Right. So I’ve got the canoe, the paddles, and the tent. Check, check, check. I’ll even be bringing along my trusty MacBook laptop computer to conduct the odd interview. All well and good.
However, what I have yet to secure are the gadgets necessary to power-up the flash of the Flash River Safari. After all, one needs to keep iReporting from the field, well after pushing off from the latest internet cafe. Power to keep that MacBook humming. WiFi necessary to send a streaming live signal back to Creative Visions Foundation from even the furthest flung Mississippi River locales. Like the many islands in the river, between the towns and the cities, that I plan to camp along.
My friend Ben’s dad, Jim, is going to be biking across America at the same time that I’ll be coming down the river (see Jim’s cross-country bike blog link on right). When I heard about his recent revelation for a WiFi solution on the road, the answer made perfect sense. As Jim writes in his blog, the answer is Novatel’s MiFi 2200, and as the New York Times recently pointed out, the “revolutionary” concept of “a universal wireless bubble you can take anywhere” is exactly what I’m going to need.
Which brings me to battery power, that out on the river is going to need to translate into solar power. After an exhaustive online search, I do believe I’ve found it. The answer for the canoe is going to be a foldable solar charger from a company called PowerFilm, available from SundanceSolar.com. Originally built for the military, these high power foldable solar panels are made to fit into your cargo shorts’ pocket or backpack whilst folded, or in my case, draped over the bags in my canoe, when opened up. When the wind isn’t whipping, that is. They come in 5 to 60 watt chargers (I’m going to go for the 30W) and are capable of “charging your satellite phone, laptop, GPS, etc.”
Problem solved! All I need to do now is save the money necessary to pay for them!