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Recharging Gizmos

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Recharging Gizmos

Postby gdurkee » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:04 pm

This just came across my transom from a friend. I've not tried it, but she seems to have. I take no stand on carrying anything that needs recharging, though I like the ability to carry a bunch of books on a phone... .

g.


TRAIL ENERGY
by Nancy E. Muleady-Mecham, Ph.D.

Imagine carrying more than 40 books with you backpacking, along with field guides, star maps, a GPS locator and so much more, all weighing less than a paperback book. This is what modern technology has allowed us to do with the presence of iPod Touch, Android , iPhones, and other hand held multi use devices. The only issue is keeping the device supplied with power for more than a two night backpacking trip.

After trying portable solar panels that don’t work in the rain, overcast days, or at night, I have put together a combination package that serves my needs very well. Since completing the John Muir Trail and now as a section hiker on the Pacific Crest Trail, I can keep my phone and portable media device charged indefinitely.

I learned the combination while teaching and doing research in Siberia in 2010 on a Fulbright Scholarship. Electricity was not overly common outside of the town sites. I found I could charge my iPod Touch with a New Trent ifuel IMP500 (4.6 oz.) 5000mAh External Battery pack and Charger. This is a faithful small battery that gives the device up to 25 hours of extra life, depending on the use. Then I kept the battery charged with a hand-cranked charger. The brand I used in Russia is no longer being made so I now use the SOS Charger (3.2 oz.). Much sturdier than my previous hand-crank charger, the SOS Charger is water resistant, impact and shock resistant, and contains a bright 3-led flashlight, meaning you can drop one more item (the flashlight) from your pack to lighten up. The SOS Charger can also recharge my cell phone without going through the battery, so it’s a nice back up anytime I travel.

The cabling for the battery and charger is provided for phones by the manufacturers of the energy devices and I just use my Apple cord for the iPod Touch. The Apple AC plug also works for charging the battery at home. If you can handle the extra weight, New Trent now makes the IMP70D (6 oz.), a 7000mAh, two USB outputs that can run tablets, Kindle, and any device that has a USB port.

See you on the trail!

Dr. Nancy Muleady-Mecham is a retired National Park Ranger and Adjunct Professor of Biology at Northern Arizona University. She is the author of Park Ranger and Park Ranger Sequel and lives with her family in her beloved Sierra Nevada mountains.



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gdurkee
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Re: Recharging Gizmos

Postby rlown » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:29 pm

most of us don't want to sit there and spin a device to get electricity. Heck, most of us don't take more than a headlamp. That would make my pack heavier. Still waiting for Solar to do it for me.
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Re: Recharging Gizmos

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:15 pm

The New Trent batteries are a good tip but a hand crank charger? My Sanyo Eneloop batteries take 4 hours or more of charging when plugged into a wall socket. Hmm what sort of muscle groups would I be building sitting there for that long spinning my hand? :D

Or what would near by hikers think about that weird man over there that has been spinnning something for the last 3 hours!

I'll give a report on how well a Brunton Solaris 4 was able to keep my stuff charged this year.
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Re: Recharging Gizmos

Postby rlown » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:40 pm

Rogue, I look forward to your review. I've been looking at Brunton for years, but never pulled the trigger.
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