6 Off-Grid Camping Essentials

Next week I'm headed west for a weekend in Marfa, Texas. This is a big step for me, as it will mark the first time I'm actually going camping. Being the tech guy I am — and packing along a camera with a need to edit and offload photos — I need a way to dependably charge and use all my gear. Here's how I'm planning on going off-grid while staying connected.

I've heard tons about Marfa lately, largely from a group of artist friends who've exclaimed all the virtues of the small, art-filled town that supposedly is just oozing with inspiration.

I'll be documenting the trip with photos while I'm there — perhaps even writing up a blog post or two if the inspiration strikes — so i'm packing along a lot of my gear. This traps me into a bit of a quandary - how am I going to charge all these things for the four day trip? Well, I present to you my solution - a roundup of the tech gear I've acquired — we'll call them my off-grid camping essentials.

1. Instapark 10W Solar panel: I read a lot of reviews for solar panels, and this one seemed like the best performing and most reliable.

2. Mophie Juice pack: I take this case along when I'm on vacation or at a convention. It gives my phone a little more than double its charge capacity. An added bonus is that I can charge up the shell during the day and then snap on and recharge at night.

3. New Trent 12000mAh Battery pack: I don't want to leave my tech tethered to the solar panel all day, I want to be mobile. So I'll be letting the solar panel charge up this battery pack during the day, then I'll use the battery pack to charge my phone, and iPad as necessary at night. Like He-Man, it's got the power.

4. Backup Rechargeable batteries: I switched to a rechargeable ecosystem of batteries earlier this year and I only wish I'd done it sooner. I'll be packing these along, fully charged to minimize the need for a recharge.

5. ONA Union Street bag: This is my equipment bag for photoshoots and I love it. Enough space and compartments to hold two cameras, extra lenses, external flash, batteries, memory cards, and a 15" laptop. I can load this thing up and be good to go. Bonus: I think it looks pretty slick in this smoke color.

6. DC to USB adapter (not shown): I'll need to pair this with the New Trent battery pack since it only comes with a DC adapter for charging out of the box.

I'll be giving all this gear a test run in Marfa next week, and if all goes well I'll be packing along these same essentials for future camping trips and hiking tours.

What gadgets do you depend on to keep charged up when power supplies are limited?

(Images: Chris Perez)

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