Charge!

I guess most of us will bring our smartphones or GPS-devices along the trail on Coast to Coast Sweden. But how do you charge your phone or your GPS-receiver?

There are plenty of solutions out there, so I will just tell you how Börje, Jörgen and I are planning to solve the charging of our devices.

Börje has settled for a Powerpack, battery storage 2 400 mAh, from Swedish retailer Kjell & Co (499 SEK). It's a battery that doubles as shell for your iPhone 4 (not iPhone 5). On the back there are solar cells that charge the battery.
”Last week I tried the pack: I put it in the sun for 5-6 hours. At night I took off my ordinary shell and attached the Powerpack. In the morning my phone was fully charged,” says Börje.

Jörgen opts for a AA Car Essentials Mobile Phone Emergency Charger. It's basically a small charger that lets you charge your phone via ordinary AA-batteries. ”It's not field tested,” says Jörgen. ”Coast to Coast will be the first serious hike with it.”
On the plus side is the price (around 60 SEK, or €6), the size (18.8 x 8.2 x 5 cm) and the weight (30 gram). But the customer reviews on amazon.co are cautious. This is not something that will charge your phone just like that. More an emergency solution.

I've been using an Brunton Inspire, storage 3 200 mAh, on several hikes and when I'm out skating in the Stockholm archipelago. It's water resistent, lightweight, small and charges quite fast. Note: This is a storage and needs to be charged by a solar charger or from the mains in a house. It then carries a load that can be transfered to your device.

You will find it hard to get more than one and a half charge for your iPhone 4 with this battery (especially when you have used it for some time). It's also a bit on the expensive side: $72 or 650 SEK in Sweden).

If you want more power you can upgrade to a "big brother" Brunton Resync, but that also means an upgrade in size, cost (more than twice as expensive) and weight.

Outnorth has several battery packs and solar cell chargers to choose from. Neither Jörgen or I have had that much experience with solar cell chargers, and the few times we have used them we've been a bit disappointed. Jörgen tried one in Canada in 2011 and it barely kept his phone alive for 3 weeks. But the technical development moves fast and the solar cells are quickly becoming better.

Now I wonder: what's you solution to the charging problem..?




No comments:

Post a Comment