Adventure photographer Salty Davenport has travelled all over the world for both work and pleasure. Recently he took a trip in Western Australia powered by a selection of REDARC products, designed to keep him off the grid and capturing incredible photos and experiences for longer.
The journey North
The road North with REDARC gear in tow was always going to be a good one. The further up the coast I travelled, the more sun my solar blanket was going to be soaking up each day, and the colder my beers would be by the afternoon.
I was travelling up to Australia’s Coral Coast, where the desert meets the Indian Ocean. My destination; a sheep station just North of Carnarvon where all supplies must be taken with you for the extent of your stay. Two weeks was the plan with just enough fuel and water to get us around whilst out there.
My friend and I had just installed a 1000w Pure Sine Wave Inverter. What an absolute blessing this piece of engineering is on a journey such as this one. I’ve only ever had the cheaper China rip-offs that you can still pay up to $250 for and they tend to survive only about two months in the Outback. Clean reliable power in the desert is like Christmas in July. Powering the dual battery and fridge with the 115w portable solar blanket and then running the inverter from the in-vehicle dual battery charger is a dream…unlimited free power that the Government doesn’t tax. Hehe
The REDARC Pure Sine Wave Inverter helping power those important and sensitive devices
As most of you would know, the roads in the North can get very dusty regardless of having a canopy or not, it always seems to find a way in. I have both the solar blanket and inverter in the tray of my ute so it’s a matter of storing these valuable items as best as possible. I found an old towel works wonders when it comes to keeping dust off such items.
Each day up there is special. We’d awake in our swags to watch the sun come up over the red dirt and without a doubt witness whales cruising up the coast at the same time. I’d throw on my wetsuit and be in the water as soon as I could and despite being 1200kms from Perth, it can still get crowded. I’d suggest avoiding the school holidays whenever you can.
A base to call home
Up in these locations I like to setup a base that I can return to each afternoon if I decide to chase waves nearby during the day. Some days I would leave the fridge and solar blanket at the camp to soak up the rays and keep the food and beers cold, while other days I would take both with me, which is made easy by simply folding up the blanket and Anderson cable and getting on your way.
Over the years I’ve found the less rigid items you travel with the better. Having to ‘save space’ for rigid solar panels can be painstaking and take up time you could be enjoying yourself, not to mention something heavy bouncing around in your car and breaking them.
Powering home an office on the road
I set up the inverter with the dual battery to avoid the risk of accidentally leaving it on and draining my crank battery. It’s a very smart piece of technology so even off your crank battery it can be setup to ensure this will never happen. However, I was short on time and needed power so a basic setup was all I needed.
I had two fridges and the inverter running off the dual so once or twice a day I’d have to start the car and leave it idle for 20 minutes to charge it back up. Having the inverter also charging my camera batteries off the dual was great for me and it would beep if it couldn’t draw enough power from the battery and thus signal to me that the fridges must also be starting to struggle. It saved me from having warm beers on several occasions!
Even though we were in the desert, there always happened to be a light shower come through when the humidity was up. The solar blanket, being water resistant, was great because I’d find that 9 times out of 10 I was in the ocean when a shower came through and would dampen everything. But I could stay out there knowing there was no issue with the solar blanket getting 10 minutes or so of light rain landing on it.
The versatile and rugged solar blanket, built for all conditions
Without sounding like too much of a fan, REDARC has been a blessing for my adventures. Reliability for me is everything and these guys know how important it is. The portable solar panel, inverter, solar regulator and high wattage cord are now fulltime in the car; I never know when I’m going to need to rely on them. I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to put the gear to the test and just see how far quality products can go.
To keep up to date with Salty Davenport's travels or view his work visit his official website here.