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31496Re: Charging camera batteries at Resupply points? - & communications devices...?

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  • john_friend
    Jun 13, 2013
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      I've been figuring 100 pics a day for myself with my Fuji X-E1 which should go 3 days on a battery if I'm careful not to be looking through them a lot on the camera LCD.  I take fewer pictures on long hard days and I'm really tired and more when we have more time to mess around.  I haven't actually done this long a hike before so the 100/day is just a guess, but it's what I've averaged on three shorter trips in the last few summers so that's where my guess comes from.

      The solar chargers I was considering are the Nomad 7 by GoalZero and the Sundance Solar .  For your multiple gadgets, if you could charge them via USB, it would probably work well to charge the GoalZero power pack from the solar charger during the day and then charge a few gadgets from the power pack in the evening/night.

      For battery chargers, I got a charger from Wasabi Power  for my Fuji X-E1 that has both 110V and 12V input.  I figured I could use the 12V output from the solar panel with the 12V input of the Wasabi charger.  Wasabi makes chargers for many different types of batteries.  But, if you have multiple types of batteries to charge, that could get impractical to have so many separate 12V chargers.

      If you can't charge via USB from the GoalZero powerpack, then you probably are just better off taking multiple batteries.  You can put charged spares in resupply packages and you can even ship the used ones back home from most of the resupply points to keep the weight carrying of dead batteries to a minimum.

      I think I'm quickly coming to the conclusion that I should buy a bunch of spare batteries and put them in resupply packages (one in Tuolumne, two in Red's Meadow and three in MTR) and plan on carrying 1-2 additional at all time for the uncertainty (so I'd be carrying 2-5 batteries depending upon the segment).  I can probably include a small flat rate USPS box in each resupply in order to send the used batteries home (just to save a little weight and not have to throw them away).  For an extra fee of $10, you can even send out a package from MTR.  Tuolumne  has a post office that we're picking up our resupply from so we can send out extra from there easily enough.  I don't know for sure about Red's Meadow, but it seems likely you can find a place to mail a package close by or perhaps they will do it from you from Red's Meadow for a small fee.

      I understand the wilderness ethic question about electronic devices.  I'm not personally even bringing my cell phone, but I do love to take pictures and this should be one of the better picture taking adventures.  I also like to put together a photo journal at the end of the trip to share with family.  I did something like that after doing Mt. Whitney and Half Dome and I enjoyed putting it together and my family loved it.  So, it seems worth it to me to figure out how to keep the camera powered.  We're also bringing an emergency device (probably the SPOT 2) to both let friends/family know we're OK and in case of emergency, but I don't think this will need to be charged as long as we don't use it in track/broadcast mode.

      Your Bushnell Mini Solar Roll looks pretty small to do much serious charging to you should make sure it will really produce the capacity you want.  Remember, if you're trying to charge on the go while hiking, you will both be in the trees/shade part of the time and probably not have the solar panel at the ideal angle most of the time.

      The PowerMonkey  looks pretty convenient, but also looks like it has pretty small solar panel.  I think you'll want something larger than that unless you're just charging a single device and slowly doing it every day.

      --John

      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Christina" wrote:
      >
      > Hey John -
      >
      > I'm struggling with this question too. I'm getting my family of four geared up for an August hike of 21-26 days (not sure exactly as the kids are less predictable). So I have FOUR cameras to power (yes four - everyone wants their own toy - and I'm the worst, so I can't complain!).
      >
      > I take 60-300 pics a day, averaging 150 and I'm getting Wasabi batteries for my camera (lasting 1.4x the OEM batteries) - but even with the extra charge, I'm looking at 6-9 batteries for the trip - just for me. I'm guessing my husband will need 6 batteries and the kids will each need 6 unless I get them a camera that recharges via USB. (Which all makes me dread how much file organizing and post processing work I face when we return!)
      >
      > Regarding communications, we've never traveled with gps, plb, or sat phone. We've done up to 12 days with the kids without even considering it. But on this trip, for some reason, I'm wondering if I should have something. My biggest fear is that the electronics stop working and folks at home freak out, causing unnecessary risk to SAR personnel. I'm researching the BriarTek CerberLink hooked to an iPod:
      > http://cerberus.briartek.com/cerberlink/specs
      >
      > So I'm working the numbers trying to figure out if it makes more sense to buy a ton of batteries (at about $14 a pop) or get a solar charger that will also charge the CerberLink and iPod. The big question is will a solar charger even hook to my battery chargers. You mention a 12V charging input - pls post a link b/c I haven't come across this.
      >
      > And then there is my wilderness ethic that just writhes in discomfort at the thought of all these electronics in the backcountry. The mountains have always been a great escape for me from all that.
      >
      > Sigh. So the solar chargers I'm researching are the Bushnell Mini Solar Roll (3.1 oz) and the PowerMonkey Explorer (5.6 oz).
      > http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/78132?productId=1290006&subrnd=0&qs=3016887_pmd_google_pla
      >
      > http://www.rei.com/product/835331/powertraveller-powermonkey-explorer-solar-battery-charger
      >
      > Any and all comments and advice welcome,
      > Christina
      >
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