Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Prudent Prepping: Unused and Neglected

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping.

In the off-chance the weather stays in the normal range for California, I dug into my camping gear box to clean and reorganize those items I haven't used for far too long. I pulled out a day pack I haven't used in about three years because the straps were too flimsy and not positioned correctly for my bad shoulder. At the bottom, under some clothing, was a solar charger I first reviewed three years ago! I haven't made any hiking trips of any length in that time, so I had no need for a solar charger, which is why it has been neglected for so long.

As I said at the time, the model shown has been discontinued by Bushnell, but they have continued to make a line of somewhat unusual solar chargers. I like the idea of a flexible, non-rigid and non-glass screen charger, since I know how rough things can be treated in a pack or on a hike.
As an aside, why is a large percentage of camping gear either black or packaged in a black bag or covering? In the dark or a low-light situation, finding things is really difficult, which is why I overlooked the charger for so long.
After cleaning dirt off the bag (which I'm keeping as an Emergency Shareable Bag for friends) and removing some way-out-of-date jerky, repackaged almonds and clothes, I found the Bushnell solar charger. I set it up this morning, facing due South where it would get as close as possible to full sun in my yard.

After I arrived home this afternoon I picked up the charger, took it inside and didn't check it until evening. What I found is not what I expected: the charger did not show a full charge, and when I plugged it into a micro-USB cable, it showed as charging. 

The solar recharge time is supposed to be ~4 hours and the USB recharge time is ~6 hours. I've had it plugged in almost 6 hours now and the charging light is still on. Even though Lithium Ion batteries do not have what is called the memory effect that can damage them in recharging, they can and do go bad -- just not as quickly as traditional batteries. Do I need to say I'm disappointed? Yeah, I thought not.

I will be leaving the USB cable plugged in overnight, on the off-chance the battery takes a charge. Wish me luck.

UPDATE: This morning the "charged" indicator is lit! I need to drain the battery several times and see if I can, in fact, get a good, solid solar charge.

The Takeaway
  • Keeping an accurate inventory and cleaning out stored, seldom-used items can prevent expensive-for-me disasters.. 
The Recap
  • One (possibly dead) Bushnell solar charger similar to this model. $39.99 from Amazon, with free shipping but not Prime eligible. 
  • Surprising to me is the fact that 3 years on, the Amazon price for a current model is very close to the clearance price on my original buy!

Just a reminder: if you plan on buying anything through Amazon, please consider using our referral link. When you do, a portion of the sale comes back here to help keep this site running!

If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Fine Print

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Creative Commons License

Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to