As the air turns colder and the leaves begin to change, across the country hunters are making their final preparations. They spend the entire year gearing up for the hunting season, constantly reading and researching new gear that could lead to success in the field.
One thing this new gear has in common – great advances in technology. Back in the days of Fred Bear and Roy Case, your gear cache may have consisted of your handmade bow, a quiver full of precisely handmade arrows, a canteen, and enough food to get you through the day. Today, hunters everywhere are using technology to pinpoint hunting locations, photo document, and capture their adventure on video. While advances in technology make this all possible, they still run into one common problem; how to keep all of this equipment powered on extended hunts? I can remember years of filming archery videos in the Rocky Mountains where I was forced to carry 10 or more batteries for a 5 day hunt. And that didn’t include batteries for all my smaller devices. I knew there had to be a better way to bring power with me then a brick of camera batteries and a bag full of AA/AAs. I was introduced to Goal Zero’s portable solar-powered gear 4 years ago in their early stages. I had used other portable solar panels in the field and hadn’t had a good experience. But at this point in my hunt, I was willing to try just about anything to get away from packing a crazy amount of batteries. I received the gear on a Wednesday and was leaving Thursday morning for the opener of Utah’s archery season. So without testing I decided to take a chance and leave half of my camera batteries in the truck (worst case I would have to hike 3 hours back and get them) and take 4 batteries and my new portable power kit. We hunted and filmed hard for 6 days and I ended up using and recharging 2 of 4 batteries. Needless to say I was an immediate believer in Goal Zero’s portable power kit. Not to mention it weighed significantly less than all the batteries I was used to lugging around. Since my first experience, Goal Zero’s product has come a long way. I’ve shed about 6 pounds from my pack by incorporating a variety of Goal Zero power packs and solar panels, as well as tailoring my devices around USB charging. I use GoPros for filming, USB rechargeable headlamps, and my cell phone with an adapter to take photos and videos through my spotting scope. All of which I can now power from the sun. Below is a list of the Goal Zero products I use on the hunt and what I use them for.
Sherpa 50 Solar Recharging Kit
I take two Sherpa 50s into the field with me. One to charge camera batteries and the other to run a single Light-A-Life lantern that provides all the light I need at camp to cook, read, and get my gear prepped. I leave the Nomad 13 solar panel at camp to charge my Sherpa 50s.
Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit
Light-A-Life Lantern (LAL)
I always take a single LAL with me into the field. Weighing in at 10oz and only pulling 3 watts, the LAL runs for close to 17 hours straight on a single charge of my Sherpa 50. Goal Zero allows anyone to take power anywhere in the world, including the desolate backcountry. With lightweight portable power sources you can take luxuries along for the adventure that were once impossible. Stay powered, Hunt Longer. Robbie Anderson is Goal Zero's resident hunting expert and handles sponsorships. He's also a firefighter for Unified Fire in Salt Lake City.