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nickbreid
01-18-2014, 14:41
I plan on updating a blog using my Galaxy S3 nearly everyday while thru-hiking this year or that's my hope. How easy is it to keep a phone charged, assuming it's turned off mostly all the time except for when I'm writing?

Also: I have an extended custom battery (7000 mAh vs the stock 2100) that adds a bit of bulk and weight with the benefit of basically tripling the battery life. One drawback with this battery is that it takes FOREVER to fully charge if it's dead I'm talking more than 12 hours. Say I'm staying at a hostel every now and then, can I be pretty sure that I'll have an outlet to myself overnight? I'm not sure it'll even be worth bringing the big battery since I don't plan on staying stationary long enough to charge it.

Any thoughts from those who aren't ditching electronics on the trail? I'm also planning on bringing a GoPro, which will require charging too, but I'll be able to do that simultaneously with the phone.

ChinMusic
01-18-2014, 14:51
If you need the juice I would upgrade my battery to a New Trent model. You will get more charges and have a slightly less charging time than what you have reported. On my thru I staying in town enough to always charge my New Trent. I was only once I got north of Glencliff did I have to back off my phone use from time to time.

Zippy Morocco
01-18-2014, 14:56
I used a 3500 mah extended battery with a galaxy nexus. Only showed up to town a couple of times with a dead battery. I don't remember ever lodging somewhere that I couldn't charge over night.

Also if you plan on playing music you might consider the Samsung Muse mp3 player. It syncs directly from Galaxy phones and weighs about 1/2 house. Being that they are a year old you can pick them up for $15.00 on ebay.

takethisbread
01-18-2014, 16:28
I use the trent external battery for my iphone. it weighs. 3-4z I'm guessing but it carries 3+ charges on it. I'm not sure if it's the same thing chin music is referring to. I get 4 charges from town to town on the AT.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

yellowsirocco
01-18-2014, 17:18
Make sure you are using a 2 amp charger. Most of the ones that come stock with phones are 1 amp, but they can handle 2 amps. If you are staying the night somewhere this doesn't much matter, but if you are just stopping by a cafe or store and want a few minutes of charge this makes a lot of difference.

Starchild
01-18-2014, 17:46
I had 3 rechargeable devices, iPhone, Steripen and a external battery pack. I also brought a 2.1A charger with 2 USB 'sockets' in it. I also had a cord that allowed me to split a USB to recharge 2 devices at once, hence could charge all 3 at once.

All 3 devices could in theory charge at 1 A a piece, that is fine when I am charging 1 or 2 devices, when I charge all 3 at once I'm not sure what happens - I don't know how much goes to each device, except all 3 do charge. It did give me lots of options. Also sometimes you can find a spare USB socket on a computer or someone elses charge (with their permission) which helps spread the load. Hostels and motels and the like usually have lots of spare charges (commonly left behind, not worth recovering), so asking for a charger may help as well.

I never ran short of power, but sometimes I ran short in a device, such as the iPhone and had to use it sparingly till I could ensure a recharge. But that said I did use it pretty much continuously, even able to frequently stream music. But if I was not using the cellular functions I kept it in airplane mode.

For a external battery pack I would look for one that can charge at 2.1A if you can find one, if not then 1A is good as well. I had more then enough power with a New Trent 50,000mAh, though your phone may be a bit more power hungry and you may want to step it up a bit. I am not sure what bite out of my battery load the steripen took.

Slo-go'en
01-18-2014, 18:04
Make sure you are using a 2 amp charger. Most of the ones that come stock with phones are 1 amp, but they can handle 2 amps. If you are staying the night somewhere this doesn't much matter, but if you are just stopping by a cafe or store and want a few minutes of charge this makes a lot of difference.

The current rating of the charger does not determine the charge rate, that depends on the rating of the battery. There is a charging circuit built into the device which regulates the charge current. You just need a charger which is "big enough", going bigger isn't going to speed things up. Most chargers are rated at 1 amp because thats a nice round number to design to and very few batteries charge at even close to that current. The charger is working well below it's rating, which improves reliability.


If you learn to minimize battery current by turning off unneeded features and apps, keeping the screen brightness low and so on, you can significantly extend battery life. When not in use, turn the device fully off, not just stand-by. It takes a little longer to boot, but saves a lot of juice.

theinfamousj
01-18-2014, 18:33
I would bounce a power tap (or bring one with me). It is a thingie that plugs in and turns one outlet into three. That way, even if all the outlets are taken, you can always find someone willing to let you momentarily unplug in order to share the plug via tap.

I do this whenever I travel through any method and it is always a huge hit. No one has ever told me no to sharing an outlet because they lose nothing in the arrangement.

Sent from my SGH-I777 using Tapatalk

Dogwood
01-19-2014, 00:52
Bouncing a USB data/cable charger for the Galaxy S3 ahead is not that hard nor does it have to be complicated. I have done that for not only an S3 but for TracPhone and camera battery chargers literally 100's of times in the U.S. while hiking. As Starchild says USB ports/outlets are quite common in the U.S. at any public library, hostel, hotel, etc. And, as Slo-go en says IF you minimize your usage/power drain you'll expose yourself to less potential for total power loss. After a while you'll better understand your power usage on trail more but until that time start by bouncing chargers rather frequently. Once that gets old it may perhaps reduce your energy drain/usage of your electronics OR you can then explore further on trail charging options.

Starchild
01-19-2014, 08:48
Additionally I found it helpful to have the external battery pack as opposed to greater capacity in phone battery - (though in my case it was a battery case that I tried at first - but later sent home) for several reasons:

- Ligher weight of the phone, which I carried in my pocket was desirable.

- Often I have found the ability to leave something unattended plugged in, I would much rather leave a battery pack then my phone, especially in some places, though in others I left both.

- Parallel charging, ability to charge both at max charge rate beyond what a single battery is capable of.

- Ability to help others, my hiking companion Splash had her phone die a few times on the trail, I was able to help her, and at least one other hiker get some power.

As for bouncing the charger, I found it necessary to have it semi-handy, the AT has a unpredictable element of it and you never know when a trail angel will open up their home to you and take you off trail for the night one of many examples. I didn't want to carry the extra weight, but found it worth it, and not having the hassle with mail.

You can get a short cord for the battery pack, but use a long enough cord to use your phone while plugged in and charging - additionally make sure the cables and charger are 'snug', you don't want to have the cables easily come out and find that nothing has charged.

Lady Grey
01-19-2014, 09:18
I had an IPhone and IPod and easily kept them both charged through my SoundLogic XT Rechargeable Battery Charger. I learned the best way to "baby" my electronics to make the most out of their batteries and I was able to keep a trail journal, take all my photos, and listen to lots of music. By keeping your phone in airplane mode you can get make the most of its battery.

jdc5294
01-21-2014, 15:26
In my thru I had a 4S which I used as a music player for on average about 50 hours in between charging at hostels and hotels. Had it on airplane mode whenever I wasn't in town and I don't think it ever died on me when I was out. Having one of those external battery packs might be a good idea but I never needed it.

Bearleg
01-22-2014, 12:20
Another thought is to conserve the power you have, when i section hike, i put the phone (Iphone 4S) in airplane mode so it will not be constanltly searching for signal and draining the battery. I am able to use mine as a camera, ipod, and cell phone, using one charge along with a battery back up will last one week.

TurboPants
01-22-2014, 14:46
For all those who mentioned the New Trent charger, which model did you guys have? The new one they sell is PowerPak+ and says 12,000 mAh but it weighs 10 oz!! I found an older 4.6 oz iTorch model that is 5200 mAh with a dual USB port. Anyone try these models? 5200 vs 12,000 ... but twice the weight!

The on issue I thought of is the cold temps at night, and I've always used my iPhone for my clock at night, but I'm thinking of strapping a light-up watch on my pack to save battery life. Thanks for the input so far guys, someone else asked the same questions I'm wondering.

ChinMusic
01-22-2014, 16:23
For all those who mentioned the New Trent charger, which model did you guys have? The new one they sell is PowerPak+ and says 12,000 mAh but it weighs 10 oz!! I found an older 4.6 oz iTorch model that is 5200 mAh with a dual USB port. Anyone try these models? 5200 vs 12,000 ... but twice the weight!

The on issue I thought of is the cold temps at night, and I've always used my iPhone for my clock at night, but I'm thinking of strapping a light-up watch on my pack to save battery life. Thanks for the input so far guys, someone else asked the same questions I'm wondering.

5200 mAh will serve most folks just fine. 12000 is a LOT and for heavy users IMO.

I have the 7000 model that plugs directly into the wall. I had a cord go bad on my thru and this model means carrying just one less cord.

http://www.amazon.com/New-Trent-Travelpak-7000mAh-Charger/dp/B00BFOU3FW/ref=sr_1_16?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1390421970&sr=1-16&keywords=new+trent

The New Trent website does not show this model. They seem to bring new models onto their site every month or so, it seems. It makes it hard to keep up.

TurboPants
01-22-2014, 22:31
Nice! 7000 mAh and 8 oz. Sad when you look at something and think Maaaaan half a pound is way too heavy! :) I think the ultralight bug has bitten me right on the rear heh. The no cord option is great though, because that 4.6oz unit is probably more like 5.5-6oz with the cable. Thanks for the link sir!

soulrebel
01-23-2014, 02:19
RadioShack enercell 2-AA usb charger $20...works with the iphones checksum on the data port

Starchild
01-23-2014, 08:57
To the OP as I said above 5200 mAh was enough for my frequently used iPhone + Steripen.


RadioShack enercell 2-AA usb charger $20...works with the iphones checksum on the data port
I had a knockoff one of these, the iPhone would not accept it, perhaps if I would have turned it off first it may have (a suggestion I've heard).

kayak karl
01-23-2014, 09:44
RadioShack enercell 2-AA usb charger $20...works with the iphones checksum on the data port these do not work in some of the newer phones. do check before you leave and backup before test.

ChinMusic
01-23-2014, 11:41
Nice! 7000 mAh and 8 oz. Sad when you look at something and think Maaaaan half a pound is way too heavy! :) I think the ultralight bug has bitten me right on the rear heh. The no cord option is great though, because that 4.6oz unit is probably more like 5.5-6oz with the cable. Thanks for the link sir!
I hear ya about the weight. It's a personal thing. To me it was a must, but that's me.

The cord does add a tad bit of weight but the bigger problem is that it is one more thing (connection) that can to wrong. I had a cord go bad after about 4 months. I tried to nurse the loose connection until it completely failed around Hanover. So, I was without my extra juice right before the Whites, bad timing. There may be crowded places where the unit I posted might be hard to plug in but I had no issue for the rest of my trip.