5 Cool, Portable Eco-Power Sources for Backpacking

horizon minipak fuel cell

Plan on going on an extended trek in the backcountry? Advancements in technology, both in renewable energy, as well as the efficiency & capabilities of hand-held devices/gadgets have converged to create a unique market – portable eco-power sources for your USB powered gadgets.

MINIPAK 2W by Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies

One of the coolest portable fuel cell power sources for backpacking we’ve seen yet, the MINIPAK handheld fuel cell charger generates up to 2W and 5V DC. What’s cool is that there is no on-board battery…the energy is stored as solid-state hydrogen in a refillable canister called a HydroStik.

A HydroStik can store 11W of energy which is enough for 1-2 charges of a 3g smartphone. HydroStiks can be refueled from either bottled industrial gas or using Horizon Fuel’s HydroFill refueling system. Essentially, you add pure or de-ionized water and a bit of power (which could come from other renewable energy like solar, wind, etc.) and the system extracts hydrogen, storing it in your HydroStik.


PowerTrekk™ Fuel Cell Charger

powertrekk fuel cell charger
Next, is this nifty little fuel cell charger  by myFC which works with 5V USB devices. It contains it’s own battery pack which can be charged via a PC or directly from the wall, or using the PowerTrekk “PowerPukk” fuel cell.

Just add a bit of water to your PowerPukk which converts hydrogen into electricity via its Proton Exchange Membrane. Each Powerpukk is single-use and delivers enough power to about recharge a smartphone or other hand held device (1400 mAh). PowerTrekk 2.0 Fuel Cell Charger


WindPax Wisp Portable Wind Turbine

wisp wind turbine

Though we tend to camp more during the summer months, accessing enough sunlight might not always be an option. Fortunately, another of nature’s basic elements can now be harnessed on the go. The Wisp is a portable wind turbine is for remote environments, making it an ideal solution for camping.

With a packing weight of less than 4 pounds and packing size of 14” inches length and 3” inch diameter, The Wisp can easily fit in a backpack. The Wisp generates 25 Watts and can be used to power and charge small electrical devices or LED lighting, perfect for long duration trips when you need to pack light off the beaten path.

Check out The Wisp Wind Turbine


Goal Zero Switch 8 & Nomad 7 Solar Kit

Goal Zero Switch 8 & Nomad 7 Solar Kit
One great portable power solution for your next camping or backpacking trip is the Goal Zero Switch 8 & the Goal Zero Nomad 7 Kit that includes their Nomad 7 Solar Panel and the Goal Zero Switch 8 Recharger, weighing together at 1 pound even. Like many portable power devices, Goal Zero’s Solar Kit is USB, so it’s ideal for recharging small electronic devices such as smartphones, GPS devices, headlamps and digital cameras.

All in all these are 5 great portable eco-power sources For backpacking!

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