Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet" and "Endangered Edens."

The ultimate solar dryer

Solar Dryer

Marty’s photo of the day #1809: This is one of those “How do they do that?” photos. The lodge we stayed at in Costa Rica was miles away from roads and only accessible by boat. We had very limited electricity, supplied by solar panels. After a day of hiking in the rainforest we would come back soaked with sweat. Also, because the heat and humidity were so high, even unworn clothes would become damp. I once hung a wet T-shirt in the sun and it was just as wet the next day.

After a few days, dry, stink-free shirts and shorts became a luxury. Eventually we sent a bag of our clothes to the lodge staff for washing. Later that day, the clothes came back dry and smelling fresh. This photo shows how they did it. The staff hung the clothes under this solar dryer. The sun shined through the fiberglass panels, generating enough heat to completely dry everything in just a few hours.

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