Apr 15, 2013 at 7:13 pm #1301781
So I just bought my wife a ipad mini to read with on our trips. I figured since we will be bringing it anyways i will also use it as a gps back up if for some reason we get lost. Not to get off track but are there people who just use there phones or ipads as gps device? Well my question is what do you all use to charge your device? Most of the places i will be backpacking with her is heavily wooded so im not sure a solar charger will work unless you guys know of one that works very well in heavily wooded areas?Apr 15, 2013 at 7:27 pm #1977043
If solar panels are not practical, then use a "brick" battery. These are either rechargeable lithium batteries or else lithium primary batteries. You get one that is big enough that it will support recharging of the iPad for X number of times for one trip.
–B.G.–Apr 15, 2013 at 7:45 pm #1977052
Bob Do you have experience with one you can recommend? i figure when she goes we will be gone at most 4-5days but usually 3 days 2 nightsApr 15, 2013 at 7:49 pm #1977056
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
Three options: First option is power off device when not using and conserve the batteries so they last until the next town. This is what I typically do for my iPhone. Second option as BG noted are the brick lithium supplemental batteries. They recharge via USB. They come in a wide variety of weights / capacities. The final option are devices that hold AA batteries and offer USB power out. You can use disposal batteries or rechargeable. Some models use two AA, some uses 4 AA. I have been using a 4 AA system (with solar charger) from Goal Zero.
–MarkApr 15, 2013 at 7:52 pm #1977058
thanks guys for the replies everyone on this forum is so helpful. Ill look at goal zero now.Apr 15, 2013 at 7:53 pm #1977060
Ran across this the other day. Have not tried it but peaked my interest and bookmarked it:Apr 15, 2013 at 7:54 pm #1977061
Geez, first you have to figure out what your device load will be. You have to figure the load wattage, and how many hours per day, how many days, etc. If you don't have those numbers, then stop right there. Lots of batteries like this are sold on Amazon.com
Thirty years ago the problem was that I was carrying some film camera equipment up to Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal. I knew that I would find no electricity except for what I could carry in batteries. Back then, I used a large gel cell lead-acid battery that was about the size of a building brick, and I had only two sets of batteries for the primary camera. So, each few days I swapped sets between the camera and the brick.
–B.G.–Apr 15, 2013 at 7:55 pm #1977062
"…unless you guys know of one that works very well in heavily wooded areas?"
The battery capacity of the mini ipad is 4490 mAh, more than 3 times that of an iPhone 4. Going to need a big brick to recharge it just once.
IMO, this kind of a device is not practical for the lightweight backpacker, if it needs to be recharged in the wilderness (this is BPL).
For some thoughts, you might find this article I wrote interesting. Solar for Backpacking?. It has some info on recharging using a battery pack. Not a technical piece, and BG will probably find errors in it:)Apr 15, 2013 at 7:56 pm #1977063
I sometimes bring a Mophie 4000 mAh battery brick with me. It has USB output so it can charge many of my electronic devices (phone, watch, steripen, headlamp, camera)Apr 15, 2013 at 7:59 pm #1977065
Strangely enough, I just purchased my first Goal Zero solar panel on Friday. It is only for portable use. I have a 75-watt panel up on the south side of the house. Nick and some of us have learned to appreciate solar energy. However, there are still many places to go where solar isn't practical.
More importantly, you should not need to be burning battery power for every modern device known to man. I thought a backpack trip was good for getting away from the trappings of civilization.
–B.G.–Apr 15, 2013 at 8:16 pm #1977075
Bg i agree with you but this is only for when my wife goes. Now she isnt into the out doors as much as me and isnt it better to get someone involved more into the outdoors such as backpacking even though at night she will use an ipad as a e reader better than her sitting at home watching tv or on comp? This is probably all my fault for not being more specific. I actually got a degree in electrical engineering from the university of pittsburgh( i know not the best school but not the worst) my point was to find a companies that were trust worthy or good quality etc etc in this area. I pointed out about the heavily wooded area bc i know when i bring her the solar panels are not the most reliable.Apr 15, 2013 at 8:19 pm #1977077
i alos found the device load comment kind of funny for the ipod and since i was having a bad day thanks for that it made me laughApr 15, 2013 at 8:24 pm #1977079
" isnt it better to get someone involved more into the outdoors such as backpacking even though at night she will use an ipad as a e reader better than her sitting at home watching tv or on comp?"
My wife will not go backpacking — refuses to sleep on the ground, and I haven't tried to get her involved. That being said, our tent trailer has 250 Watts of solar, so we could power all kinds of electrical conveniences; but we don't.
Think about it… Alone in the wilderness with just your wife. I am SURE you could find something much more fun to do with your wife than an iPad.
Hint, hint; wink, wink :-)Apr 15, 2013 at 8:27 pm #1977083
You bring up a very good point haha. I think i like the way you think but i have to "sell" it to her and this is the selling point.Apr 15, 2013 at 8:35 pm #1977090
Bring it to let her read. But it is her's, so you can't use it. If she reads a couple hours per day it will probably last 4 or 5 days. GPS use will probably use a lot of juice. Also, is it cellular equipped? Need that function for GPS (I think).Apr 15, 2013 at 8:44 pm #1977097
yeah it is cellular and you are right the gps is part of the 3/4g chipset.Apr 15, 2013 at 9:48 pm #1977131
Mike In SocalParticipant
I just took my iPhone on a 5 day trip through the Grand Canyon. Because I really wanted to test out the capabilities of solar, I used a Goal Zero Nomad 7 solar panel and Guide 10 charger. I'd use the phone during the day for photos (several apps including camera, panorama, and video), topo maps with GPS, some reading and occasionally, some music or a video while going to sleep to drown out the river noise or wind. I conserved battery by enabling the SIM PIN. By locking the SIM, it prevents the phone from searching for a cell network but still let's me use the GPS. I would still turn airplane mode back on when done to make sure GPS wasn't running in the background unnecessarily. During the day, the solar panel would charge the Guide 10 battery pack in 2-4 hours (southwest desert sun is awesome) while it was on my pack. I would charge my phone from the Guide 10 at night when going to sleep. Because the Guide 10 charges AA and AAA batteries, I also have the ability of dropping in a charged cell for my headlamp or anything else I might have. I considered buying a lighter rechargeable battery pack that could charge my phone 2-3 times but I already had the solar solution with essentially unlimited power.Apr 15, 2013 at 9:54 pm #1977136
An… But most people don't regularly hike in the desert,Apr 15, 2013 at 10:20 pm #1977143
@nsherry61Locale: Mid-Willamette Valley
Sell it to her with the ipad, but make sure she's got her copy of 50 Shades on the ipad to read.Apr 16, 2013 at 5:42 am #1977202
lol good idea.Apr 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm #1977343
@pgasbyLocale: North Carolina
I was about to recommend a Targus backup battery which is made for an ipad – and I use with my iphone – but it literally just died after roughly two uses so that is off the table. And I picked up a Zagg charger on clearance … and it won't charge fully so I'd avoid that as well. I'm not batting very high with backup batteries it seems…
this really is a case where the old fashioned Kindle shines. If all she's doing is reading a book any tablet is overkill – I have a Nexus 7 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and both are battery hogs. Powering a tablet for the Kindle app is just a lot of horsepower when a plain old Kindle like my third generation will run for about a month on a charge….
You can spend anywhere from $60-$100 on a backup battery solution – which for a tablet you may or may not get a full charge but you'll get some – or $69 for a plain old Kindle or $119 for a Paperwhite (probably less than that if willing to look for a used one) and read to your hearts content for a month in the backcountry.
I've used my iPhone as a GPS on my bike and it is not an efficient solution for extended trips – the GPS is very power hungry. So I don't like it really as a multi use item – I ended up with a Garmin eTrex as it will run for 20 hours or so on user replaceable AA batteries versus 5-6 on the iPhone.Apr 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm #1977348
@bookLocale: Northern California
+1 on the kindle–and I'm anti-Amazon. (the company, not the…you know.)It does get great battery life. It's a tad heavier than a judiciously chosen paperback, but you do get to carry as many books as you want. Just put it in airplane mode! Or the battery will drain somewhat faster. I put mine inside of a cushioned mailer to protect from dust. It's surprisingly robust.
Or if you don't spend that much time reading, bring a pocket book.May 3, 2013 at 11:55 am #1982899
If anyone's still watching this post, I just found a relevant Kickstarter project for extra-high capacity chargers:May 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm #1982922
Note bast on what I have read about the basic I pad mini I don't believe it has a GPS. Cel phones by law must provide the callers location so that in an emergeny they can be found. Cel phone can use GPS or triangulate off of several cel towers to meat the law requirement. Today most cel phones have GPS but not all do.
The Ipad mini is not a cel phone so it is not required to provide a location to emergency responders. So like most E-books it doesn't have any GPS in it. However my google search did find mention of the celular version of the I pad mini and that one does appear to have GPS capability.
As for a charger you might want to concider:
Its a 4.9oz solar panel with 2AA batteries. To solar panel charges the batteries and the AA batteries power the USB port which can be used to carge a device with a USB port. The two AA batteries alone should have enough power to get the i pad mini up to about 90% charge or more (based on the batterery capacity of the I pad mini battery listed earlier). Solar plus AA batteries would probably allow it to fully charge the device in about 3 hours.
As to tablet battery life any tablet with a color screen will not have great battery life. This a because the color screen is an LCD panel that must have a back light. Kindel and other black and white readers use E ink displays that don't need a backlight. Since E0ink displays don't have back light there battereis last a lot longer. also to maximiz battery like turn off the wifi transmitter when it is not needed.May 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm #1982924
"Note bast on what I have read about the I pad mini I don't believe it has a GPS."
The cellular mini does have assisted GPS and GLONASS.
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