Welcome to Power Monkey

When I started walking and camping as a boy, the first men had just landed on the Moon.

Now, I'll be carrying a phone with more computing power than those astronauts could have barely dreamed of.

But, how do you keep that power-hungry little monster charged up?

Here's the solution I decided on.

Today, we dropped in to meet Guy (the owner of Top Gear on Rosedale Road) and to pick up the Power Monkey Explorer I'd found on Trade Me for $139.00.

This piece of gear will be important to me because it's how I'll keep my iPhone 4 charged during this trip.  And I'm packing that modern marvel because of its camera, built in library of books, maps and trail notes, compass, back-up flashlight and much more (including, of course, text, telephone and internet.)

First impressions of the solar charger are good. It feels solid enough to have a reassuring heft. You can charge it using mains electricity, via USB and a computer or by solar power.

So far, all three methods work. A full charge on the Power Monkey should replenish your iPhone's battery twice before you need to recharge "Curious George" (as I'll call it.)

Look out for a more in-depth review. Until then, here's a photo of the solar charger, battery and iPhone/iPod attachment with a little selfie of my hand to give it some scale.