Portable solar panels are reshaping how backcountry explorers think about access to electricity. Solar has become far more affordable and widely available in less than a decade. As a result, these handy systems are increasingly being turned to for added electrical generation while stationary during off-road/overland trips. Understanding the basics of solar systems will help you know whether they make sense for expanding the capabilities of your rig and/or trailer. If you’re new to electrical systems, and especially thse in vehicles, don’t worry. The first article in this Gear Doctor series provides a better understanding of how an off-road power grid works. Start there, and then you can begin looking at which hardware to equip yourself with. Because solar components are often sold as individualized pieces, it’s common to not have all that’s essential as you dive into the purchase of “starter” components (e.g., a solar panel). For that reason, most companies offer “kits”, which bundle all the needed parts into a set with matching capacities. Taking the guesswork out of matching up components is, for most consumers, a godsend. Rather than costing a premium, such bundled kits typic...