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Solar-powered tent. Cheating or genius?

A friend brought this to my attention the other day.

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Now at first glance I thought it was a pretty cool concept. It’s a solar powered tent, although I note it’s not yet in production.

Anyway, my first thought was “Ace, I can charge my iPhone.” And then I realised that actually, I tend to turn it off when we go camping, and really quite enjoy the peace. There have been times we’ve been camping this year that I’ve NEEDED to turn my phone off and get away from it all. So why would I want a tent that can charge it up? (Strictly speaking I can do that in the car anyway.)

But to take it at face value, the tent charges up in daylight and then glows subtly at night. But is there an off switch?! There will need to be, I’m no good at sleeping even when it’s pitch black, so I will definitely not be sleeping in a bloomin’ glow in the dark tent. And you won’t like me when I’m tired.

So on reflection, I think this tent is cheating and I don’t like the possibility that it will keep me up all night. After all, isn’t camping about getting away from technology? About getting back to the basics of good clean non-electronic fun – counting bugs, building sandcastles, flying kites? I’m all for progress, but I think this is a step too far.

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4 thoughts on “Solar-powered tent. Cheating or genius?

  1. Rob Baker

    I’ve seen other, similar ideas in the past. Has an appeal I suppose for “off grid” types but a bit gimmicky at the end of the day.

    More and more sites offer EHU’s for tents now and an RCD protected EHU unit is a cheap and easy purchase. Ok so maybe its not as environmentally friendly but I don’t think the average camper uses much power anyway…………..

    Of course solar power is already available if you want it, we use a solar powered light when camping, you connect the little strip light to a small solar panel which we leave in the tent window during the day, charging the light for use all night. Bigger solar panels are readily available and coming down in price, that will recharge a leisure battery, some will even charge devices like iphones and Ipods directly.

    I think I would rather add my own solar power solution to a tent of my choosing rather than be forced to use a built in solar powered tent.

  2. Mary Keynko

    I’m with you! A nice idea I guess but your camping neighbours are going to be a bit pissed off if your tent glows all night! And like you – as we drive on to the site – phones off – no technology and no news of the outside world – just open spaces, fresh air and larking about as a family!

    1. admin Post author

      Too true. And as the tiniest bit of light keeps me awake, that would really get on my nerves if there was no off switch!

  3. Mark Riley

    On the one hand I do agree but having to watch a lot of different industries get the digital make over, I think it’s inevitable. I went on a week long camping/ hiking holiday and I took my mobile phone loaded with MSN for company and I thought I was pretty advanced at the point and also for safety being on my own. I went for the solitude but knew after a few days I would appreciate some conversation. For this idea to work, an off switch cannot be optional. I don’t see the problem with the light at all as it is no different than being put near a caravan with an electric hook up and no different to having your camping light turned on to read. I think the designers would of taken that into consideration as we are a specialist market and we know what we want. I would hope that the idea is to open up camping to a new group of people, I love it, my partner hates it. She would consider it, if the facilities were better. This is the first one I have seen, so I expect many more to come and to be better.

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