Preppers, let’s take a few minutes and talk about USB rechargeable devices. In a previous article we talked about having an emergency radio that was USB rechargeable. Let’s expand on that and talk about this topic a little more.
Why are we focusing on USB rechargeable devices?
There are a number of solar panels on the market that have USB outputs. These are usually marketed towards backpackers, campers and hikers.
Unlike conventional solar panels where you need a charge controller, a battery bank, and finally an inverter, with USB all you really need is a solar panel and USB battery pack. The battery pack is to provide a steady supply of power to devices like phones.
When I look for items that may be used during a power outage, I look for stuff that is USB rechargeable or USB adaptable.
- Battery charger that works off USB. I recently bought a Sunjack AA/AAA battery recharger that works off USB. As I write this article, the Sunjack battery charger is plugged into my Nekteck 20W solar panel.
- Flashlights that can be recharged with USB. Examples include the Atactical A1 and A1S. Both have batteries with built in USB ports.
- Radios. There are a number of AM/FM radios on the market that are USB rechargeable. I have two such radios: the Kaito KA500 and the iRonsnow compact radio.
- Battery powered lanterns. The ThorFire camping lantern can be recharged via USB and also has a built in solar panel. There are a wide range of lanterns on the market. Take your time to shop around.
- Battery pack. This will help keep devices charged through the night. Plug the battery pack into the solar panel in the morning and let it charge all day.
Lights and Radio
When the power goes out people need light, something to keep them occupied and a way to get local news.
Lanterns should provide enough light to play board games, read, and go to the bathroom.
Radios should be able to pick up local radio stations who will be broadcasting news and updates.