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Camping And Emergency Radios

Updated on April 14, 2015

A Practical Gift for Travellers, Camping and Emergency Situations

Weather is unpredictable, it may be mild or there could, just as easily, be violent storms. A crank-powered or solar powered radio, like the Eton Solarlink radio, is a useful and practical gift for a loved one who wants to be prepared for emergency situations. For someone who lives in an area with power outages or dramatic weather conditions, this unassuming radio could be a life-safer in an emergency situation.

Summer is coming. So, a hand cranked or solar radio could also be a perfect gift for anyone who travels or likes camping.

It is a small, light-weight and compact product with multiple uses: radio, alarm, torch, emergency beacon and phone-charger. It also has multiple power options, which is ideal for an emergency radio.

This photo shows my radio, hanging from a tree branch on a camp-site. I really like my Eton radio, but further down this page, you can discover some other options for wind-up and solar power radios.

American Red Cross Version of the Radio

My eton solarlink radio radio is the UK version - identical to the American Red Cross version except that mine is black, and the shortwave channels are labelled differently. This photo, cropped from an Amazon photo, shows the ARC version. Maybe it's a little more photogenic than mine.

My Views On The Radio

I bought this radio for a camping trip. I chose it for its multiple power options and compact size. It also features a digital clock and alarm. The flashlight and emergency light options are an added bonus for me.

It is a durable little radio - I took it on a cold, wet weekend, camping in the Peak District. It was October, I woke to find ice on the inside, as well as the outside, of my tent. It was very cold and damp atmosphere. The radio was unphased by this, and worked without any problems. The manual tuning knob is a little slow, but it also has a scan function built into the tuner - use the "MIN/DOWN" and "HR/UP" buttons to digitally scan up and down the scale quickly.

Another thing I like is the USB cellphone charger. You need to handcrank while charging a cellphone, but in case of emergency, this is a very useful feature.

I'll be camping in the Dales in April. The Eton will definitely be coming along again.

Photo of my tent : I took this at 7am, temperature -2C, on the camping trip.

The Eton Didn't Mind A Bit Of Contact With The Grass

Although it wouldn't be wise to drop electronic equipment in a pool of water, the Eton camping radio stood up well to contact with wet grass and a cold humid tent.

Other Wind Up and Solar Power radios

Of course, there are other makes and styles of radio available. The important thing is that you can have confidence in your radio - I have confidence in mine.

Remember that wind-up radios do require a bit of work from you. Usually, one minute of cranking gives between 10 and 30 minutes of light, depending on the make and model.

My Eton can recharge on a sunny day using its solar power panel. If you are an area that gets plenty of sunshine, solar power is a good option.

topAlert HY-88WB Emergency Dynamo Solar Self Powered AM/FM/WB(NOAA) Radio w/ LED Flashlight, Cell Phone Charger w/ USB adaptors and cords
topAlert HY-88WB Emergency Dynamo Solar Self Powered AM/FM/WB(NOAA) Radio w/ LED Flashlight, Cell Phone Charger w/ USB adaptors and cords

This a small handheld radio, with built-in solar panel, is great for emergency use indoors or outside. It can be used to charge up small electronic items, like mp3 or mp4 players, mobile phones, iPods, iPhones, iPads and more. It is supplied with standard/mini and micro USB jacks, a DC cable, and a standard USB to mini USB cable.


Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness Packs

Some people have "emergency preparedness" packs containing food, water, batteries, radio, flashlight... Are you prepared? Or is it too much hassle?

Bear Motion BMXLN-288DS Self-Powered Dynamo AM/FM Radio with Flashlight, Solar Power and Cell Phone Charger - Yellow
Bear Motion BMXLN-288DS Self-Powered Dynamo AM/FM Radio with Flashlight, Solar Power and Cell Phone Charger - Yellow

The Bear is bright yellow which makes it easier to find than some darker colored models. It can be operated with a crank dynamo or solar power. It has an FM/AM radio, and also features an LED torch, a blinker and a siren. The Bear can give emergency charges to cellphones, and comes with charging tip and ports that covers most cellphones.


Do you have any items ready for an emergency situation?

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    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I wouldn't want to go camping without an emergency radio. Weather changes so fast, it's important to keep an ear out for alerts.

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 4 years ago

      @VineetBhandari: As a novice camper, I like my home comforts, so finding a good camping radio was a great help.

    • VineetBhandari profile image

      VineetBhandari 4 years ago

      Very informative lens :)

    • profile image

      fifinn 4 years ago

      phone of course :).

      useful lens. Thanks.

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 5 years ago

      Only a cell phone. A radio is next on my list. Thanks

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 5 years ago

      @tomoxby: I have found mine very useful!

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 5 years ago

      @CrossCreations: Well, thanks for coming back! Yes, I can see that it would have been useful in your cold basement!

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Think I've been here before, recognize this page but worth another read. I remember once sitting on a cold concrete basement floor during a tornado when this emergency radio would sure have been a great item to have.

    • profile image

      tomoxby 5 years ago

      Certainly something I will consider for my next wilderness canoeing or backpacking journey.

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 5 years ago

      @flicker lm: Good to hear that you're prepared, hope you're never in an emergency situation!

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 5 years ago

      Thanks for the useful info. And, yes, I feel like I'm fairly well prepared for most types of emergencies. But could do more.

    • CamelliaPenny profile image

      Perrin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      We live in a hurricane-prone area, so we do have a few emergency supplies set aside . . . we keep flashlights and batteries, bottled water, and some non-spoilable food on hand. A few folks around here keep generators, too. Great lens . . . you just gave me a great idea for a Christmas gift!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      This is a really good idea.

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 5 years ago

      We certainly do. Thanks for a great lens.

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      I like this Camping & Emergency Radio

    • ArtzykindofGuy profile image

      ArtzykindofGuy 5 years ago

      After Sandy - I feel like I need to take steps to prepare for an emergency with some basics.

    • OneHappyFeet profile image

      OneHappyFeet 5 years ago

      not yet

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 5 years ago

      @Karli McClane: certainly useful for camping or when there are power outages!

    • Karli McClane profile image

      Psycho Free Zone 5 years ago from USA

      Sounds like a must-have emergency item - I can't believe I don't already own one of these.

    • profile image

      Funkysi 5 years ago

      I have similar camping radio and it is very useful for me.

    • profile image

      CreativeGal 5 years ago

      Duh! i prepare in my mind, but not too well out in the material world! Well -- do have some things -- just probably not enough!

    • profile image

      cricketlady 5 years ago

      Great Idea! We love camping! and no I don't have one.

    • radhanathswamifan profile image

      radhanathswamifan 5 years ago


    • profile image

      DebMartin 5 years ago

      I'm in pretty good shape for an emergency. I have a similar radio but yours is much smaller and less bulky. I like yours.

    • emmber profile image

      emmber 5 years ago

      what a great idea! Nice pictures too, it's a cute little thing. =)

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 5 years ago

      @Alana-r: Thanks! And, yes, I was very pleased with the radio.

    • Alana-r profile image

      Alana-r 5 years ago

      Perfect for a camping trip, really nice lens!

    • Missmerfaery444 profile image

      Missmerfaery444 5 years ago

      Love the retro look! Very cool little radio.

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 5 years ago

      @Nanastyle: yes, I was really happy with it on my camping trip!

    • Nanastyle profile image

      Nanastyle 5 years ago

      cool radio!!