Trailblazers

They go where few have gone before – higher, further and deeper – in their daring quest for adventure. Get up close with our Trailblazers who rely on mPowerpad solar chargers to power their expeditions.

All charged up on Aconcagua – the highest mountain outside of Asia

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Kurt Wedberg is the founder of Sierra Mountaineering International Inc  – a mountaineering guide service that has led trips in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains and other high peaks around the world. With over 30 years of mountaineering experience in the Sierra, Kurt has guided more than 100 expeditions in all seven continents.

Bringing portable electronics on trips has become standard for Kurt and his team and these include GPS watches, satellite communication devices, digital cameras, portable music devices and speakers.

For several months, Kurt has been using mPowerpad 2 Pro solar charger to charge his and his clients’ devices on many multi-day backcountry trips in the Sierra Nevada. Recently, he felt confident enough to take along mPowerpad 2 Pro while guiding a two-week expedition to Aconcagua located in the Andes mountain range near the Chilean border. Standing at 6,962m (22,841 feet), it is the highest mountain in the world outside of Asia.

“It was easy to leave mPowerpad 2 Pro outside our camps to soak up the sun in the daytime. At night inside my tent, I plugged in my devices and within an hour, they were completely charged,” said Kurt. These included a Suunto Ambit3 GPS watch, a Delorme inReach satellite communicator and an Apple iPod.

Kurt added, “Not only did mPowerpad 2 charge our devices quickly and efficiently every time, it is also easy to use. It charges two USB devices at once and with the detachable portable battery pack, it even charges a third. The solar charger is also lightweight which means carrying it in my pack has been a breeze.”

After the Aconcagua experience, Kurt recommends mPowerpad 2 solar charger to anyone looking for a charging solution for use in remote places, anywhere in the world.

Powering the Motorcycle Diaries

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Bitten by the adventure touring bug, Terence Tay quit his lecturer job in early 2014 to take his motorcycle, a BMW GS 800 Adventure, on a three-month long journey through Indo-China. The solo trip – which covered Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia – spanned some 13,000 km in all, taking him through far-flung places and remote border crossings.

“The goal was simple. It’s to show that an ordinary fellow can just pack up his bag and follow his dream, and that despite the turmoil gripping this region, Indochina is less hostile than imagined,” says Terence.

To document his adventure, the budding photojournalist took along devices such as his iPhone, iPad, action cameras as well as mPowerpad 2 Pro solar charger. His journey took him across rice fields, up mountains and into rural villages, where power outages were common. So while riding between two points – often between 6-10 hours in the saddle – Terence would strap mPowerpad 2 onto the back of his bike to charge under the sun. Essentially, this ensured that he would have sufficient power to charge his critical devices at his destination.

Even on days when he was not riding, he would leave the solar charger on the balcony, before using it to charge his devices. “Locals were curious about the solar charger. Even in rural farming areas where solar chargers are used to power television sets and refrigerators, they were amazed at how small and portable mPowerpad 2 is. It made for interesting conversations and was a definite icebreaker!” quips Terence.

So what does Terence like about mPowerpad 2? “Its ease of use and reliability. Once I figured out the dials, using mPowerpad 2 was a cinch. It allowed me to charge my mobile devices on the go and it didn’t disappoint as it did what it promised.”

Post trip, Terence is still using mPowerpad 2 (instead of the wall outlet) to charge his devices at home as it has become much of a habit. It has also made him more conscious of the need to reduce his carbon footprint. He is already looking forward to bringing it on future trips where he will no longer worry about charging his phones and cameras, even in the wilderness.

Reaching new heights in the Himalayan mountains

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In December 2013, Rizalde Calija and four other climbing enthusiasts – who formed Team X-Boundaries – embarked on a three week climbing expedition to the Himalayan mountains in Nepal. The trip included a 10-day climb up the 5700m high Yala Peak followed by an 8-day ascent to the 6000m Pisang Peak.

As packing light is essential for any mountaineer, the team carefully selected the items to include in their backpacks. Besides layered warm clothing, communication and navigation devices, power cords and cables, they also took along a unit of 11,600 mAh mPowerpad 2 Pro solar charger – which comes with a removable mPowerpack battery pack – with sufficient battery capacity to charge up to seven smartphones.

Up in the mountains by day, mPowerpad 2 charged up fast under the sun – working well at high altitudes and under freezing temperatures – before it was used to charge the climbers’ various devices. By night, the charger’s built-in lights came in handy for reading, while its radio kept them tuned in.

“As mountaineers, we need a reliable solar charger that can power our phones, cameras, GPS device, radios and other essential equipment. mPowerpad 2 Pro served our needs well. We are always on the go but with it, can stay connected to the world even where there was no power supply. mPowerpad 2 is not only versatile but also durable and proven to work effectively in freezing temperatures,” said Rizalde.

What the team also found useful was the removable mPowerpack pocket battery pack which they could remove and carry along when making ascents to higher altitudes.

After a successful outing, Team X-Boundaries has plans to bring mPowerpad 2 solar charger on more climbing expeditions in the future.

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