smartphone charging on long through hikes (JMT)

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cakeday
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smartphone charging on long through hikes (JMT)

Post by cakeday » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:48 pm

good afternoon good people !

I start my JMT on sept 19th and plan on finishing it in 14 days.

i plan on using guthook app on my smartphone when in doubt about direction (especially when snow covered) and also plan on using my cell phone to primarily take photos and videos.

So am brainstorming as to what is the best way to go about charging my cell phone every night. hence, exploring the world of solar.

a couple of mainstream options are,
suntactics S5 is one of the options i am looking at - is definitely lighter weight than goal zero nomad 7 but is a bit pricey $-wise. Nomad goal zero is not too expensive $$-wise but it is bulky 13.5 oz.

Ideally, i would like to keep the weight at about 10-12 oz.

so a couple of options, i am looking at are as below. please let me know your thoughts.
Option 1:
Solar panel and battery pack in one:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0081 ... S3V46S4DN9

which comes to about 8.5 oz.

Option 2:
the below 5 W panel
https://www.renogy.com/renogy-e-flex5-m ... b_prd-desc
combined with
https://www.rei.com/product/893309/goal ... le-charger

which comes to about 10 oz.








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maverick
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Re: smartphone charging on long through hikes (JMT)

Post by maverick » Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:59 pm

Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: smartphone charging on long through hikes (JMT)

Post by dave54 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:08 pm

Solar chargers do not work well at night. You will have a few hours of slanted sun in the morning and late afternoon, that will probably not be enough to fully recharge a phone. Fastening the solar panels to the top of the pack, so it will recharge while hiking, often does not work well either. You are passing into and out of shadows, under tree cover, all day. Again, will probably not get a full charge. May get a partial recharge each day, so over the course of the two weeks your battery level will gradually decrease. Will it be enough to do some video and GPS track? I don't know. Both those actions suck battery power pretty good.

Turn off all the other functions, and start with a new battery, and maybe. As cell phones and batteries get older (multiple recharging/discharge cycles) battery life diminishes. So make sure you have new phone, or at least a new battery.
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rlown
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Re: smartphone charging on long through hikes (JMT)

Post by rlown » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:01 pm

Dave54 is right about night and solar chargers.. :lol:

The other way is to sew onto your pack mount points for the charger so it's working all day, depending on your direction of travel. I'm guessing you have zero layover days. We've charged gear on the layover days, and its not like you have to stare at the phone constantly. Airplane mode and if you need, to check position every couple of hours.

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Re: smartphone charging on long through hikes (JMT)

Post by Tom_H » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:27 pm

There are some chargers now that draw heat from stoves and generate electricity for personal devices. Have seen ads for them, but don't know anything about them.

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Re: smartphone charging on long through hikes (JMT)

Post by rlown » Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:32 pm

https://www.bioliteenergy.com/products/campstove-2 problem is wood fires aren't currently legal most places..

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Re: smartphone charging on long through hikes (JMT)

Post by franklin411 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:04 pm

Any cheap P+S camera is going to take better pics than a cell phone camera, so I'd get a dedicated P+S. You're going to be using your phone as a GPS unit, which is already battery-intensive. IMO, GPS is a life and death thing, while taking photos is just a luxury. I wouldn't waste energy that I might need to save my life on taking photos.

Why not get a big fat 20000 mah battery pack, or at least 2-3 small 3000 mah lipstick packs? The 20k pack weighs 1-2 lbs iirc, and it can recharge a phone 6-7 times. The small lipstick packs are good for 1-1.5 recharges.

If you're only going to use your phone for occasional GPS use, and you keep it in battery saver mode the rest of the time, you might be able to get 3+ days per charge. That means that a 20k pack will last you 2-3 weeks on a single charge.

What about hiking out to a town, getting a motel room, and recharging the 20k pack that way? I bet you'd spend less $$ and get a more effective charge than you would with solar, and you'd get to enjoy a nice night in civilization to boot.

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Re: smartphone charging on long through hikes (JMT)

Post by Lumbergh21 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 5:52 pm

Rather than a solar charger, I would recommend an external battery. I have yet to meet a hiker who has successfully kept their phone charged using a solar panel. I have a 11000 mAh battery that is more than sufficient for a 14 day hike. I put my phone into airplane mode so it is always ready for picture taking and still using very little energy. I only turn on my GPS and check my position when in doubt, and even though I listen to 2-3 hours of music or podcasts either at the start of the day or the end of the day while in camp, I can still get 3 to 4 days of use in between charges. If you are visiting MTR and or VVR, you can recharge your electronics at those sites (good excuse to laze around for 3 to 4 hours). If judicious with your phone - like described above except no music - you could probably get by with a very lightweight "lipstick" external battery with something around a 3,000 mAh capacity. These size external batteries cost less than $20.

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Re: smartphone charging on long through hikes (JMT)

Post by Tom_H » Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:57 pm

rlown wrote:https://www.bioliteenergy.com/products/campstove-2 problem is wood fires aren't currently legal most places..
There are some thermoelectric generators that work off of gas stoves. I just don't know anything more about them.

Image

Image

Image

Image

http://webecoist.momtastic.com/2013/02/ ... power-pot/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... ysBcyIhU3s

This company has one that works from a gas stove and another that works from a candle:
http://stowerenergy.com/product/flamestower/

Google gas+stove with thermoelectric+generator

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Re: smartphone charging on long through hikes (JMT)

Post by mrphil » Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:37 am

For the weight/performance/cost balance, the Nomad 7 would be your best bet. To that add one (or a couple) of the GZ Flip rechargers (10, 20: start out your trip with a fully charged device) and a spare phone battery. You can also use a Guide 10 recharger for more storage, but it's heavy and bulky. Airplane mode, rotate recharging for your power sources religiously , get a USB splitter, limit your use, and don't rely on electronics for navigation...bad practice, blows through battery power.
Last edited by mrphil on Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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