Recreational camping is a fun and nature-themed activity that gives you a much-needed break from urban life’s daily hustle and bustle. You get to do things such as sleeping under the skies, cooking meals over a fire made with stones and wood, and fetching water from natural sources. It’s all fun till a full bladder wakes you up in the middle of the night, and you can’t locate your torch in the darkness of your tent.
It’s easy to misplace your battery-powered lights among your camping gear. Moreover, anything that runs on a battery has a short operational time. Most of them are also large energy consumers. For instance, battery-powered lanterns can consume the energy stored in D-size batteries in about two days. One way of dealing with this is going solar. Solar-powered tent setups are ideal for providing lighting during camping nights. You won’t need to bring a spare battery along.
Solar-powered tents are not a common sight on campsites. Most of the available ones are usually used for military assignments or music festivals. However, there are a few for personal use—solar tents such as Woods Solar Powered EZ-Tent.
The Workings of a Solar-Powered Tent
On the surface, this may seem like overkill to hardcore campers who prefer their camping to be entirely rustic. However, tent lighting can be very beneficial to campers, particularly those camping with their kids. A solar tent has the usual tent features such as rain fly (tent covering) and mesh windows (for ventilation). The solar panel is located at the top of the tent, just beneath the rain fly. It’s about 7 inches. It stays in place once the tent has been assembled.
During the day, the sun’s rays penetrate through the rainfly and shine on the solar panel. This solar panel powers two things in the tent; some LED light bulbs on the tent’s ceiling and a removable torchlight that usually hangs from the center of the ceiling. For the solar panel to attain full charge, it should receive up to 6 hours of direct sunlight or 10 hours of indirect sunlight. When the solar panel is fully charged by the sun, it can power the LED lights for up to 4 hours.
You can configure your tent lighting to switch on at sunset automatically. The solar panels aren’t restricted to charging the LED lighting. Instead, it has a power outlet for plugging your device’s battery charger. Though this may take a chunk of the energy you need to power your tent lighting, it shouldn’t be an issue if your tent has good exposure to direct sunlight.
Alternatively, there are also solar-powering options for your devices. For instance, you can buy a solar-powered battery charger alongside solar-powered radios, torchlights, and fans. This way, your solar-powered tent can be left alone to provide night-time lighting for your tent.
Compared to other innovations based on solar technology, a solar-powered tent is not completely green. The reason is it’s manufactured using petroleum-based PVC like traditional tents.