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Gear Review: Solar Powered Backpacking Gear

Five of our favorite solar items to make your next trip brighter, safer, and less stinky
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LightCap 200 Lantern – See page 4 for the full review

In the United States alone billions of dry-cell batteries are purchased every year, many of which are thrown away according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Not only is that a lot of waste piling up, it’s also a lot of money taken out of your pocket. You probably pay around 6 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity at your house, while a battery costs around $160 per kilowatt-hour! Sunlight, of course, is free.

Improvements in rechargeable battery design and improved solar panel efficiency have made it possible to run many devices entirely off the grid. That not only saves money and helps the environment; it also means you can travel abroad or in the backcountry without lugging around spare batteries. Here are some of my favorite solar-powered devices.

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