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TominMpls
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07/26/2018 11:09PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
My cheapie chargers can't handle more than a few days. Any recommendations to keep a GoPro, GPS watch, and InReach charged for a trip longer than a week? I see some have solar panels, are those useful or just an expensive gimmick?
 
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bcelect
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07/27/2018 01:26AM  
A good charging solar panel is a well worth the investment to keep our ever increasing electronic devices fully charged. I don't have on yet but see one in my future. I need to find a waterproof one.
I am also considering this, best of both worlds, well it is a bluetooth speaker, not a player. MP3 Player and charger.
 
bcelect
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07/27/2018 01:37AM  
BTW Thanks for reminding me, I just ordered one. Special $20 gift card promotion with REI membership.
Members, spend $100 or more thru July 30 and earn a $20 bonus card
Single-use bonus card valid & redeemable Aug. 3–13, 2018. $20 bonus card Details

Not a member? Join and earn your bonus card today. Buy a $20 membership now
 
bkebs
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07/27/2018 07:52AM  
I took a small Goal Zero setup on my last trip. I used the one with the little battery bank that has a flashlight head that plugs into it so that I would have an extra light. The panels sat in camp and charged the bank during the day, and the bank charged my phone at night. I also had a headlamp that I topped off a time or two. Last year was my first trip up with a smart phone. It was nice to be able to shoot video and pics, have a map and a flashlight all in one device...
 
07/27/2018 07:57AM  
TominMpls,

I have had great luck using a sCharger-5 SUNTASTICS Solar Charger on my canoe trips. It is lightweight at 7 oz. and is supposed to be waterproof. I have found this durable high powered charger to be simple to use and can charge my iPhone, In Reach, Go Pro camera and USB battery pack. It is highly rated by many Appalachian Trail hikers who have used it.

It can charge my iPhone from 0 to 100% in 2 hours when it is full sun.

I pair this solar charger with an ANKER Power Core 10000 battery pack. I used to bring along a Anker 20000 battery backup pack but I wanted to go lighter and went to the 10000 model which only weighs 7 oz. and is compact at 3.9" x 2.5" x .9 ". The battery charger pack can be charged up by the Suntastics Solar Charger.

I use the Anker 10000 to charge up my InReach and camera and iPhone as well. Its good to have a battery charger with you in case the solar charger malfunctions for some reason or if you experience very cloudy days in succession and the solar charger can not charge very well.

There are a lot of solar charger and battery pack options out there … but this is what has worked well for me.

sCharger-5 Suntastics Solar Charger

Anker Power Core Speed 10000 Battery Caherger Pack with 3.0 Quick Charge

 
sylvesterii
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07/27/2018 10:08AM  


I have this one: Anker PD 20100

It's a little heavier than I would like, but it will power EVERYTHING.
 
bcelect
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07/27/2018 10:10AM  
This one has good reviews but isn't water resistant. Goal Zero Nomad 7
The 20 is water resistant. Goal Zero Nomad 20
 
paddlinjoe
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07/27/2018 10:42AM  
The Anker 10000 has done well for my InReach for a week. I haven't added the load of an iPhone or anything else though.

 
TominMpls
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07/27/2018 11:32AM  
Wally13, that looks like a really nice solar panel. Do you have a sense of how fragile it is? Obviously it would be great to strap it to the top of a portage pack and charge while paddling, and it's certainly waterproof enough for that, but I'd want to leave it in place on portages, and I'd hate to break it.
 
SinglePortage
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07/27/2018 11:41AM  
I got a new Eceen 10 watt solar panel off ebay for $18 a few months ago and it works great. I brought it on my May trip to the BWCA and I had no problem keeping me and my daughters phones, flashlites and lantern charged for the week. This one weighs much less than a pound, but I am in the process of buying the components to build a 4-5 watt ultralight panel that will weigh less than 2 ounces for ultralight backpacking trips.

If you can find the Eceen 10 or 12 watt model for $20, buy it. You will not be sorry. I think the retail price is $35-$40.
 
07/27/2018 01:19PM  
Tom,

Many trail hikers strap it on their packs while hiking. It is fairly durable and I don’t see why you couldn’t put on top of a portage pack in your canoe while paddling.
 
BAWaters
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07/27/2018 01:22PM  
sylvesterii: "


I have this one: Anker PD 20100


It's a little heavier than I would like, but it will power EVERYTHING. "


+1
 
GearJunkie
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07/27/2018 01:58PM  
TominMpls: "My cheapie chargers can't handle more than a few days. Any recommendations to keep a GoPro, GPS watch, and InReach charged for a trip longer than a week? I see some have solar panels, are those useful or just an expensive gimmick? "

I have a Goal Zero Nomad 7 Plus. It is amazing. Can charge my phone in about the same time as when connected to an outlet.

Keep this in mind if you go solar. Make sure they use Microcrystalline cells. This is why the 7W Nomad can out perform the cheaper 14W panels sold.

Also purchased Wasabi Power Gopro batteries. They worked as good as the standard go pro batteries.

My full load out was:

4 precharged batteries
Goal Zero Nomad 7 plus
5600 MAH battery bank

Had zero issues keeping my phone charged (for navigational purposes) and recharging all items on a 6 day trip.
 
TipsyPaddler
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07/27/2018 04:27PM  
BAWaters: "sylvesterii: "



I have this one: Anker PD 20100



It's a little heavier than I would like, but it will power EVERYTHING. "



+1"


+2 Used this to keep a IPhone 7+ and Garmin Inreach+ charged for 4 days and probably could have gone several more days before it was drained
 
07/27/2018 04:38PM  
Another Anker portable charger user here, pick your size of need and you'll be happy with it. I have several

As for solar, I have a JOOS. It's been awesome for the 5 years or so I've had it. I like that you can charge the battery at home with an outlet and get a full charge, then recharge it on the go. Waterproof as well, mine's been rained on lightly but nothing more, not submerged.
It's a nice size and robust. Can be tossed around, it's not flimsy like others I've seen. Super nice when hiking, just strap it to the top of your pack and go, plenty of battery life at the end of the day.

JOOS
 
TominMpls
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07/30/2018 10:04AM  
Wally13: "I pair this solar charger with an ANKER Power Core 10000 battery pack. I used to bring along a Anker 20000 battery backup pack but I wanted to go lighter and went to the 10000 model which only weighs 7 oz. and is compact at 3.9" x 2.5" x .9 ". The battery charger pack can be charged up by the Suntastics Solar Charger.


Anker Power Core Speed 10000 Battery Caherger Pack with 3.0 Quick Charge


"


I just ordered the Anker battery pack, I'm going to do a little more research before I decide on a solar panel. Thanks!
 
07/30/2018 02:15PM  
TominMpls: "
I just ordered the Anker battery pack, I'm going to do a little more research before I decide on a solar panel. Thanks!"

I got a GoalZero Nomad 7 a couple years ago, then ended up getting a smaller Anker - like 5400 or something. I found the Anker enough to charge my GoPro Sessions several times, iPhone once or so, and headlamp if needed. Seems enough for any trip under 10 days or so, longer if my iPhone stays home. To get a really good answer, you need to do some math; mAh's used per charge per divide x number of recharges gives you your usage. Then figure if it's better to carry it stored in an Anker or other, or harvest from the sun.

I'm in Minneapolis near downtown. It looks like my plans in August are getting messed up, so if you would like to borrow my GoalZero for a week or two to play around with it you are welcome to.
 
07/30/2018 02:26PM  
I picked up a 22W solar charger on Prime Day this year, hope to get some use out of it in the BWCA soon. The real purpose of getting it was for Philmont next year where I'll be topping up an Anker battery during the day and using that for my phone and gopro.

Edit: I did get a couple hours of decent sunlight while out on the East coast last week w/Scouts. It topped up my phone and my kid's phone. I think a USB volt meter would be a good investment to measure output. The panel only has a LED which blinks either red or green when charging depending on the strength of the light.
 
TominMpls
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07/30/2018 02:48PM  
Jaywalker: "I'm in Minneapolis near downtown. It looks like my plans in August are getting messed up, so if you would like to borrow my GoalZero for a week or two to play around with it you are welcome to. "

That's extremely generous, I may take you up on it. Let me see how things shake out here.
 
mc2mens
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07/30/2018 08:09PM  
I have a NekTeck 21W Solar Charger . It's not lightweight, but it's built solid and it works well. Double ports so you can charge two gadgets at once. It was voted best solar charger for hiking by Lifewire.
 
ockycamper
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08/01/2018 09:44AM  
I bring an Ibattz 20400 with me. It will charge an Iphone 6-7 times. The only time we use electronics is for tablets that work with "deep" fishing finders, and some of the guys bring videos of how to clean specific fish on their tablets.

I think I would go for two Ibattz for a week long trip rather then messing with a solar panel.
 
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