Back Country Battery Charging

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Back Country Battery Charging

Postby liteisrite » Fri May 24, 2013 12:57 pm

What is your preferred method for recharging back country devices ? I know a USB recharge is more effective than solar, but if you have some sun you can always get some charge via solar. It's a bit of a trade off. I recently purchased solar panels from suntastic.com which seem to be much better than the most of the back packable panels around. They are lightweight (8 ounces) and apparently capable of recharging an iphone in 2 hrs. It does only provide a USB connection, so to get other batteries charged you would need to charge to a USB based battery charger. It seems interesting.
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Re: Back Country Battery Charging

Postby Nathan C » Sat May 25, 2013 5:52 am

I don't have a good option right now. I was planning to get a USB charger that I could stick a few lithium AAs in and be done.

I'll be interested to see how yours works out.
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Re: Back Country Battery Charging

Postby liteisrite » Fri May 31, 2013 2:24 pm

Initial testing has been positive. I received a USB battery charger, a USB power bank and the Solar Panel. Yesterday I charged my phone about 20 % in 30 minutes while using it a little. The USB power bank takes longer, about 6 hours but can be charged at home by a computer as well. This seems to have enough itself for 2 or 3 iphone recharges (I guess the iphone can hold 1430 ma, while the USB power pack is 5000 ma ). This is pretty light, just 4 ounces I believe and should be enough for most shorter duration trips. For longer duration, or for trips when multiple people are using devices you might need the solar panel as well.
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Re: Back Country Battery Charging

Postby Nathan C » Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:00 am

Well that makes it a lot more affordable in my mind. So you get a USB power pack, with the capability of 2-3 recharges, plus a solar panel to recharge the power pack for longer trips? Does the USB pack have replaceable batteries or is it a sealed unit?

What about waterproofness? Could I leave it at camp out in the sun during the day to recharge the USB battery pack and then recharge my phone at night?
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Re: Back Country Battery Charging

Postby zuma » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:25 am

A power bank is a closed set-up, you can charge it with solarpower or mains. You can mostly attach USB devices like an USB battery charger or your phone.

If you want to be smart you can build your own powerbank made from rechargeable batteries, trhat way you might save the weight of the USB battery charger. Prerequisite with this method is that all your devices need to use the same kind of rechargeable batteries. A powerbank with a capacity of 4 rechargeable batteries and an additional 4 extra rechargable batteries should do it, to als be able to use products that use recharge able batteries that fit into your selfmade powerpack..
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Re: Back Country Battery Charging

Postby cloudyj » Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:52 pm

In summer, the packable solar chargers are OK in central Alberta but it takes a long time to get those batteries charged enough to work, even for a short time. Here in Alberta, in late August the sun is just not able to provide the energy to charge any camera or phone batteries using small solar chargers. We found, like Nathan C, that the ultimate lithium AAs are our best source of power. They have a few added advantages in that they are light, work at very low temperatures, and keep their voltage constant as they discharge. We use as many AA electronics as we can and take a couple of AA USB chargers with us up the mountain. The cords to charge phones and cameras do not add much weight to the pack. Two of our cameras take the same batteries so we take 6 charged spares of that type for a week long trip even in late November. Usually we only need to charge one or two times to get through the week. We use a Delorme IN Reach with the Iphones so the phones need charging more often. The only problem with this method is the cost of those UL batteries!
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Re: Back Country Battery Charging

Postby Andy BB » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:54 am

Being in the UK, solar charging isn't particularly effective, although I have tried it. power packs have been the way to go for me, and I have a 12,000MA version of this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/50000mAh-Port ... 20d28edcfa which works very well, providing me with plenty of power for phone/tablet charging. THe size of the 12,000MA version is about the same as a packet of cigarettes, and in cold weather can be kept in a pocket to keep it at optimum temperature.

ps - no connection with the above company!
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Re: Back Country Battery Charging

Postby AndrewShaw » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:14 am

liteisrite wrote:What is your preferred method for recharging back country devices ? I know a USB recharge is more effective than solar, but if you have some sun you can always get some charge via solar. It's a bit of a trade off. I recently purchased solar panels from suntastic.com which seem to be much better than the most of the back packable panels around. They are lightweight (8 ounces) and apparently capable of recharging an iphone in 2 hrs. It does only provide a USB connection, so to get other batteries charged you would need to charge to a USB based battery charger. It seems interesting.

I am using solar charger.. In our location we get plenty of sunshine so using solar panels is ideal to get energy.
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Re: Back Country Battery Charging

Postby liteisrite » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:17 pm

Solar works well here
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Re: Back Country Battery Charging

Postby AndrewShaw » Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:59 pm

AndrewShaw wrote:
liteisrite wrote:What is your preferred method for recharging back country devices ? I know a USB recharge is more effective than solar, but if you have some sun you can always get some charge via solar. It's a bit of a trade off. I recently purchased solar panel from suntastic.com which seem to be much better than the most of the back packable panels around. They are lightweight (8 ounces) and apparently capable of recharging an iphone in 2 hrs. It does only provide a USB connection, so to get other batteries charged you would need to charge to a USB based battery charger. It seems interesting.

I am using solar charger.. In our location we get plenty of sunshine so using solar panels is ideal to get energy.
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