Low-power living

Take your off-grid adventures to new heights with this top 10 list of 12V brilliance

If a heated mug is cold news and a lighter-socket fan just makes you yawn, wait til you see these ingenious innovations. From an off-grid soldering iron to an LED projector for open-air cinema, we've got 10 low-voltage superstars to reignite your fascination with 12VDC. Just plug them straight into a vehicle power socket, and away you go!

What can be more essential when you're out camping than keeping your provisions chilled? You can adjust the temperature in each part of this dual-zone fridge/freezer separately, and it runs off 12V, 24V and 240V power for car, boat and caravan use.

Can't live without your morning coffee? Love to settle down with a cuppa in the evening? Fire restrictions can make it tough to boil up a billy, so use a camping kettle instead and you'll be enjoying a hot beverage in a jiffy.

You're going to be stuck with two-minute noodles for dinner if you've rolled out your swag somewhere open flame is banned. With a generously sized portable stove, you can cook up a storm without so much as a spark.

If you're out by the seaside, you won't think twice about taking a dip to get clean. But what if you're camped further inland? Just leave a bucket of water to heat up in the sun and then plug in a camp shower for a soothing way to freshen up.

Even with a top-quality inverter and a reasonable battery, you're unlikely to have enough juice to binge on your entire Star Wars box set using a standard TV. A portable projector under the stars, however, can make for an unforgettable viewing experience.

Connect an off-grid boom box amplifier so the soundtrack for your outdoor cinema isn't coming from your projector's teency little in-built speaker. This unit is also great for enhancing the sounds of nature with music from your phone, USB or MicroSD card.

Even if you've pitched your tent beyond reception, the kids will go crazy if they can't play games on their tablet. Keep all your USB-powered devices powered up with a four-port charging station.

You'd have to be a pretty hardcore enthusiast to take your electronics camping with you, but maybe the car stereo is on the blink, or you've damaged your CB radio… keep this 12V, 30W soldering iron on hand to save the day.

By the same token, perhaps you're not planning to do any prototyping while out in nature, but a high-speed rotary tool can be just what you need if you're faced with corroded battery terminals or you have to do urgent repairs.

While all these items run off 12VDC, not all of them come with a cigarette lighter plug. Pack a car adaptor to power all of them, and more – plus, it's got one additional USB charging port. And you can't have too many of those!

Click here to see our full range of camping gear.


- March 2022

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