Review & Photos by Gale Straub, She Explores
When you pack for a backpacking trip, every item you take carries significant weight. Because you huff it all on your back, the implied value rises. After spending time on the trail, I wouldn’t bring anything that wasn’t necessary and/or incredibly useful. For me, the Venture 30 Solar Recharging Kit from Goal Zero was both.
I love taking photos and I also love disconnecting. Backpacking is an opportunity to get off the grid and I welcome that. I took the Venture 30 & solar charger to the Lost Coast in California back in September. I initially wondered if it would be worth the extra weight, especially when my cell would be on airplane mode. It’s funny how we usually equate power in the outdoors to charging cell phones – there are other electronic needs out there. My real worry was my camera battery losing charge on the trail. I ended up bring along the Venture 30 for backup and reassurance that I’d be able to get the shot.
Prior to leaving, I charged up the Venture 30 which holds 2 – 3 typical phone charges. Good for at least one camera battery charge. I slid it into the top pocket of my pack and strapped the solar panel to the outside. The gear is weather proof, so I had no concern about the ocean salt or any unexpected rain. I knew I’d be hiking in a group of six and a few of us used our phones exclusively for photo taking. Even on airplane mode, if you’re excitedly videoing the waves hitting the shore at twilight every night, your iPhone battery goes quickly.
Over the course of four days, I found myself charging others’ phones with the solar panel as I hiked. It was nice. There’s a camaraderie that grows on the trail that’s really unique.
For me, the Venture 30 power pack brought peace of mind. I had a Sony A7 camera with me that eats batteries. Even with an extra one, I ended up needing to use the Venture 30 to recharge. It was a convenience that I’ll take with me next time I go backpacking.
Photos (C) 2015 Gale Straub
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