Picture this: You're a good 3/4 into the most epic pack trip of your life. At the end of a long day of major mileage, all you want to do is relax to some fireside tunage. But, unfortunately for you, the battery for your iPod didn't last the hike. FAIL.
If only there was some way your pack could store up energy as you walk...
Not surprisingly, the military already figured it out. Basic premise: Military contractors developed a pack for the Marines with a specially designed frame that converts the kinetic energy of walking into electricity and stores it in a battery in the pack. This comes in handy for soldiers in the field, as it would allow them to carry just one battery instead of several, significantly lightening their load and travel time. Here's the pack in action:
Down side: Since the energy collected depends on the frame moving up and down, we're thinking the pack might be a lil' bit jiggly, which could equal chafage, instability, and maybe some sore muscles, too. Given that the tech has been developed for the military, consumer pricing is probably also a major issue. Until this type of technological wizardry becomes affordable for the rest of us, check out BACKPACKER'S selection of non-sci-fi energy storing devices.
Would you use the kinetic pack? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!