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Now, this is supposed to be a blog all about my travels, rather than indulging in my nerdy gadget-love, but I’m going to make an exception and tell you all about my PowerMonkey (well there’s a sentence I never saw myself writing).

Before you get all excited and report me for primate abuse, a Powermonkey is a solar-powered charger that ensures that none of your gadgets need ever to run out of juice on that long flight or bus journey. And honestly, it’s one of those things that doesn’t need to sell itself any further, at least not to me.

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I have found this thing insanely useful and whilst travelling used it pretty much every day. It’s very simple – it has a central charging unit which you charge when near a plug socket or using the solar panel. This central unit can then be used with a variety of adaptors to charge your gadgets.

2 big problems stand out – I didn’t actually get the solar charging to work. I would leave it charging in the Colombian sunshine for an hour or so, the bar on the charging unit would show power going in, but when I unplugged it, the level was the same as before. Now this could just be that I needed to leave it longer, who knows, but to be honest I was never so far away from a plug socket (the other, more traditional way of charging it) that this was a problem.

Secondly I only actually used it for my iPod. It doesn’t charge laptops (for that you need to spend another 30 quid or something for the PowerGorilla, and even then I’m not sure it charges a Mac), my camera has an external charger and the adaptor for my phone didn’t work very well. And then I lost the phone, so that was that!

However, simply being able to charge the iPod made this an absolute must-have gadget – particularly when not travelling with a laptop – thanks Rach!