Imagine charging your cell phone, tablet or your rechargeable batteries while you were on the move. The idea of bugging out while producing electricity is a new one for some. It opens up the possibility to carry gear that would otherwise be useless without a source of power.
There are some really cool body power systems that you can basically wear that will create a little electricity. Maybe you are bugging out at night and need a little light. You can turn on a nice bright LED spotlight directed on your path without worrying about how you will charge it tomorrow or charge your GPS unit just by moving with some of these systems.
The idea that you can produce energy while you are on the move is exciting. It falls right into the prepper mindset of being versatile and functional. Everything in the bug out bag can be used for a number of different things. It just makes sense that the backpack you wear or the shoes you wear also serve a couple of different purposes.
Let’s talk about the different ways you can generate power while you are on the move and why the systems are good and bad. From there, you be the judge about whether or not you want to invest in one of these systems.
These are pretty handy devices if you can handle the extra weight in your pack. The system is basically a generator that is powered by your movement. Two leads are attached to your shoes and run up to a small system in the pack. There are also packs that rely solely on the movement generated by walking or running.
There are several manufacturers of these power generating backpacks and you are going to find some differences between the power they can produce and the price. You can expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $500 for one of these packs.
While a couple of pounds may not seem like a lot, it can certainly be a big deal when you are talking about adding the generator to your bug out bag filled with necessary supplies. Some companies boast a five-minute speed walk can charge your cell phone battery with enough juice to talk for 25 minutes. Some of these can charge laptops and tablets, while others are weaker and are limited to small devices.
Backpack Solar Pack
Another option to generating power on the move is to have a solar panel attached to the outside of your pack. A small battery is stored inside the pack to harness the electricity absorbed and transformed via the solar panel. All in all, the panel and battery are going to add about five pounds to your pack.
In the grand scheme of things, this is a lot of gear that you would have to do without in order to carry the additional weight without making your burden too heavy.
You also must consider the availability of sunlight. If you are traveling through a forested area or tunnels and what not, your panels are not going to get charged. You would be carrying around a dead battery. Solar power backpacks do tend to be a bit cheaper than the packs that generate electricity through movement.
Depending on the brand and model you buy, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $300 for a solar power pack. Some can power a laptop, while others only generate about 3.5 watts or enough to power a cell phone or tablet.
Power Generating Shoes
These shoes are pretty cool. Every step you take whether it is dark, raining or snowing is going to produce some energy. The way the energy is used or stored varies greatly depending on what kind of shoe you have purchased. There are plenty of tutorials that outline how to make the shoes on your own.
Generally, each shoe will be equipped with a piezoelectric crystal that is squeezed with each step and produces a smidgen of electricity. These shoes are fairly new and rather underdeveloped at the moment. There are plenty of companies and inventors out there who are trying to come up with a way to make these shoes a real possibility.
Right now they only generate enough electricity to charge a smart phone at the most. There is also the consideration of comfort and durability. Shoes take a lot of wear and tear and they may not be able to last long enough to make the investment into the shoes worth while.
In a true survival situation, you need comfort and support in a shoe. It is unlikely a simple sneaker is going to provide that. With that said, it is something that is worth looking into and in time, it may become a very valid way of generating power when on the move.
You may think that power isn’t a necessity in a true survival situation and it may not be. However, think of all you could do with just a little electricity. You wouldn’t have to worry about needing to carry spare batteries. You could still use your cell phone or GPS unit if you could charge it.
You could charge an LED light device, saving the battery in your flashlight. There are numerous reasons to have a little electricity. Weigh the pros and cons and decide for yourself if one of these systems is worth investing in and packing along on your next hiking trip or when you are bugging out.
With the ideas here, you could certainly try and make your own. Preppers are big on the DIY and when you see how simple these systems are, you could make your own and tweak it to suit you and your needs all for about half the price. There is one word of caution about the solar power systems you must be aware of—an EMP would disable these devices. You could end up carrying around a giant paperweight if this occurs.