A crowd of screaming voices began the onslaught. The group remained unseen for awhile, but the racket continued through the night, with drunken partying and games and screaming had by all but our family. We cursed them, steaming near the campfire. All night we heard a generator running, and in the morning a gas-powered chainsaw scared everything within a mile, or so it seemed. We were flabbergasted and beyond irritated, and what was worse was all the wildlife wanted no part of being anywhere near us.
Then the sound of a 4-wheeler started and some kid blew through our camp, cutting inches between our cars and then he was off into the unspoiled wilderness like a rocket. He was back a half hour later, blazing through our camp, narrowly hitting my fiancé. I had had enough and I ran to cut him off and he slowed. I yelled over the rumble of the engine, “Slow down! This is not the place to ride this. There’s a sign out by the road that says–”
I couldn’t believe that little brat had the gall to tell me off. I also couldn’t take that someone would have such low regard and disrespect of what’s left of the natural world. I followed him, feet stomping the ground, fire in my face and my future father-in-law grinning in tow. I went up the hill and confronting a middle aged bald man lowered his beer and looked at me as I reached their little ‘campsite.’
“That your boy on the 4-wheeler,” I said.
“Yup,” said the man. “What’s the problem here?”
I drew in a deep breath and sputtered a jumble of angry words. It may not have been the most eloquent of my rants, but he heard it all. I raged about the child’s disrespect, about his little brat cursing at me, about how rude he was running through our camp, destroying the forest floor, and scaring away all of the wildlife. I told him there are families out here who save up for an entire year just to get a chance to spend some time surrounded by beautiful secluded peacefulness in the natural world, and that I thought his group were awful, rude people who had to run their chainsaws because they were too lazy to chop a fallen tree, about how all night we could only hear their generator running, and I told him I don’t think too highly of that sort of person.
The man stood up and flashed a Colorado police badge. “I’m a police officer. You better return to your campsite before–”
I sputtered again, releasing a booming derisive laugh. “And you’ll do what? You’re not in jurisdiction here, and I’ll go ahead and call the forest ranger, because you’re destroying a national park. I’ll tell you right now… Clean up your shit and stop acting like you own the place.” I turned and stomped back down the hill and we packed up camp and left as their entire group stood still staring at us as we left.
This all could have been avoided with modern tech. Sure, gas-powered stuff will be around for as long as we continue to exploit fossil fuels, but there are exciting new technologies coming out all of the time. What has me most excited is solar panel technology and lithium battery innovation. I recently reached out to Jackery to test and feature their Explorer 500 Portable Power Station and their SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel. When joined, these two make a formidable alternative to the gas-powered generators. They’re lightweight and small, so they’re easy to haul, and easier to use. Literally, you open the solar panel, plug it into the portable battery and away you go with renewable energy.
The Explorer 500 is very quiet, so there’s little chance of it scaring away wildlife or campers next door. The Jackery Explorer 500 is a 518Wh/144,400mAh lithium portable power station that’s ridiculously lightweight at 13.32 lbs and compact at 15.15”x11”x13.46”. This portable power station is super neat, because it charges 3-USB ports, a 12V car output, and has an AC outlet. That means you can charge just about anything, anywhere, any time, and when you pair it with the solar panel, you can continue using these devices for as long as you want. The SolarSaga is a 100W solar panel that’s foldable and very lightweight, weighing in at 5.5 lbs. To use it, you simply unfold it, point it toward the sun and plug it into the portable power station. It’s simple, yet beautiful.
After spending a good bit of time working with the Explorer 500 and SolarSaga 100, I am very confident that just about anyone reading this would love this setup. Not only is it powerful, but it’s quick and extremely portable, and is capable of charging high-powered devices without the need of gas-guzzling, environmentally toxic alternatives. Setup is ridiculously simple and the performance of both provide a seamless and reliable option that I feel is futuristic and a huge win for the environment. Sure, we still have to mine for lithium minerals, but it’s better than what we’ve been doing to this planet for the last 100 years. My review ends with a handshake and a lot of admiration, because Jackery knocked these products out of the park, and I couldn’t be more impressed.
If you would like to learn more about Jackery, click here.