Headed off the grid, but still want the on-the-grid convenience of electricity? Backpackers, paddlers, mountain bikers and others can now carry a hydroelectric generating station into the backcountry.

Bourne Energy, a Malibu-California based company, has developed a portable device that can generate 500-watts of electricity when submerged in a stream or river. The stream flow spins a small electric turbine in the tube. The Backpack Power Plant is 3 feet long and weighs less than 25 pounds in its current incarnation. It can be slung over your back or tossed into the trunk of a car. Although, at $3,000 a pop, “tossed” might not be the right word.

Pretty nifty…if put to the right uses.

On the other hand, it puts one in mind of those guys with the plastic gonads hanging from their truck trailer hitch. You know those guys. They pull up on a quiet day – at a river, the beach, in the mountains — remove their sleeveless T-shirts and crank music that’s only popular in New Jersey. Paradise lost.

Outfit these jokers with a backpack power plant and a boombox and there will be no escaping their antics.

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