But I, the all-knowing gear sage, was wrong! In fact, several solar chargers exist that will work with the NB-3L. One rather impressive-looking device comes from Sundance Solar (www.sundancesolar.com). For $110, you get something that wouldn't look out of place on the space stationa large solar array that also has a plug-in for AC current so you can use it around the house as well. But, it's kind of bulkynot sure I'd want to hassle with it while backpacking.
Alternatively, you might want to look at a charger from Green Batteries (www.greenbatteries.com). For only $25, you get a device about the size of a large computer mouse, which you can use to juice up your battery (in the car, if needs be) before hitting the trailhead. The top flips open, the battery gets plugged in, and within two hoursor so it is claimedyou have a fully charged battery. How well does it work? I have no ideaI'm a little skeptical of the charge time, but it would certainly keep your battery alive during a trip. Not ideal for on-the-go packability, but still an option. Of course, one way to deal with that problem is pack along a few spare, charged batteries. The Canon-brand battery is $45; no-name copies can be had for $20.
Check out the 2005 Gear of the Year winners in Outside's 2005 Buyer's Guide , then get yourself a copy of the issue, on newsstands now!