Give me the Power

Camping with electric power used to be considered not real camping. Even today people who love tenting tend to take non-electrical sites. And then there is also wilderness camping (or back-country camping) and backpacking that requires no electricity by definition.

But does it really mean that we can do without any source of power for days on end? For most of us the answer is no. We still relay on battery operated lamps and flash-lights. We take our cell-phones and cameras on canoe-trips just in case. We are dependent on electricity for so many things we don’t even realize it.

At most parks there are hook-up sites, which are mostly occupied by the big RV’s and trailers , but also occasional tent campers. Big trailers need electricity for its lights, fridge, hot water heater etc. They are little houses on wheels and they are just as dependent on power as any city house. So when the power goes down at a park, as it often does in rural areas after a storm, it may seem like a big disaster. Even if you can gather around the campfire for light and heat during the summer, your melting freezer will remind you how much you are dependent on your hook-up. That is just what happened to me this summer. The power was down for about 3 hours. No big deal, as we have a gas stove. But I kept nervously looking towards the fridge. And my teenager complained about his inability to charge his iPod and iPad. Although for him it may actually be a good experience of how it was in the old days.

As such circumstances are inescapable, we should be prepared to bear it or to have a back-up system. Most new RV’s have a battery, that will power some things in emergency. Some, more seasoned RV-ers, or those used to boon-docking, may have their own solar panels to save them from such circumstances. For the rest of us solar recharger for our gadgets and other small solar appliances might be the answer.