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The EnerPlex Kickr IV solar charger. —Photo by Sarah Boyum

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This is part of a weekly series published fresh on Thursday mornings.

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On a recent camping trip, I had the unique and spectacular experience of a wildlife encounter. In the early morning, a family of moose walked within mere feet of our tent, only to be chased away by a friend’s dog. We retreated to our cars, and the family came back, slowly lumbering toward the nearby stream. I hurriedly took out my phone, hoping to capture the incredible moment—and then promptly the screen went black. Its battery had died.

It’s a problem we’ve all experienced: The woes and limits of technology at the most inopportune moments. Enter the Kickr IV, a lightweight solar charger from Thornton-based EnerPlex that’s durable enough to take on a backpacking trek and small enough to fit in a day pack. The tool is valuable for anyone who enjoys disconnecting, away from power outlets. EnerPlex IV advertises having a similar charging speed to a wall charger. While we didn’t necessarily find the speed up to that caliber, it worked well in direct, strong sunlight. And lucky for us, Colorado has no shortage of sun.

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