I recently acquired a Midland ER200 AM/FM/Weather radio from, of all places, Walgreens drug store. I have seen them for sale at REI and various online prepping websites, and reviewed by several preparedness magazines. The usually retail for around $50, but Walgreens had them on sale for $30. The radio has a lot of cool features that make it perfect for your home emergency preparedness gear, your bug-out bag, or general hiking backpack.
- Digital clock that can be set for 12 hour time or 24 hour time.
- Telescoping antenna.
- Digital tuner for AM, FM, and seven NOAA weather channels. You can set the radio to passively monitor for emergency weather broadcasts.
- Cree LED flashlight with three brightness settings: LOW, HIGH, and SOS. The highest setting is an advertised 130 lumens!
- USB output jack that can be used to charge a cellphone or other similar device. In a one hour test I was able to charge my iPhone 5 from 9% to 60% while simultaneously charging the radio’s battery with the solar panel.
- Standard 3.5mm earbud/headphone output jack.
- Battery that can be charged off-grid.
Methods of Charging:
The radio uses a rechargeable 3.7 volt Lithium-ion battery. The user is able to replace the battery when eventual time and use render it no longer able to hold a charge. There are three ways to recharge the battery:
- Via an included USB cable, which means that you can plug it into a computer, USB port in a vehicle, or a USB adaptor that plugs into a 110 volt socket (like used to charge an iPhone).
- Via a built-in solar panel that automatically charges the battery any time that the radio is exposed to sunlight.
- With the internal dynamo and retractable hand crank.
Uses During Emergencies Or While Visiting The Great Outdoors:
- Keep up with the current time.
- Maneuver around in the dark with the built-in Cree LED.
- Listen to AM and FM radio for news and entertainment, and keep up with the latest local weather reports.
- Charge your cell phone or other small communications devices.
- I wish that the radio was waterproof, but that doesn’t keep me from thinking that this radio is perfect for emergencies and camping. It fits perfectly in a Ziplock bag.
- I wish that the clock had an alarm.
- I wish that it was available in colors other than just red (maybe black, like my heart).
Midland is quality gear. Owning a single, lightweight piece of gear that receives three bands of radio, houses a 130 Cree LED flashlight, is rechargeable while off-grid, and is capable of recharging most cellphones is a no-brainer! Go buy one!