Are you one of those people that can’t leave home without your digital camera, mp3 player, laptop, mobile phone and of course a handheld GPS receiver to navigate your way around the world?
We have to answer ‘guilty’ to carrying around several gadgets.
Many people will prefer a simpler way of touring but we make good use of our electronics on the road. Having said that, they come with dilemmas as well. You’ll have to clear out your panniers to make way for all those toys and adapt to lugging the extra weight around. Carrying valuables also means you’ll worry more. Think long and hard before taking something and decide if the space, weight and security concerns are outweighed by your need for the gadget.
The biggest ongoing challenge is finding a way to keep everything fully powered. It’s not quite as hard as you might imagine. Our digital SLR camera, for example, can take hundreds of pictures on a single charge so we only have to plug its battery in once or twice a month. The laptop is the biggest power user but we have ways to keep that running. Everything else only needs infrequent attention and the more we tour by bicycle, the better we get at keeping everything charged.
We have a few things that run on disposable AA batteries but these are relatively low power users and we don’t have to replace the batteries very often. Getting AA batteries is never a problem but in Central Asia it was impossible to buy good quality batteries.
Our battery powered list includes:
|Apple 20G iPod||Built in||Four to six hours.|
|Bike computers (Cateye & Decathlon brands)||CR2032||10,000km|
|Cateye LED lights||AA||Infrequently used. More risk of corrosion than dead batteries.|
|Edirol R-09 Audio Recorder||AA||A few hours.|
|Nikon D80 SLR||Lithium Ion||Long! 100s of photos.|
|Petzl Tikka LED Headtorches||AA||Two months of reading in the tent.|
|Panasonic CF-W4 Laptop||Built in||Good for a laptop. Four to six hours.|
|Roberts R9968 SW Radio||AA||At least a month.|
|Sony Cybershot T9||Lithium Ion||Too short. A few hours.|
The way we charge things has varied from region to region.
In North America and Europe we used campsites at least a couple times a week and we could usually access a power point there. Even if we didn’t pay for a powered site, plugs can be found in the bathrooms or communal areas. This is a bit of a pain because now you have to bring a book and sit in the toilets or put your tent facing the bathrooms to ensure no one steals your laptop while you’re cooking supper. We also wrapped our electronics in a plastic bag to protect against water when we used bathroom powerpoints.
You can also enlist help in campsites. Campers with RVs are often happy to let you plug in something inside their motorhome or the front desk may charge something for you.
A last ditch resort is to look around supermarkets. You’d be surprised how often there’s an unused electrical outlet outside, maybe even beside a picnic table. Buy lunch in the grocery store and chow down while you wait. If you have moral qualms about this, ask the manager. They rarely mind.
In cheaper parts of the world like the Middle East and Southeast Asia, charging gets a whole lot easier because you’re never out of a hotel for more than a few nights. Between accommodation, restaurant owners were happy for us to plug something in while we ate a meal. People in these regions love their mobile phones so sometimes shopping centres or public parks have recharging points. Convenience stores in Japan also have kiosks for repowering your mobile phone.
Central Asia posed the biggest challenge because we did a lot of wild camping and power cuts were frequent. Even in a hotel, we didn’t always manage to recharge everything. Remote areas of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan may have a guesthouse but no electricity. If you’re going to India, you may have similar problems.
Other things to keep in mind:
- Try to buy electronics with interchangable cords. If you need a separate cord for each one, you’ll find all the power bricks add up to almost the same weight as the gadgets. We have a single cord and this plugs into the converter for the laptop, the charging unit for the cameras and powers the USB adaptor for our iPod.
- Electrical sockets in developing countries are often very loose. Bring scotch tape to make your plug stay put. It’s common to see sparks fly when you plug something in.
- It’s possible to create a unit that recharges AA batteries on the go using a dynamo. This needs a little electronics know-how but search the internet for ideas and enlist a clever friend to help out, or buy a SON dynamo for your front bicycle wheel – not cheap but effective for charging most things.
- With things like cameras and laptops, use the lowest power setting available. Turn off automatic review features on LCD camera screens.
15th June 2010 at 11:54 pm #
Any reviews on solar chargers? I Have been looking at several for my 19V netbook. Any suggestions?
2nd July 2010 at 11:24 pm #
We have been using a Scotty solar charger from the German company Solarc for the last four years of our bike tour. Works great! Check out their web site http://www.solarc.de/
11th October 2010 at 11:27 am #
I’ve been using a Power Monkey Explorer unit which has a solar panel and a charger with adapters for just about everything.I use 2 panels on mine with a ‘Y’cable to speed up charging. As long as it’s not peeing down, I fix the solar panels on top of my trailer bag and ride off for the day.
The battery holds enough power to charge my iphone twice, or similarly, my gps (which I hardly use to be honest!). The neat range of adapters means I can ask campsite staff to charge either device, or plug it into any of the available sockets on site.
I could probably get by without the solar panels, but they work evfen when there’s quite dense cloud and I like feeling self sufficient.
Great device, check out powermonkey-explorer.com
11th January 2012 at 2:41 am #
Does anyone have any experience or opinion on the dynamo hubs from Schmidt/SON? Seems like an practical way to recharge on the go..
11th January 2012 at 6:41 am #
Andreas, in this more recent article we touched on that very topic (see the comments). We’ll also be publishing a review of our experiences with the SON dynamo later this month. Stay tuned!
20th February 2012 at 7:10 pm #
After extensive research, I’ve also just purchased an E-Werk (from Busch and Muller), A Shimano dynamo hub, and a USB battery pack for touring with on my next trip.
In terms of the E-werk, there are other options out there for the power regulation, but it really does seem like it’s built to last, is waterproof, relatively small, and comes with all the connectors you’ll need. It also wins every efficiency test I could find (there aren’t many actually!), so you know that it’s not wasting your hard earned power.
I’m attaching this to a Shimano 3n80 dynamo hub. Apparently these new Shimano hubs are close to the efficiency and rolling resistance to the SON, at a fraction of the cost. Cost was a factor for me, so I opted for this one. They weight about half a kg, and of course requires a wheel rebuild.
I’ve also purchased a £25 USB battery which has 6600mAh, and two USB output ports (2.1A and 1A), which is useful if you need to charge things overnight in your tent, or you just prefer a buffer from the E-Werk. The 2.1A covers most things like ipad or general tablet, which use more USB power.
I’m mainly using this to power iPhone, and some camera/video stuff. After testing of various software, the iphone will finally replace the Garmin GPS as the main navigation device, as well as a lot of other things.
My touring experience isn’t that extensive, but I found my previous setup when camping was a pain – juggling lots of types of batteries, chargers, cables and plugs, and wondering what to leave hanging off an electrical socket outdoors at the campsite was a bit annoying.
If you don’t want the hassle of E-werk / Hub, you can always just carry the USb battery, and charge that whenever you see mains. It would give about 5-6 full iphone charges, so it;s a useful amount and weighs less than 250g.
The hub also gives you decent lighting options – I went for the B&M front (Cyo RT) and rear (Flatline S).
Just waiting for new front wheel to be built, and then the rest can be tested.
Of course, you can leave all the electronics at home and use paper maps/internet cafe’s, but I prefer to be able to stay in touch, send pics home, find information while on the road, and know where I am and where I;m going – which a GPS is just great for. Charging them was the only pain, and hopefully that’s now fixed.
The total setup does come at a price – which is pretty hard to justify – but I’m looking forward to being independent of power sockets for a bit.
18th June 2012 at 2:19 pm #
Where did you buy the USB battery? What brand is it? I have a large HTC smartpone which is great as it works as a GPS pathfinder, communication and media device all in one. However the downside is the battery only lasts ~14-16 hours with light-moderate use. I have thought about buying an extra battery for it, but a higher capacity battery to charge it would also be good.
8th July 2013 at 9:16 pm #
A lot of my friends are using the Anker Astro 3 to charge phones and tablets. For other things. I am thinking of getting one myself. The amount of juice I use on my tablet to map out and record my rides means that I would only need to charge it every three or so days. Throw in phone charging and I would need to do a recharge on the Anker about every three days. Find a campsite with juice and you are good to go.
12th July 2013 at 7:28 am #
Good one – thanks for the tip, Phil!
12th September 2014 at 11:36 am #
I took a smartphone, GPS watch with HRM and cadence sensor, and digital camera with me on a 2 week cyclo-camping tour in France/Italy and managed to keep all of them fully charged. I kept the phone on all the time but kept GPS, wifi and mobile data turned off except when I needed them. I used the GPS watch for ~6-8 hours each day and took about 1,300 photos.
I used a Kit Premium Portable Power Bank (12,000 mAh) and a USB mainland european mains charger (about 400g in total). The battery feels quite heavy but the weight difference between this and say a 6000mAh battery is maybe only about 100g.
I plugged the charger in at the washrooms whenever I visited, and occasionally at restaurants.
I did get low on charge towards the end but it didn’t compromise my ability to use any of my devices.
I had intended to charge the battery from my dynamo but it wasn’t necessary. As such I was able to keep my lights on all the time without worrying about charging.
Next time I would probably take the dynamo charger and cache battery as it would be marginally more convenient as it is only an extra 200g, especially if the tour was longer, although having read some of the other comments on this website I might try one of the newer foldable high power solar arrays. I found the Powermonkey explorer solar charger ineffective on previous tours.
28th January 2022 at 5:27 pm #
I simply desired to appreciate you again. I do not know the things that I might have made to happen without the thoughts contributed by you about that problem. Previously it was an absolute hard crisis in my view, nevertheless observing the very skilled approach you treated it made me to weep for fulfillment. Extremely thankful for the service and as well , expect you find out what a powerful job you’re carrying out training some other people by way of your webpage. Most likely you haven’t come across all of us.
23rd February 2022 at 10:20 am #
I wanted to make a small remark to be able to express gratitude to you for all the pleasant recommendations you are showing on this site. My rather long internet search has at the end of the day been paid with sensible facts and strategies to go over with my good friends. I ‘d suppose that we visitors are very fortunate to live in a useful website with so many special individuals with great tips and hints. I feel somewhat blessed to have come across the weblog and look forward to many more thrilling moments reading here. Thanks once again for all the details.
23rd February 2022 at 10:22 am #
I’m just commenting to make you understand what a extraordinary experience my child found checking your blog. She mastered several pieces, including how it is like to have an excellent teaching character to make most people without hassle learn specific specialized matters. You actually surpassed visitors’ expected results. Thanks for providing the effective, trustworthy, educational and in addition easy guidance on that topic to Sandra.
23rd February 2022 at 10:23 am #
I want to voice my love for your kind-heartedness supporting women who require help on that topic. Your special commitment to getting the solution around turned out to be remarkably functional and has consistently empowered most people much like me to achieve their pursuits. The useful help and advice means a whole lot to me and far more to my mates. Thanks a ton; from all of us.
19th April 2022 at 2:47 am #
6th May 2022 at 12:09 pm #
Но они очень соблазнительны, поэтому мы советуем отказываться от них постепенно.
диета при гастрите меню на неделю
Если вам это дается с трудом, попробуйте приготовить такие же блюда дома из низкокалорийных ингредиентов.Пейте воду с лимоном и медом по утрам.
Проснувшись, выпивайте чашку теплой воды с медом и лимоном.Это совсем не сложно и при этом эффективно в борьбе с лишним весом.
понос при гастрите
Этот напиток ускоряет метаболизм, и выпивая его на голодный желудок, вы настраиваете свой организм на режим сжигания жира с самого утра.Ешьте фрукты, а не пейте.
Сок часто называют полезным продуктом, однако важно помнить, что он не относится к низкокалорийным напиткам.250 мл апельсинового сока содержит 110 калорий, что равнозначно двум апельсинам.
6th August 2022 at 3:29 am #
I would like to show my admiration for your kind-heartedness supporting persons that should have guidance on this important issue. Your real commitment to passing the message throughout had been pretty interesting and have really allowed those much like me to achieve their targets. Your entire useful tutorial entails a whole lot to me and still more to my fellow workers. Many thanks; from everyone of us.
7th August 2022 at 10:38 am #
I simply wanted to thank you so much once more. I’m not certain what I would have sorted out without these aspects discussed by you about my situation. It was a troublesome crisis in my view, but taking a look at this expert technique you managed the issue took me to leap over fulfillment. I’m thankful for your advice and then hope you comprehend what an amazing job you were providing instructing people with the aid of your blog. Most likely you’ve never got to know any of us.
7th August 2022 at 10:44 am #
I intended to compose you the little bit of remark to finally give many thanks once again just for the pretty knowledge you’ve documented on this site. It has been so generous with you to make publicly just what many individuals would have marketed for an electronic book to help with making some dough on their own, notably considering that you could possibly have tried it in the event you wanted. These techniques additionally worked like a great way to fully grasp the rest have the identical keenness just as mine to find out a great deal more with regards to this matter. I’m sure there are lots of more pleasurable moments in the future for people who look over your website.
7th August 2022 at 10:45 am #
I have to express my affection for your generosity in support of individuals that really want guidance on this important field. Your personal dedication to passing the message across ended up being extraordinarily powerful and has continuously encouraged ladies like me to achieve their goals. Your entire warm and friendly help can mean much a person like me and even more to my fellow workers. With thanks; from each one of us.
14th August 2022 at 11:50 pm #
I have to point out my passion for your generosity supporting those individuals that really need help on that area of interest. Your special dedication to getting the message throughout had become surprisingly powerful and have in every case enabled women much like me to get to their goals. Your own informative suggestions can mean a great deal a person like me and additionally to my mates. Best wishes; from everyone of us.
22nd October 2022 at 10:30 pm #
I simply needed to thank you so much once again. I do not know what I would have made to happen without the entire information shown by you on my theme. This has been a distressing difficulty for me, nevertheless discovering the very professional mode you solved that took me to cry over joy. I’m thankful for this work and as well , wish you recognize what a great job you happen to be providing teaching some other people through the use of your websites. I am certain you’ve never come across any of us.
22nd October 2022 at 10:31 pm #
I simply had to thank you very much again. I am not sure the things I could possibly have handled in the absence of the type of ideas documented by you over my situation. It previously was the troublesome setting for me personally, but understanding the very skilled way you managed the issue took me to cry over happiness. I will be thankful for your information and wish you recognize what a powerful job you are putting in training many others thru your webpage. Most probably you have never got to know any of us.
22nd October 2022 at 10:31 pm #
I must show my gratitude for your kindness giving support to folks who have the need for help with this particular situation. Your personal dedication to getting the solution along became extremely practical and has all the time enabled individuals just like me to attain their aims. Your amazing invaluable publication can mean a lot a person like me and further more to my office colleagues. Warm regards; from all of us.
24th October 2022 at 7:44 pm #
25th October 2022 at 5:02 pm #
I have to convey my appreciation for your generosity for folks who must have guidance on this issue. Your special commitment to passing the solution all over appeared to be extremely significant and has consistently made women much like me to achieve their ambitions. Your entire interesting key points means a lot to me and even further to my fellow workers. Thanks a ton; from each one of us.
26th October 2022 at 4:41 am #
I’m also commenting to let you know of the fine discovery my wife’s princess found viewing the blog. She noticed numerous issues, most notably how it is like to have a great teaching character to get a number of people without problems master certain tricky things. You undoubtedly exceeded people’s expectations. Many thanks for supplying those precious, trustworthy, revealing and easy tips on this topic to Sandra.
28th October 2022 at 4:46 pm #
I needed to create you a little note to help thank you again on the stunning advice you’ve documented on this site. This has been certainly pretty generous with you to deliver extensively all that most of us would have offered as an e-book to end up making some dough on their own, most notably now that you could possibly have tried it if you considered necessary. Those principles as well served to be the easy way to realize that other people have the identical zeal just as my own to know the truth way more with respect to this condition. I know there are lots of more enjoyable situations up front for folks who find out your website.
18th November 2022 at 1:26 am #
I precisely needed to thank you so much once again. I am not sure the things I would’ve created without those solutions shown by you relating to such a theme. Previously it was a real alarming case for me, however , being able to see a new specialized style you handled the issue forced me to leap for happiness. I’m just happier for your information and as well , expect you know what a powerful job you are always accomplishing teaching other individuals through the use of your webpage. I am sure you have never got to know all of us.
18th November 2022 at 1:28 am #
I needed to create you this tiny remark just to give thanks once again on the breathtaking techniques you’ve featured above. It has been quite pretty open-handed with you to grant without restraint all most of us could have distributed as an e book to get some bucks on their own, most importantly considering the fact that you could have tried it if you ever decided. These points additionally acted like a good way to comprehend other people have a similar desire just like my own to see a great deal more when considering this matter. I think there are thousands of more pleasurable instances up front for those who read carefully your blog.
22nd November 2022 at 9:23 pm #
I have to convey my appreciation for your kindness for those individuals that require guidance on your theme. Your very own dedication to getting the message across has been especially insightful and has all the time permitted men and women much like me to attain their dreams. Your own important guidelines entails much a person like me and especially to my office workers. Thanks a ton; from all of us.
22nd November 2022 at 9:24 pm #
I must get across my affection for your kindness giving support to persons who must have guidance on your situation. Your personal commitment to passing the solution across came to be definitely significant and has truly enabled many people much like me to arrive at their targets. Your invaluable help and advice implies this much to me and further more to my peers. Best wishes; from everyone of us.
23rd November 2022 at 11:07 pm #
Needed to write you that tiny word so as to thank you again for these amazing tips you have shared here. It is so extremely generous with you to give openly all that many people would’ve offered for an electronic book to help with making some cash on their own, chiefly now that you could possibly have done it in the event you decided. Those creative ideas in addition acted like a easy way to comprehend some people have similar desire just like my own to grasp great deal more with regards to this issue. I know there are numerous more enjoyable periods in the future for those who see your site.
26th November 2022 at 6:56 pm #
I am glad for writing to make you understand of the wonderful experience my wife’s daughter went through visiting the blog. She learned a wide variety of pieces, including how it is like to have an amazing teaching character to let men and women smoothly know just exactly a number of grueling subject matter. You really exceeded our own expectations. Thanks for presenting these beneficial, trustworthy, informative and even fun tips about this topic to Kate.
2nd December 2022 at 11:04 pm #
I would like to show my affection for your kind-heartedness supporting all those that really want assistance with in this question. Your special dedication to getting the message across appeared to be rather important and has allowed girls much like me to get to their desired goals. The useful tips and hints can mean a lot to me and especially to my peers. Thanks a lot; from each one of us.
4th December 2022 at 3:48 am #
With a robust on line existence and easy membership needsFree Account – New Free Accounts And Password Listfree account
4th December 2022 at 6:21 pm #
ivermectin for sale near me ivermectin autoimmune
7th December 2022 at 10:50 am #
One of the key ingredients to a successful product is the creation of effective, efficient and visually pleasing displays.
12th December 2022 at 4:42 pm #
modern apartment building turtle pointe apartments ridge apartments
13th December 2022 at 6:42 pm #
Write what you want, when you want. No apologies needed. Nadia Kristoforo Merv Kate Ev Drucill
19th December 2022 at 8:24 pm #
Heaven Cove: una ruptura de terror de aprendizaje Una realidad inoportuna
29th December 2022 at 12:06 am #
Our API 5L smooth line pipeline is excellent for the petroleum and natural gas markets. API 5L line pipeline is suitable for delivering gas, water, and also oil.
29th December 2022 at 10:40 am #
Now im so in love with this url , it aids me so much with foregathering excellent info about how to look after myself.
29th December 2022 at 5:53 pm #
When he grows up, he will marry Tang Seng as her husband. Click:Fuck.
30th December 2022 at 1:35 am #
how universal healthcare wont work what antivirals are used to treat hivivermectin yiadrk
2nd January 2023 at 11:29 am #
Enjoyed every bit of your blog post. Keep writing.
3rd January 2023 at 1:09 am #
The ending hints at a sequel! Oh joy… So this well-made but extremely shallow film is bogged down even more by an extremely UN-original screenplay and heartless direction, and that’s sad.
5th January 2023 at 11:16 pm #
roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I’ll forward this post to him.
10th January 2023 at 9:11 pm #
interactions for ivermectin ivermectina walmart
13th January 2023 at 12:55 pm #
Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a online game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these second life authors and blogs
29th March 2023 at 1:52 am #
You’ll find it almost unattainable to see well-qualified readers on this content, even though you seem like you comprehend the things you’re writing on! Appreciation
29th March 2023 at 12:40 pm #
citalopram overdose citalopram and alcohol interactions for citalopram