Originally Posted by Kinley
Yes but they run out. Solar panels don't run out of power when combined with batteries. I've used solar panels and battery set ups in a cache on the mountain to re-power radios, phones, all sorts of things. The box I posted is just full of batteries but it is limited to its charge time. Anyone with long periods of electrical power consumption needs to seriously consider solar panels. You can only carry so many batteries before the trade off becomes a necessity.
My pictures are embedded in an different thread
As what you wrote above....define long periods of time? 23-25 days on the river? Does that count. With the exception of a really large draw (cpap) my system supplied recharging on many trips for the entire group. This included still cameras, video cameras, ipods as well as supplying power for inflating the rafts at the put in and deflating them at the takeout.
If you are talking about months of cyclic use, then yes, I would agree with you that using solar charger would be the way to go - but the duration you would need to charge AND/OR the size of panel in order not to be charging frequently for the same draw down seems like a reasonable trade-off.