Here at Earthtechling, we cover a lot of off grid chargers. This one, however, is neither solar powered or hand-cranked. It uses the power of free-flowing rivers to power your gadgets, thanks to a tiny, portable hydro-powered generator.
The Vena Microhydro System concept by Australian designer Daniel Hull (which comes to us via Energy Harvesting Journal) is a compact little turbine that was inspired by the way kites and pinwheels move. It features an anchor, generator, turbine and battery pack for storing and releasing energy. (The anchor is there to make sure the other components sit securely, regardless of whether the current is negligible or forceful.) The best part? The blades of the turbine are collapsible, which means the whole kit and kaboodle fits easily into a backpack.
While an off-grid charger like this may not be appropriate for everyone, we can see this being a boon in particular for river runners. After all, if your livelihood revolves around long stretches of time spent on the water, what better way to charge your cell phone, iPod, and digital camera (important for documenting all those beautiful vistas) than a charger that pulls juice directly from the river?