What does the backpacker need in order to maintain media contact with the urban world in untamed nature?
A smartphone, one might think.
But what if the last cell tower is miles over the horizon?
Then an outdoor radio could help - one that has its own power supply in the form of a dynamo crank and other scout accessories on board.
We have tried two devices of this species.
They both come from China and can be found in online shops.
Model number one is called the Mesqool CR1009 Pro DAB, costs 70 euros and weighs 570 grams. The name already gives it away: in addition to FM stations, the compact device also receives digital radio.
30 station memories remember the favorite stations from both types of transmission.
The device also works as a radio alarm clock, two alarm times can be programmed.
A display window on the front shows all important functions in four lines of text, including the title of the music received.
Under a small, foldable solar panel are LED cells that serve as a useful reading lamp.
Another light source on the left side of the case resembles a flashlight.
Like the reading light, it can be switched on in two brightness levels.
Two other useful features: a built-in siren sounds the alarm very loudly,
when an emergency requires it.
And from a USB port, which is located under a flap that protects against splashing water, smartphones and other utensils can draw charging current.
The radio is powered by two power sources: A built-in lithium-ion battery packs enough energy to last for more than 20 hours of reception.
If necessary, three small batteries in AAA format can take over the supply.
The battery can be filled with fresh energy in three different ways: A 5-volt power pack can supply the charging current via a micro-USB connection, a suitable cable is included in the scope of delivery.
In outdoor use, however, the hand crank is the energy source of choice.
The manufacturer recommends two revolutions per second - a vigorous workout for the wrist, especially since the first laps are quite difficult.
If the battery has already recharged some electricity later, filming requires less energy.
The built-in small solar field is another charging alternative, but its power yield is very modest.
A sunny day is needed to halfway fill the battery storage, and that's only possible if the radio has a break during this time.
The somewhat tinny sound of the small radio doesn't allow for higher music enjoyment, but there is at least a headphone jack that delivers a clean stereo sound.
The second radio, called Libovgogo 580, costs 50 euros, weighs 440 grams and is even more compact than the Mesqool model.
Its alarm and light features, battery capacity and charging options are the same as the larger radio, but there are a few differences: the Libovgogo cannot charge batteries and it only picks up FM stations.
A search will find the stations.
But when paired with a smartphone, it works as a Bluetooth speaker.
And it can even play music from a micro SD card.
However, this model also has a rather thin voice, and unfortunately there is no headphone jack.
In case of doubt, we would prefer the somewhat corpulent fellow hikers.Keywords: