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If there is one thing I know for sure, it is that prepper and survival types are in love with solar. What is not to like? With solar devices, we can use the power of the sun to give us light and to energize our devices, large or small. Whereas using the sun to power a refrigerator or laptop takes some doing, providing power to a phone, tablet, Kindle or other eBook reader is not only easy, but downright inexpensive.
Each month, it seems, I learn of a new device that can be used for this purpose. It just keeps getting better and better.
Today I would like to tell you about the Sunferno Portable Solar Panel and Rechargeable Battery Pack. For simplicity, I call it the Sunferno and with its small, lightweight form factor, it is a fantastic addition to your preps, or as in my case, my EDC.
The Sunferno Portable Solar Panel
I know that I am repeating myself but when it comes to Every Day Carry, size and weight matters. Size matters because your EDC (or daypack or handbag) should be as unobtrusive and compact as possible. And weight? That is self-explanatory. Carting around a 20 pound pack of essentials everywhere is going to wear you down. For that reason alone, I love the Sunferno. It weighs in at mere 6 ounces which is just about perfect.
The real key to liking something, however, is how it works. Let me explain.
First of all, to best utilize the Sunferno, you need to charge up the embedded battery pack. You can use the included USB cable plugged into a wall adapter. I used the one that came with my iPhone but any similar type of adapter will work. You can also use the USB port on your computer or, if you have one, in your vehicle. The charging status is noted by a series of blue lights as shown in the photo below. When all 4 lights are lit up, the battery pack is fully charged. Also in the picture is my phone which is currently being charged by the battery pack. I have performed the same operation with both my iPad and my Kindle and they are charge up fine.
So here is the deal. When the energy stored in the battery pack is used up, you can set the Sunferno out in the sunlight to charge it up again. You will know that it is charging because the first LED will be green. At that point, you can plug in your device and either charge it up or use it. It is as simple as that. But there is more!
Other Useful Features of the Sunferno
There are actually two USB ports on the Sunferno so you can charge two external devices at once. The only limitation is that they do not exceed 5V each which for small electronics and tablets, is not a problem. Another cool feature is that it has an integrated flashlight.
You know me and flashlights – one is none and two is marginal. I need at least three flashlights with me to feel adequately prepared. To turn the LED torch style lamp on or off, all you need to do is hold the on/off button for 2 seconds. Simple. Finally, the charger starts automatically after connecting a device. It takes about two seconds to recognize and identify the connected device using smart charging technology but then you are good to go.
There is one thing I found confusing until I understood how it worked. (A hit tip to customer support who explained it to me.) The solar panel will only charge the internal battery up to 25% or its overall capacity (or the first 2000mAh of its total capacity of 5000mAH). This is utilize the solar panel portion of the battery pack an emergency backup charger for those times when no other power source is available.
The Giveaway Plus a Special Offer
By now I am sure you want a Sunferno and so, as usual, I have one to give away to one lucky reader.
You can purchase a Sunferno. I just love a good deal! 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
As I mentioned at the beginning, learning to harness the power of the sun is an important part of preparedness. I am thrilled to find that more and more companies are developing and selling solar devices at a reasonable cost. It is my opinion that along with solar lighting, having some way to power electronic devices should be on everyone’s bucket list. To that end, the Sunferno satisfies both requirements, and at an extremely reasonable price. It is my understanding the the discount is good for a limited number of uses but that being said, I hope you will also enter the giveaway. This is a good one!
Below you will find some of my favorite solar items.
Solar Powered LED Inflatable Air Lantern by Survival Frog: These are fantastic! I own two and want to get more. They just work! For more information, read: Review: Inflatable Solar Air Lantern for Emergencies.
Sunferno Flintstone Portable Solar Panel with Rechargeable Battery Pack: This study solar power pack is lightweight and small enough to be used in an EDC kit. I especially like that it has 2 USB ports. With the Backdoor Survival, you can get the purchase price with confidence.
RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports: This compact, three panel, solar charger will charge two devices at once, including tablets, smartphones, Kindles, and even AA/AAA battery chargers. For more information, read: Gear Review: RAVPower 15W Solar Charger with Dual USB Ports
RAVPower® 3rd Gen Deluxe 15000mAh External Battery: Use the sun to power an external battery pack. By doing so, you will always have battery power to spare without being dependent upon electricity. Perfect to have on hand for dark, stormy days, night time, or when you don’t have the time to wait around for a full charge in the sun.
SunJack Waterproof LightStick: The versatile SunJack Lightstick is impressive for its compact form factor and extremely durable, waterproof casing. In addition to providing portable lighting, it will charge 3 USB devices on a single charge.
SunJack USB Battery Charger for AA/AAA Ni-Mh and Ni-Cd Batteries: Keep your AA or AAA battery powered devices fully charged anywhere. The SunJack USB battery charger charges your AA/AAA Ni-Mh/Ni-Cd batteries from any stable 5V USB port or power bank. It will charge fully drained batteries in about 5 hours.
SunJack Portable Solar Charger: SunJack® helps mobile users stay charged on the go anywhere the sun shines. The SunJack® is able to fully charge its internal battery pack in about 5 hours of direct sunlight, or directly power any USB device. When the sun isn’t shining, users can still energize their devices from the powerful SunJack® battery, which holds enough charge to power up to 4 iPhones.
SunJack CampLight USB Bulb: This 4 Watt USB LED light is bright and ultra portable at just over 3.5 ounces. It is highly durable – shatter, shock, and vibration resistant. Will fully illuminate a tent at night. Power it from any standard USB source – compatible with all USB wall plugs, USB batteries, and laptops.
Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger: This nicely built charger will charge charge AA, AAA, C, D, N, 9V, Ni-MH, Ni-CD, and Alkaline batteries. It has an LED display so that when you first put a battery in the charging bay, you know whether it is viable for charging or simply bad and ready to go back to the recycle box. See How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries.