Hello all. Need to get a battery device to power my cell phone while on some hikes. Hopefully something that runs on AA batteries. Would be nice if it could work off the sun eventually. However, some say that carrying a solar device charger just adds too much weight and you should just carry extra AA batteries. Your thoughts?
Loc: Portland, OR
I'm not sure I understand. If the charging device were to run on AA batteries and the phone runs on AA batteries, why not dispense with the middle man and just take extra AA batteries?
However, all the cell phones I am familiar with run on internal rechargeable batteries, not replaceable AA batteries, and the same thing applies to the non-solar charging devices for phones. They are basically one big rechargeable battery with some jacks to plug into.
As for the solar chargers, yes they can charge your phone, but they add extra weight and expense compared to the non-solar chargers, and are mostly worthwhile if you will be away from electrical outlets for a very extended period.
I don't understand the whole thing, but our company gave us some kind of fast-recharge device for our cell phones and computers - weighs about 6 or 8 ounces, and you attach via a USB cable. You then re-charge the recharger by connecting it to your computer when it's plugged in.
Target, Radio Shack, Best Buy, Walmart, and the cell phone and iPad places all have sales clerks (average age: 12) who can explain them a lot better than I can.
The Goal Zero 21005 Guide 10 is a device that can be charged by a USB port. what is charged in the device are 4 aa batteries. then you hook up your phone and can power your phone. however, if you don't have access to a USB port, you can just insert fresh AA batteries and use your phone. they also sell a device (Goal Nomad Solar Panel) which can clip to your backpack. while you hike it pulls solar energy into the batteries and then you could use it to run your phone. Both devices are available on Amazon if you want to look at technical details. I am just wondering if this is the best, lightest device to accomplish this.
Andrew Skurka, in his book, says (at least, my understanding) that it is not worth carrying solar device (too heavy). Lighter just to carry extra AA batteries (or whatever type battery the device uses).
Loc: Portland, OR
I am just wondering if this is the best, lightest device to accomplish this.
Based on your description I would say no, not for the most common backpacking situations, where you are only hiking for relatively short periods, like a week, and then come home.
Even if you were hiking one of the long trails like the PCT or AT, in order to justify this particular setup you must imagine resupply situations where you were 1) able to buy AA batteries, but 2) unable to locate a wall outlet to recharge your rechargeable AA batteries that come with the unit. This would not be the usual situation when you resupplied.
In the most remote areas of the PCT you won't be getting any cell reception anyway, so you could preserve your battery power by leaving your phone off most of the time.
I highly recommend going on Amazon.com and checking out the jackery bar. They come in different sizes based on how many recharges you want. The smallest will recharge a standard iphone from 0% to 100% approximately 1.5 times. I have the smallest one and another larger one I keep in my truck that will recharge my Samsung S3 4 times! It recharges on a USB/microUSB cord (provided) and i got them both dirt cheap. The big one weighs around 9oz so it's not the lightest option, but the smaller ones are slightly larger than a sharpie marker.
Most of my hiking is in the woods with not a whole lot of direct sunlight so the solar thing doesn't work for me...
Did you know that 83.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot?
Intended use: If I had this type of thing, sometimes I would have cell reception and could use to make a call. But phones can also be used for books, music, first aid reference. Not sure if you need cell reception for GPS? Maybe someone else does...