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Thread: technology for recharging camera batteries away from electric power

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    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    technology for recharging camera batteries away from electric power

    In a few months, my spouse is taking a two-week guided camping tour in the Nepalese Himalayas, and will be bringing my camera (a Nikon D300). The problem is, he doesn't know whether there will be any facilities for recharging camera batteries (and, knowing him, he will probably be clicking like crazy). Does anyone here know what practical technologies are available, if any, for powering the battery charger? Are there any small portable solar systems that would do that? Or anything else? Or should he just show up with a pocket full of charged batteries?

    Also, does anyone here have experience with such tours there, and would know whether electric power would occasionally be available?

    Thanks for any advice,
    Lisa

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    Re: technology for recharging camera batteries away from electric power

    Convince him to take lighter photo gear

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    Re: technology for recharging camera batteries away from electric power

    There are solar powered chargers for AA batteries, so if he takes the D300 with a vertical battery grip, the problem is easily solved. Alternatively, he could buy a Pentax K-r. That's still powered with AA batteries even without a grip. Lighter camera too, I think.

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: technology for recharging camera batteries away from electric power

    I rarely bring a charger when travelling anymore, just bring more batteries. If I ever get to the last battery pack (never happened so far) then I try harder to make every image count.

    So -just get a bunch of EN-EL3e battery packs. Each shoots 500+ images - ten should do it?
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

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    Re: technology for recharging camera batteries away from electric power

    in '94 spent about six weeks on a trek from Lukla to Hile, passing Tengboche Monastery, Namche Bazar (they had the only electricty mid-route) the everest basecamp, high passes by Makalu, etc. Lukla and Hile at the ends had electricty.

    don't count on power sources

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    Re: technology for recharging camera batteries away from electric power

    Has anyone thought of something like a hand crank generator ?
    Don Libby
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    Re: technology for recharging camera batteries away from electric power

    I have a hand crank lantern, and they're really tedious to use. It's okay for emergency lighting, but I sure wouldn't want to crank for twenty or thirty minutes (or more) to charge a battery.

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    Re: technology for recharging camera batteries away from electric power

    Thanks for the comments. It's sounding like bringing some extra batteries will be the simplest and most foolproof. (He didn't like the idea of turning a hand crank generator when he's already out of breath from the high altitude and tired from a long day of hiking, which is understandable...) He saw some sort of portable solar panel at REI recently, and is going back to look at it too.

    Lisa

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    Senior Member ecsh's Avatar
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    Re: technology for recharging camera batteries away from electric power

    This is the link to Goal Zero. Seems pretty good, but i have never used it.
    http://www.outdoorphotographer.com/goalzero/

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    Re: technology for recharging camera batteries away from electric power

    There are plenty of facilities...the airports and most hotels have electricity that let you charge your batteries...If you plan on staying outdoors extended hours - i suggest you carry extra sets of batteries. I suggest 3 batteries should last your two week trip - assuming you average about 200-250 shots/day or less. Besides the one suggested above, I can recommend - http://www.solio.com/charger/solio-charger-classic.html

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    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Re: technology for recharging camera batteries away from electric power

    Thanks for the links on solar chargers. I've sent them to the spouse, and he's going to do a comparison of the weight and cost for a charger vs. enough extra batteries to last two weeks...

    Lisa

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    Re: technology for recharging camera batteries away from electric power

    Lisa,

    using solar chargers is the proper solution for protecting the environment, but has its trade-offs as well. Unless your tracking tour hasn't one over the other day a day long break you won't be able to charge the camera batteries. Charging times for a drained battery like the EN-EL3 will be at least around 6 hours (assuming the sun is visible...) for a reasonably sized solar charger taken on such a tracking tour. Certainly the panels could be mounted on top of the backpack to gather solar rays.....

    As others already recommended I would go for multiple batteries and / or a mix of AA cells in the additional battery grip. Once you have this grip you can even use EN-EL4 batteries with an adapter which gives you approximately double the clicks of the EN-EL3 batteries.

    Have a pleasant and safe trip.

    Regards,
    Udo

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