This past year my lovely and incredibly fit daughter Tali and I decided to climb Mount Rainier with a group and a professional guide. I would like to note that I am pretty fit also so this seemed like a reasonably insane goal for this past May 2016 – Memorial Day Weekend. My daughter and I trained and trained – hauling our 60 pound packs up many flights of stairs, and swimming to build cardio and lung power for the high altitude – nearly 15,000 feet.
My dear friend Lara turned us on to SolarPuffs made by Solight-Design to be our source of light while camping at the Paradise base camp of Mt. Rainier and commencing the long mountaineering climb to Mt. Rainier’s glorious summit. I purchased 12 SolarPuffs, one for each member of our climbing team and our two team leaders and clipped my own SolarPuff to my pack with a handy aluminum carabiner. I should mention that I opted to actually go to the FAARM.org website and purchase for our trip the SolarPuffs through the nonprofit Give One Get One program. This way I received a tax deduction for my purchase since FAARM is a 501 C 3 organization. I also felt really good about going this route because it created a way for our climb up Mt. Rainier to mean something beyond our own physical accomplishment. I chose sending lights to earthquake victims in Nepal because, well, Mt. Everest is there and I felt the personal connection climbing the tallest peak in the lower 48 states.
The ascent up Mt. Rainier took two days. We started for the summit at midnight the second day/night with our SolarPuffs lighting the way and helping us keep track of each other while roped up in two groups. Everyone loved their SolarPuffs and marveled how great these little inflatable solar lanterns are for camping. I have seen other solar lanterns at REI but none as cool as these SolarPuffs. They packed flat – we didn’t have to blow them up – they just popped open and best of all for the entire part of the climb we did in the dark they stayed brightly lit. I am taking SolarPuffs on all my camping trips from now on. I am proud to say Tali and I made it to the top in near white out conditions. It wasn’t easy but we did it and our SolarPuffs were right there with us!