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solar charger?

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  • allison1288
    I am planning on hiking the trail next July and was wondering if any of you have used a solar charger for your phone, camera, etc. I have a gopro that I d love
    Message 1 of 17 , Sep 28, 2013
      I am planning on hiking the trail next July and was wondering if any of you have used a solar charger for your phone, camera, etc. I have a gopro that I'd love to use but the battery life is less than ideal. Which solar chargers are worth getting?

      Thanks!
    • Jason Fitzpatrick
      Hey Alison we used a Goal Zero for our trip and it worked great. We had a lot of cameras and other things that needed charging so you could probably go with a
      Message 2 of 17 , Sep 28, 2013
        Hey Alison we used a Goal Zero for our trip and it worked great. We had a lot of cameras and other things that needed charging so you could probably go with a pretty small version if it's just for a gopro and a smart phone. 


        To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
        From: allison.nadler88@...
        Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2013 13:40:50 +0000
        Subject: [John Muir Trail] solar charger?

         
        I am planning on hiking the trail next July and was wondering if any of you have used a solar charger for your phone, camera, etc. I have a gopro that I'd love to use but the battery life is less than ideal. Which solar chargers are worth getting?

        Thanks!


      • john_friend
        I would suggest that you compare the cost and weight between charging and just putting extra batteries in your resupply. If you have lots of devices that need
        Message 3 of 17 , Sep 28, 2013

          I would suggest that you compare the cost and weight between charging and just putting extra batteries in your resupply.


          If you have lots of devices that need to be kept charged (camera, phone, GPS unit, etc...), then a solar charger may be the right ticket and Goal Zero has a pretty good reputation for doing the job (though the kit weighs about a pound).


          But, if you're just trying to look after a single device, you may find it both cheaper and less weight to just put some batteries in a couple resupply packages and then mail back the used batteries from MTR.


          I am an avid photographer and knew I would take a lot of pictures on the trail.  I did the math and found it was significantly cheaper and lighter for me to just put some extra batteries in my resupply.  In addition, with the extra batteries instead of the solar charger, I never had to think about making sure the solar charger got hours of good sun exposure each day as this would have been a problem for me on several of my longest hiking days and days when there wasn't much direct sun.


          I'm not arguing against a solar charger generically - there are certainly times when it's the best option, but if your needs are simple, then it might be lighter, simpler and less expensive to just carry extra spare batteries.


          --John

          ---In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, <allison.nadler88@...> wrote:

          I am planning on hiking the trail next July and was wondering if any of you have used a solar charger for your phone, camera, etc. I have a gopro that I'd love to use but the battery life is less than ideal. Which solar chargers are worth getting?

          Thanks!
        • Inga Aksamit
          I ve been using the Bushnell SolarWrap Mini USB Charger after testing another model that didn t work well (XTG solar charger). The Bushnell Solar Wrap works
          Message 4 of 17 , Sep 28, 2013
            I've been using the Bushnell SolarWrap Mini USB Charger after testing another model that didn't work well (XTG solar charger). The Bushnell Solar Wrap works really well. I can charge from a wall outlet or computer before I leave and it holds enough to charge my Android Motorola Razr, and rolls out a thin, flexible sheet of solar cells to charge in the sun. It weighs 3.1 oz and rolls into a compact cylinder when it's not charging. I got in on Amazon but here's the specs: http://www.bushnell.com/all-products/bear-grylls/bear-grylls-edition-powersync

            ***
            I am planning on hiking the trail next July and was wondering if
            any of you have used a solar charger for your phone, camera, etc.
            I have a gopro that I'd love to use but the battery life is less
            than ideal. Which solar chargers are worth getting?

            Thanks!

            --In johnmuirtrail@
            yahoogroups.com, <allison.nadler88@...>
            wrote:

            I am planning on hiking the trail next July and was wondering if
            any of you have used a solar charger for your phone, camera, etc.
            I have a gopro that I'd love to use but the battery life is less
            than ideal. Which solar chargers are worth getting?

            Thanks!

            Inga Aksamit
            Mobile: 415-470-1812
            Email: Iaksamit@...
            Twitter.com/IngaAksamit
            About Me: about.me/IngasAdventures
          • leslie dow
            I used a Suntactics 5 for several weeks on the PCT in the sierra. It worked fine to charge my phone and iPad during my lunch breaks.
            Message 5 of 17 , Sep 29, 2013
              I used a Suntactics 5 for several weeks on the PCT in the sierra. It worked fine to charge my phone and iPad during my lunch breaks.

              Next year I am going to mount it on the top of my pack.

              Leslie


              On Sep 28, 2013, at 6:40 AM, allison1288 <allison.nadler88@...> wrote:

               

              I am planning on hiking the trail next July and was wondering if any of you have used a solar charger for your phone, camera, etc. I have a gopro that I'd love to use but the battery life is less than ideal. Which solar chargers are worth getting?

              Thanks!


            • dana geary
              I also used a Suntactics 5 for several weeks this summer.  It worked very well to keep two iPhones charged, both of which were on all day (mine for the
              Message 6 of 17 , Sep 29, 2013
                I also used a Suntactics 5 for several weeks this summer.  It worked very well to keep two iPhones charged,
                both of which were on all day (mine for the JMT/PCT apps and some camera use; my daughter's for music
                and lots of camera use).  The Suntactics is a little bit finicky, it likes direct sunlight and will beep a little
                unhappy message if it gets shaded just for a moment.  We usually charged our phones during rest stops
                and in camp.  A couple of times we strapped it to the top of one of our packs and that worked fine as long as
                we were hiking in direct sun.  The website says it will charge any device using a USB port, but it did NOT
                work on my Nikon Coolpix P510 (even though the guy at the camera shop said it would work).
                (I do love that camera anyway, and extra batteries don't weigh very much.)
                The Suntactics weighs 8 ounces, plus your connector cord.

                Re the earlier discussion of apps... I used Guthook's JMT app and liked it very much.  Very handy to 
                see yourself on the map in relation to water sources and campsites.  My elevations were in feet, as
                mentioned by several others.  I also used Halfmile's PCT app, which was very useful for figuring out
                mileage to various destinations down the trail.  I find Halfmile's maps, when printed on 8.5 x 11"
                paper a little hard to read for my aging eyes, even with reading glasses on.  I love Tom Harrison's maps
                because they are easy to read plus you can see further off the trail 'corridor' if you like to ponder
                your general location.  The Halfmile PCT app reminds me that at home I'm 1544 miles east of
                PCT mile point 2630... sigh...


                From: leslie dow <leslie@...>
                To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Sunday, September 29, 2013 6:10 PM
                Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] solar charger?

                 
                I used a Suntactics 5 for several weeks on the PCT in the sierra. It worked fine to charge my phone and iPad during my lunch breaks.
                http://www.suntactics.com/shop/usb-scharger-5/

                Next year I am going to mount it on the top of my pack.

                Leslie

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