wife that we need to do this. I’ve been quietly stockpiling food, water filtration, heat and light but I need to get her on board as well.

  34. As always, Gaye, you are spot on with that solar charger. We’ve been with you a long time and are doing pretty darn good on our prepping. Word around the neighborhood is that its an important thing to do and I occasionally hear another is working on prepping. I’m in love with that solar charger and need it, I mean … I need it! Send it to me. Glad you’re in AZ where my BFF lives. Hope to see you both soon.

  35. We can always use additional ways to keep our electonic devices wirking in an emergency. Solar recharging has always been one of the best ways to accomplish that.

  36. It’s a struggle when you’re the only one among friends and family to want to plan or prep. It would be helpful if they were on board but I do a little (for myself) at a time. I’ll get there eventually but I won’t have enough to support them, that’s for sure.

  37. I struggle with FOOD. I know this is the age when SHTF will mean people will die for it. I think I’ve come up with the plan to condition myself to eat not, today, what people will not deign to eat when SHTF. Nettle and Plantain and things that grow like weeds and I will grow them like weeds when SHTF 🙂

  38. My two biggest concerns are space for preps and keeping them organized. Over the years I’ve had to toss out a lot of canned goods because I wasn’t rotating properly. A new can rotation system helped that a lot, but I still need to be better about rotating out medical preps and things like hot sauces, baking soda, and other items that expire before I will. 😉
    As to space. I’ve taken over a third of the basement and am slowly culling stuff that’s not prepping related and either getting rid of it through donations or freecycling, or storing it out in the garage for non-electric kitchen stuff that we might use once a year. I hope to be up to half the basement by next summer. 😀
    But I really need to do a complete inventory to verify what I have and what needs to be added to or replaced. Right now I’m pretty sure I’m at 16-18 months of food, and while I only have 45 days of water on hand, I have enough Berkey filters to last me 20 years, so assuming the river down the street doesn’t dry up I’ve got water taken care of.

    1. A few issues back, Gaye Levy reviewed an inventory notebook that was really good. Look for it or start your own. As I add to my stash I mark the item so I know it’s listed. Computer lists are fine but print out your revisions for when the SHTF you’ll have a paper copy on hand.

  39. I would say my biggest struggle is to stay consistent and balanced in preparations and life. It is far too easy to swing from complacent to consumed and back.

  40. The biggest struggle with prepping is space. There is never enough space to keep everything organized.
    The other problem right now is that this entry thing is not taking my information. Keeps telling me it didn’t get my information. Sometimes it gives the entry, sometimes not. Once it gave me the entry on a tweet but I entered on Pinterest. I’m not on twitter, so I didn’t enter there.

  41. For me it finding exactly what I need to gather to prepare. And, food is an issues since there are others in my household that have food allergies and makes finding prep food to store difficult.

  42. Since I’ve moved and downsized my biggest problem is storage space which of course begs for being more organized. Not one of my strong suits! 😀

  43. I love your website and blog! The thing I probably have the most trouble with prepping for is home security. For some reason it seems very intimidating to me. I’m not good with electronic stuff like cameras for surveillance, etc. And it seems overwhelming. How do I really tell if my door is secure or easy to break into? Stuff like that…

  44. The biggest struggle for me, as so many others have mentioned, is financial. Living paycheck to paycheck makes it difficult, but not impossible.

  45. The biggest issue I have with prepping is funding to do so,and I reuse/recycle anything we can without making a mess of it. Second-hand stores are a real boon to finding items I can use, and also to donate to what I have that I can’t use.

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