Nomad Solar Panel: Goal Zero Emergency Power Source

The Nomad solar panel from Goal Zero is one of the must-have items of the moment when you're preparing for an apocalyptic event. The Nomad range moves solar technology from big clunky panels that can only be installed on a south facing roof to something that folds up into your pocket.

For some people, taking an item that will generate electricity can almost feel like cheating in a survival situation, but when you consider the benefits it offers, such as GPS, flashlights and heat, it starts to become a more attractive option.

Key Features

You'll find a few different options in the Nomad solar panel range, but all of them have the following key features that make them stand out from the crowd:

  • Foldable - the biggest attraction of a Nomad solar panel is that it folds up to less than the size of an average paperback while also giving you almost one square meter worth of coverage when it's open. The flexibility of this multi panel design means that you can wrap it around your backpack or leave it curved in your base camp so it charges as the sun moves around across the sky.
  • Lightweight - Goal Zero have done away with the concept that solar technology must be heavy and bulky, and the basic Nomad 7 weighs less than one pound. This can make it ideal to wrap around a child's backpack as it won't weigh them down and will make them feel like they're doing something important by generating electricity for later in the day.
  • Weatherproof - each Nomad panel, designed specifically to withstand heavy-duty weather, has a fine mesh covering that keeps the electronics dry even in the heaviest storm. Goal Zero still recommends keeping them under covers when they're not in use, but sometimes you'll have left it out in the open or will get caught in a flash storm. The weatherproofing also acts as a guard against minor scratches and bumps and you can buy extra covers that will afford a little more protection when the panel isn't in use.

Nomad Solar Panel Accessories

Each Nomad is compatible with any device that charges via a USB cable or a 12-volt device (with the exception of tablets). You can also buy the following extras as a bundle:

  • Recharger - this is basically a storage tank for the power generated by the Nomad panel. It will store up to 8 watts of power, which will recharge a dead smart phone in an hour. It is useful if you have a large survival party as you can have two separate power sources.
  • Battery pack - this is a USB rechargeable battery set that will charge a set of four AA batteries in under two hours. This broadens the range of electronic devices that you can bring with you as well as reducing the need for disposable batteries in your bug out bag.
  • Portable speakers - at some point, you'll need some fun in your survival party to keep everyone's moral up, so buying the additional portable speakers may be a cheap way of getting the party started. The speakers hook up to just about any music device, and come highly rated for its clarity and volume control.

You can buy a Nomad solar panel in a variety of different sizes, ranging from the seven that will cover a backpack all the way up to the 13 which will stretch out to the size of a newspaper. They don't come cheap, with the seven costing a minimum of $80 without any of the accessories, but when faced with pictures of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the survivors without any power for days, it’ll be cheap.

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