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RE: [John Muir Trail] Charging camera batteries at Resupply points?

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  • Joe MacLeish
    I just take 2 or 3 charged up camera batteries with me or send one to my MTR resupply. No recharging needed. 3 batteries is good for well over 1000 pictures
    Message 1 of 17 , Jun 12, 2013
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      I just take 2 or 3 charged up camera batteries with me or send one to my MTR resupply.  No recharging needed.  3 batteries is good for well over 1000 pictures for me. 

       

      From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of john_friend
      Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 7:52 PM
      To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [John Muir Trail] Charging camera batteries at Resupply points?

       

       

      I'm trying to figure out how to handle camera batteries on the JMT this summer (southbound, starting 7/13). We have planned resupply at Tuolumne, Red's Meadow and Muir Trail Ranch and are planning for a 20 day trip.

      Does anyone know if a hiker can charge things at Tuolumne Meadows or Red's Meadow?

      I have a 2.5oz charger for the camera battery that will run off either 12V or 110V.

      I know I could get a solar charger and use the 12V charging input from that, but I am trying to see what options might save the extra weight of carrying the solar charger and the daily hassle of trying to get things charged. There also seems to be a bit of uncertainty about how well a solar charger works while you're hiking all the time, especially going into and out of the sun, at less than ideal angles, etc...

      Another option is to just buy enough batteries and stock up each resupply box with the appropriate number of charged batteries. To avoid throwing away or carrying the used ones, I'd try to send them home at each resupply (I guess). I will end up owning a lot more of this particular camera's battery (Fuji X-E1 camera, NP-W126 battery) than I will ever need if I go this route. This is probably the logistically simplest method, but costs the most and has the slight risk that I miscalculate battery life or get one bad battery and don't have use of the camera for part of the trip.

      Then, my last option is to just carry two batteries for the whole trip (plus one more in the MTR resupply) and charge the two at each resupply point. MTR says in their resupply info that you can charge there (if you're willing to wait there that long which could be quite a few hours). Does anyone know about the ability to charge at Tuolumne Meadows (backpacker's campground) or Red's Meadow?

      How have others solved this issue? What would someone who's done this before recommend?

    • ravi_jmt2013
      I have a lightweight Sony camera that came with a lithium battery (4.7 ounces). I purchased two spare lithium batteries (0.5 ounce each) that came with a
      Message 2 of 17 , Jun 12, 2013
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        I have a lightweight Sony camera that came with a lithium battery (4.7 ounces). I purchased two spare lithium batteries (0.5 ounce each) that came with a charger (2.3 ounces).

        My plan is to take the three batteries fully charged to Yosemite. I will include the charger in my MTR resupply so I'll be able to deplete 3 batteries between Yosemite and MTR. That's at least 750 pictures based on my testing. I am staying at MTR in a tent cabin that has electricity. I will top off the batteries there and will then send the charger home along with some other things I'll include in my MTR resupply (Kindle charger, some clothing, etc). MTR charges $10 to send out a package in addition to postage.

        This plan allows me to recharge my Kindle and camera batteries without any of the overhead of carrying chargers. 750 pictures between Yosemite and MTR and 750 more between MTR and Whitney should be enough.



        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "john_friend" <yahoo@...> wrote:
        >
        > I'm trying to figure out how to handle camera batteries on the JMT this summer (southbound, starting 7/13). We have planned resupply at Tuolumne, Red's Meadow and Muir Trail Ranch and are planning for a 20 day trip.
        >
        > Does anyone know if a hiker can charge things at Tuolumne Meadows or Red's Meadow?
        >
        > I have a 2.5oz charger for the camera battery that will run off either 12V or 110V.
        >
        > I know I could get a solar charger and use the 12V charging input from that, but I am trying to see what options might save the extra weight of carrying the solar charger and the daily hassle of trying to get things charged. There also seems to be a bit of uncertainty about how well a solar charger works while you're hiking all the time, especially going into and out of the sun, at less than ideal angles, etc...
        >
        > Another option is to just buy enough batteries and stock up each resupply box with the appropriate number of charged batteries. To avoid throwing away or carrying the used ones, I'd try to send them home at each resupply (I guess). I will end up owning a lot more of this particular camera's battery (Fuji X-E1 camera, NP-W126 battery) than I will ever need if I go this route. This is probably the logistically simplest method, but costs the most and has the slight risk that I miscalculate battery life or get one bad battery and don't have use of the camera for part of the trip.
        >
        > Then, my last option is to just carry two batteries for the whole trip (plus one more in the MTR resupply) and charge the two at each resupply point. MTR says in their resupply info that you can charge there (if you're willing to wait there that long which could be quite a few hours). Does anyone know about the ability to charge at Tuolumne Meadows (backpacker's campground) or Red's Meadow?
        >
        > How have others solved this issue? What would someone who's done this before recommend?
        >
      • Jason Fitzpatrick
        We had quite a bit of camera gear with us on our trip. We went with two methods. We had a solar charger for a couple of cameras, and I packed 8 batteries. The
        Message 3 of 17 , Jun 12, 2013
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          We had quite a bit of camera gear with us on our trip. We went with two methods. We had a solar charger for a couple of cameras, and I packed 8 batteries. The truth is I could have gotten by on 4 or 5. When you have to hike 10 or so miles a day you just don't have the time to shoot for long periods. There are places that you can recharge at Red's and for sure MTR, although I'm not sure they will let you do too much if you aren't staying there. I would say pick up more batteries. They'll be lighter, pack easier and frankly be less trouble than using a solar charger with fewer batteries. Have a great trip.
          Jason


          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
          From: ravi@...
          Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2013 03:40:12 +0000
          Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Charging camera batteries at Resupply points?

           
          I have a lightweight Sony camera that came with a lithium battery (4.7 ounces). I purchased two spare lithium batteries (0.5 ounce each) that came with a charger (2.3 ounces).

          My plan is to take the three batteries fully charged to Yosemite. I will include the charger in my MTR resupply so I'll be able to deplete 3 batteries between Yosemite and MTR. That's at least 750 pictures based on my testing. I am staying at MTR in a tent cabin that has electricity. I will top off the batteries there and will then send the charger home along with some other things I'll include in my MTR resupply (Kindle charger, some clothing, etc). MTR charges $10 to send out a package in addition to postage.

          This plan allows me to recharge my Kindle and camera batteries without any of the overhead of carrying chargers. 750 pictures between Yosemite and MTR and 750 more between MTR and Whitney should be enough.

          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "john_friend" <yahoo@...> wrote:
          >
          > I'm trying to figure out how to handle camera batteries on the JMT this summer (southbound, starting 7/13). We have planned resupply at Tuolumne, Red's Meadow and Muir Trail Ranch and are planning for a 20 day trip.
          >
          > Does anyone know if a hiker can charge things at Tuolumne Meadows or Red's Meadow?
          >
          > I have a 2.5oz charger for the camera battery that will run off either 12V or 110V.
          >
          > I know I could get a solar charger and use the 12V charging input from that, but I am trying to see what options might save the extra weight of carrying the solar charger and the daily hassle of trying to get things charged. There also seems to be a bit of uncertainty about how well a solar charger works while you're hiking all the time, especially going into and out of the sun, at less than ideal angles, etc...
          >
          > Another option is to just buy enough batteries and stock up each resupply box with the appropriate number of charged batteries. To avoid throwing away or carrying the used ones, I'd try to send them home at each resupply (I guess). I will end up owning a lot more of this particular camera's battery (Fuji X-E1 camera, NP-W126 battery) than I will ever need if I go this route. This is probably the logistically simplest method, but costs the most and has the slight risk that I miscalculate battery life or get one bad battery and don't have use of the camera for part of the trip.
          >
          > Then, my last option is to just carry two batteries for the whole trip (plus one more in the MTR resupply) and charge the two at each resupply point. MTR says in their resupply info that you can charge there (if you're willing to wait there that long which could be quite a few hours). Does anyone know about the ability to charge at Tuolumne Meadows (backpacker's campground) or Red's Meadow?
          >
          > How have others solved this issue? What would someone who's done this before recommend?
          >


        • Christina
          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
          Message 4 of 17 , Jun 13, 2013
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            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
          • casey
            You may want to look at a Goal Zero Nomad 3.5. It s heavier but has a lot more recharge power than the ones you are considering. I ve been using it to
            Message 5 of 17 , Jun 13, 2013
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              You may want to look at a Goal Zero Nomad 3.5. It's heavier but has a lot more recharge power than the ones you are considering. I've been using it to recharge my 7" Samsung tablet for more than a year. Takes about 6 hours of sun to charge, clips to the top of my pack. That much will give my tablet about 3/4 of a charge, enough for 8 or 9 hours HD video playback. Will recharge an mp3 player 2 or 3 times.

              It will also recharge "AA" and "AAA" batteries. The solar panel charges a battery pack of 4 "AA" or "AAA" batteries that detaches from the panel then charges your device using a standard usb port.

              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Christina" <cccniles@...> 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
              >
            • bodnar1234
              In 2012 I was able to recharge (110V) at Tuolumne Meadows, Reds Meadow Restaurant (recharged while eating), and Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR). VVR is the
              Message 6 of 17 , Jun 13, 2013
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                In 2012 I was able to recharge (110V) at Tuolumne Meadows, Reds Meadow Restaurant (recharged while eating), and Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR). VVR is the only place with a dedicated charging station. The other locations required asking the establishment.

                I would never leave a phone unattended. If someone stole my battery pack it wouldn't be a big deal but an iPhone would have impacted my hike.

                I used a 7000mA external battery pack and never ran out of power. My wife had a 5000mA and that was good enough. We never ran out of power on our entire PCT hike.

                Paul (Tangent)

                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "john_friend" <yahoo@...> wrote:
                >
                > I'm trying to figure out how to handle camera batteries on the JMT this summer (southbound, starting 7/13). We have planned resupply at Tuolumne, Red's Meadow and Muir Trail Ranch and are planning for a 20 day trip.
                >
                > Does anyone know if a hiker can charge things at Tuolumne Meadows or Red's Meadow?
                >
                > I have a 2.5oz charger for the camera battery that will run off either 12V or 110V.
                >
                > I know I could get a solar charger and use the 12V charging input from that, but I am trying to see what options might save the extra weight of carrying the solar charger and the daily hassle of trying to get things charged. There also seems to be a bit of uncertainty about how well a solar charger works while you're hiking all the time, especially going into and out of the sun, at less than ideal angles, etc...
                >
                > Another option is to just buy enough batteries and stock up each resupply box with the appropriate number of charged batteries. To avoid throwing away or carrying the used ones, I'd try to send them home at each resupply (I guess). I will end up owning a lot more of this particular camera's battery (Fuji X-E1 camera, NP-W126 battery) than I will ever need if I go this route. This is probably the logistically simplest method, but costs the most and has the slight risk that I miscalculate battery life or get one bad battery and don't have use of the camera for part of the trip.
                >
                > Then, my last option is to just carry two batteries for the whole trip (plus one more in the MTR resupply) and charge the two at each resupply point. MTR says in their resupply info that you can charge there (if you're willing to wait there that long which could be quite a few hours). Does anyone know about the ability to charge at Tuolumne Meadows (backpacker's campground) or Red's Meadow?
                >
                > How have others solved this issue? What would someone who's done this before recommend?
                >
              • Bill Hegardt
                I recharged a camera battery at the Red s Meadow store. There s a wall outlet in the public part of the store, but it was so old and well used that my charger
                Message 7 of 17 , Jun 13, 2013
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                  I recharged a camera battery at the Red's Meadow store. There's a wall outlet in the public part of the store, but it was so old and well used that my charger kept falling out. They offered to plug it in in the back room for me which was safer. I did not stay there, but patronized the store and cafe.

                  I also recharged at MTR, but we were guests staying in a tent cabin. I don't know if they would have allowed me to do any recharging if I was just resupplying.

                  - Bill


                  On Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 11:05 AM, bodnar1234 <paulbodnar@...> wrote:
                   

                  In 2012 I was able to recharge (110V) at Tuolumne Meadows, Reds Meadow Restaurant (recharged while eating), and Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR). VVR is the only place with a dedicated charging station. The other locations required asking the establishment.

                  I would never leave a phone unattended. If someone stole my battery pack it wouldn't be a big deal but an iPhone would have impacted my hike.

                  I used a 7000mA external battery pack and never ran out of power. My wife had a 5000mA and that was good enough. We never ran out of power on our entire PCT hike.

                  Paul (Tangent)



                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "john_friend" <yahoo@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I'm trying to figure out how to handle camera batteries on the JMT this summer (southbound, starting 7/13). We have planned resupply at Tuolumne, Red's Meadow and Muir Trail Ranch and are planning for a 20 day trip.
                  >
                  > Does anyone know if a hiker can charge things at Tuolumne Meadows or Red's Meadow?
                  >
                  > I have a 2.5oz charger for the camera battery that will run off either 12V or 110V.
                  >
                  > I know I could get a solar charger and use the 12V charging input from that, but I am trying to see what options might save the extra weight of carrying the solar charger and the daily hassle of trying to get things charged. There also seems to be a bit of uncertainty about how well a solar charger works while you're hiking all the time, especially going into and out of the sun, at less than ideal angles, etc...
                  >
                  > Another option is to just buy enough batteries and stock up each resupply box with the appropriate number of charged batteries. To avoid throwing away or carrying the used ones, I'd try to send them home at each resupply (I guess). I will end up owning a lot more of this particular camera's battery (Fuji X-E1 camera, NP-W126 battery) than I will ever need if I go this route. This is probably the logistically simplest method, but costs the most and has the slight risk that I miscalculate battery life or get one bad battery and don't have use of the camera for part of the trip.
                  >
                  > Then, my last option is to just carry two batteries for the whole trip (plus one more in the MTR resupply) and charge the two at each resupply point. MTR says in their resupply info that you can charge there (if you're willing to wait there that long which could be quite a few hours). Does anyone know about the ability to charge at Tuolumne Meadows (backpacker's campground) or Red's Meadow?
                  >
                  > How have others solved this issue? What would someone who's done this before recommend?
                  >


                • jceevans
                  I carried 6 camera batteries last year. I was documenting the trail in great detail with my Canon 5DMkii. They required too much current for a my solar
                  Message 8 of 17 , Jun 13, 2013
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                    I carried 6 camera batteries last year. I was documenting the trail in great detail with my Canon 5DMkii. They required too much current for a my solar charger. I had no problem charging at Reds Meadow and at Muir Trail Ranch. I left a battery charging overnight at MTR and had no problems. I was waiting for it at when they closed at 5PM they said it was okay to leave it overnight. It was still there the next day. I have since purchased a better solar charger that works with my 5D batteries. The Nomad Goal Zero 7 which has a standard 12volt cigaret lighter port that works with a 12volt canon car charger. Now I only need to carry 2 batteries and one is always on charge.

                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "bodnar1234" <paulbodnar@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > In 2012 I was able to recharge (110V) at Tuolumne Meadows, Reds Meadow Restaurant (recharged while eating), and Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR). VVR is the only place with a dedicated charging station. The other locations required asking the establishment.
                    >
                    > I would never leave a phone unattended. If someone stole my battery pack it wouldn't be a big deal but an iPhone would have impacted my hike.
                    >
                    > I used a 7000mA external battery pack and never ran out of power. My wife had a 5000mA and that was good enough. We never ran out of power on our entire PCT hike.
                    >
                    > Paul (Tangent)
                    >
                    > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "john_friend" <yahoo@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > I'm trying to figure out how to handle camera batteries on the JMT this summer (southbound, starting 7/13). We have planned resupply at Tuolumne, Red's Meadow and Muir Trail Ranch and are planning for a 20 day trip.
                    > >
                    > > Does anyone know if a hiker can charge things at Tuolumne Meadows or Red's Meadow?
                    > >
                    > > I have a 2.5oz charger for the camera battery that will run off either 12V or 110V.
                    > >
                    > > I know I could get a solar charger and use the 12V charging input from that, but I am trying to see what options might save the extra weight of carrying the solar charger and the daily hassle of trying to get things charged. There also seems to be a bit of uncertainty about how well a solar charger works while you're hiking all the time, especially going into and out of the sun, at less than ideal angles, etc...
                    > >
                    > > Another option is to just buy enough batteries and stock up each resupply box with the appropriate number of charged batteries. To avoid throwing away or carrying the used ones, I'd try to send them home at each resupply (I guess). I will end up owning a lot more of this particular camera's battery (Fuji X-E1 camera, NP-W126 battery) than I will ever need if I go this route. This is probably the logistically simplest method, but costs the most and has the slight risk that I miscalculate battery life or get one bad battery and don't have use of the camera for part of the trip.
                    > >
                    > > Then, my last option is to just carry two batteries for the whole trip (plus one more in the MTR resupply) and charge the two at each resupply point. MTR says in their resupply info that you can charge there (if you're willing to wait there that long which could be quite a few hours). Does anyone know about the ability to charge at Tuolumne Meadows (backpacker's campground) or Red's Meadow?
                    > >
                    > > How have others solved this issue? What would someone who's done this before recommend?
                    > >
                    >
                  • jj442434
                    From MTR s website: How about charging the batteries of all my toys? No problem. Most of the season we have 24-hour power, 120 volts AC, just like your
                    Message 9 of 17 , Jun 13, 2013
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                      From MTR's website:

                      "How about charging the batteries of all my toys?"
                      "No problem. Most of the season we have 24-hour power, 120 volts AC, just like your house has. Bring your charger for your camera, phone, iPod, whatever. No charge for a charge."

                      http://muirtrailranch.com/resupply.html (towards the bottom of the page)

                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "bodnar1234" <paulbodnar@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > In 2012 I was able to recharge (110V) at Tuolumne Meadows, Reds Meadow Restaurant (recharged while eating), and Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR). VVR is the only place with a dedicated charging station. The other locations required asking the establishment.
                      >
                      > I would never leave a phone unattended. If someone stole my battery pack it wouldn't be a big deal but an iPhone would have impacted my hike.
                      >
                      > I used a 7000mA external battery pack and never ran out of power. My wife had a 5000mA and that was good enough. We never ran out of power on our entire PCT hike.
                      >
                      > Paul (Tangent)
                      >
                      > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "john_friend" <yahoo@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > I'm trying to figure out how to handle camera batteries on the JMT this summer (southbound, starting 7/13). We have planned resupply at Tuolumne, Red's Meadow and Muir Trail Ranch and are planning for a 20 day trip.
                      > >
                      > > Does anyone know if a hiker can charge things at Tuolumne Meadows or Red's Meadow?
                      > >
                      > > I have a 2.5oz charger for the camera battery that will run off either 12V or 110V.
                      > >
                      > > I know I could get a solar charger and use the 12V charging input from that, but I am trying to see what options might save the extra weight of carrying the solar charger and the daily hassle of trying to get things charged. There also seems to be a bit of uncertainty about how well a solar charger works while you're hiking all the time, especially going into and out of the sun, at less than ideal angles, etc...
                      > >
                      > > Another option is to just buy enough batteries and stock up each resupply box with the appropriate number of charged batteries. To avoid throwing away or carrying the used ones, I'd try to send them home at each resupply (I guess). I will end up owning a lot more of this particular camera's battery (Fuji X-E1 camera, NP-W126 battery) than I will ever need if I go this route. This is probably the logistically simplest method, but costs the most and has the slight risk that I miscalculate battery life or get one bad battery and don't have use of the camera for part of the trip.
                      > >
                      > > Then, my last option is to just carry two batteries for the whole trip (plus one more in the MTR resupply) and charge the two at each resupply point. MTR says in their resupply info that you can charge there (if you're willing to wait there that long which could be quite a few hours). Does anyone know about the ability to charge at Tuolumne Meadows (backpacker's campground) or Red's Meadow?
                      > >
                      > > How have others solved this issue? What would someone who's done this before recommend?
                      > >
                      >
                    • john_friend
                      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
                      Message 10 of 17 , 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
                        >
                      • john_friend
                        Thanks Paul. That s what I wanted to know. I could definitely see charging while eating in Red s Meadow. Where did you get the recharge in Tuolumne Meadows?
                        Message 11 of 17 , Jun 13, 2013
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                          Thanks Paul.  That's what I wanted to know.  I could definitely see charging while eating in Red's Meadow.  Where did you get the recharge in Tuolumne Meadows?  We aren't stopping at VVR, but the resupply web page for MTR says you can charge there (if you want to hang around long enough for the charge time).

                          What external battery packs did you use?  Did they just support USB charging or did they have 12V output?

                          --John

                          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "bodnar1234" wrote:
                          >
                          > In 2012 I was able to recharge (110V) at Tuolumne Meadows, Reds Meadow Restaurant (recharged while eating), and Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR). VVR is the only place with a dedicated charging station. The other locations required asking the establishment.
                          >
                          > I would never leave a phone unattended. If someone stole my battery pack it wouldn't be a big deal but an iPhone would have impacted my hike.
                          >
                          > I used a 7000mA external battery pack and never ran out of power. My wife had a 5000mA and that was good enough. We never ran out of power on our entire PCT hike.
                          >
                          > Paul (Tangent)
                          >
                          > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "john_friend" yahoo@ wrote:
                          > >
                          > > I'm trying to figure out how to handle camera batteries on the JMT this summer (southbound, starting 7/13). We have planned resupply at Tuolumne, Red's Meadow and Muir Trail Ranch and are planning for a 20 day trip.
                          > >
                          > > Does anyone know if a hiker can charge things at Tuolumne Meadows or Red's Meadow?
                          > >
                          > > I have a 2.5oz charger for the camera battery that will run off either 12V or 110V.
                          > >
                          > > I know I could get a solar charger and use the 12V charging input from that, but I am trying to see what options might save the extra weight of carrying the solar charger and the daily hassle of trying to get things charged. There also seems to be a bit of uncertainty about how well a solar charger works while you're hiking all the time, especially going into and out of the sun, at less than ideal angles, etc...
                          > >
                          > > Another option is to just buy enough batteries and stock up each resupply box with the appropriate number of charged batteries. To avoid throwing away or carrying the used ones, I'd try to send them home at each resupply (I guess). I will end up owning a lot more of this particular camera's battery (Fuji X-E1 camera, NP-W126 battery) than I will ever need if I go this route. This is probably the logistically simplest method, but costs the most and has the slight risk that I miscalculate battery life or get one bad battery and don't have use of the camera for part of the trip.
                          > >
                          > > Then, my last option is to just carry two batteries for the whole trip (plus one more in the MTR resupply) and charge the two at each resupply point. MTR says in their resupply info that you can charge there (if you're willing to wait there that long which could be quite a few hours). Does anyone know about the ability to charge at Tuolumne Meadows (backpacker's campground) or Red's Meadow?
                          > >
                          > > How have others solved this issue? What would someone who's done this before recommend?
                          > >
                          >
                        • john_friend
                          So, with the Nomad 7, do you just put it on top of your backpack and let it charge your 2nd battery as you hike? And, a day s worth of hiking is enough to
                          Message 12 of 17 , Jun 13, 2013
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                            So, with the Nomad 7, do you just put it on top of your backpack and let it charge your 2nd battery as you hike?  And, a day's worth of hiking is enough to keep the 2nd battery charged?

                            --John

                            --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "jceevans" wrote:
                            >
                            > ... I have since purchased a better solar charger that works with my 5D batteries. The Nomad Goal Zero 7 which has a standard 12volt cigaret lighter port that works with a 12volt canon car charger. Now I only need to carry 2 batteries and one is always on charge.
                            >

                          • Roleigh Martin
                            Wow, I m really impressed you heard about this device. This was news to me. Did you go with which plan (Top Drawer or Just Works) -
                            Message 13 of 17 , Jun 13, 2013
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                              Wow,

                              I'm really impressed you heard about this device.  This was news to me.  Did you go with which plan (Top Drawer or  Just Works) - https://cerberus.briartek.com/cerberlink/plans.

                              How did you find out about this device?

                              I'd hate for the people at my job to know about this device.  They'd want me to take it on the trail with me.  I like the ability to only message out, not in.

                              Roleigh


                              -------------------------------------------------
                              Visit my Google Profile (lots of very interesting research links)
                              _



                              On Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 9:54 AM, Christina <cccniles@...> 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


                            • casey
                              I ve had problems trying to charge devices directly from a solar panel while on the trail. The variations in current caused by shady conditions have caused
                              Message 14 of 17 , Jun 13, 2013
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                                I've had problems trying to charge devices directly from a solar panel while on the trail. The variations in current caused by shady conditions have caused software issues with several devices. I always charge from the battery pack with the panel unplugged. When I have a group with a lot of devices also carry a second battery pack.


                                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "john_friend" <yahoo@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > 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
                                > <http://www.goalzero.com/shop/p/11/Nomad-7-Solar-Panel/3:4/> by
                                > GoalZero and the Sundance Solar
                                > <http://store.sundancesolar.com/sochforliion.html> . 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
                                > <http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008GUVR30/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?\
                                > ie=UTF8&psc=1> 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
                                > <http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/78132?productId=1290006&subrnd=0&qs=3016\
                                > 887_pmd_google_pla> 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
                                > <http://www.rei.com/product/835331/powertraveller-powermonkey-explorer-s\
                                > olar-battery-charger> 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
                                > -
                                > >
                                >
                              • john_friend
                                I ve heard of this problem when charging certain types of smart phones. When the solar panel can t put out enough voltage or current, the smart phone detects
                                Message 15 of 17 , Jun 13, 2013
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                                  I've heard of this problem when charging certain types of smart phones.  When the solar panel can't put out enough voltage or current, the smart phone detects that there's insufficient voltage or current and shuts down the charging circuitry.  The problem occurs when the solar panel comes back into the sun and starts producing enough voltage again, but apparently some smartphones don't resume charging without being unplugged and replugged (thus missing a lot of charge time during the day while on the move).  

                                  I don't know which specific phones this happens to (apparently some, but not all).  A solution (at the added cost of some additional weight and a little conversion inefficiency) is to have the smartphone charge a power storage device during the day when the solar charger output might be fluctuating (that doesn't not have this auto-shut-off behavior) and then charge the smartphone from the USB power storage device later (often in the evening).   GoalZero offers the Switch8 power pack  for exactly this issue.   The power pack is also useful when you need to charge multiple devices because you don't have to keep switching devices on the solar panel during the day or keep track of when each individual device is charged.

                                  I think this is generally not an issue when charging just a battery outside of its normal device (which would be my situation for a camera battery).

                                  --John

                                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "casey" wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > I've had problems trying to charge devices directly from a solar panel while on the trail. The variations in current caused by shady conditions have caused software issues with several devices. I always charge from the battery pack with the panel unplugged. When I have a group with a lot of devices also carry a second battery pack.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "john_friend" yahoo@ wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > 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
                                  > > > > ie=UTF8&psc=1> 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
                                  > > > > 887_pmd_google_pla> 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
                                  > > > > olar-battery-charger> 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
                                  > > -
                                  > > >
                                  > >
                                  >
                                • Christina
                                  Hey Roleigh - I found it in a Backpacking Light State of the Market report. I haven t purchased it - I liked it b/c they offer a rental plan including service
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Jun 13, 2013
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                                    Hey Roleigh -

                                    I found it in a Backpacking Light State of the Market report. I haven't purchased it - I liked it b/c they offer a rental plan including service for about $90 for a month. I think the article was linked to by another poster in this thread. I still haven't decided what/or if to bring it. If I do rent it, I'll post a review.

                                    SOTMR: Two-way Satellite Communications for Backpacking: Part 3: Satellite Texting - Part 3 in our series on satellite communications focuses on the currently available two-way texting devices suitable for lightweight backpacking.
                                    http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/satellite_communications_sotmr_part3.html#.UbqJSPmsh8E

                                    Best regards,

                                    Christina
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