Letter Re: Solar Charged Walkway Lights –An Option for Battery Charging

The discussion about cannibalizing tiny solar walkway lights prompted me to once again remind everyone about one of my favorite tools. Northern Tool & Equipment sells a 5-watt folding solar panel that folds down to the size of a paperback book for only $35. They come with a nice wiring kit that also allows multiple panels to be piggybacked for more power. They’re tough and well-made, with the small panels fit into a ballistic nylon type of carrier to make it fold.
One of these lives in each of our Bug Out Bags (BOBs), along with a small battery charger that takes 12 volt input (just look for one with a separate “wall-wart” [power cube]). I tested these and they quickly charge
a set of AAs and will keep you comms running just fine in an emergency. Those little solar lights are probably about 1/4 watt panels, and if you’re desperate they’ll help, but for planning ahead I think these panels from Northern Tool are one of the must-buy items of the year. Having comms, a small shortwave radio and light at night makes life a lot more pleasant, no matter the circumstances.
Here’s the link. – Bill in Oregon

JWR Adds: Since Northern Tool is one of our affiliate advertisers, if and when you do shop there, we’d greatly appreciate it if you place your orders only through this link: Northern Tool & Equipment, (Otherwise we won’t get our little piece of the action.)