Jari's Blog

This blog is about my trek in Lapland; from Kautokeino in Norway to KilpisjƤrvi in Finland. I'll be there from September 11th to 26th, 2005.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Getting along without a power outlet

Most of the gear one takes with to a trekking is quite traditional, but the materials are nowadays often not the same as our fathers had. Fleece and softshell have taken the place of wool and cotton.

Now I'm writing about a new class of gadgets: electronic devices that need electricity! Digital camera, mobile phone, PDA and GPS are examples of those. I'm going to have a camera and a smartphone with me on the trek. So I must take care of having power for those devices.

My camera is a Konica Minolta A2, which uses a rechargeable battery instead of normal batteries. The same with my smartphone Motorola A780, as well as with the Garmin Forerunner 301, a heart monitor with GPS.

Two weeks in wilderness without a power outlet does mean a problem for someone with beformentioned gadgets! I thought of taking a solarpanel with me, and ordered one. The most suitable seemed to be the PowerFlex 5, which has pretty large panels.

My friends were suspicious and recommended me using resources availabe in Lapland, such as windmill, or putting a reindeer running in a wheel. I thanked heartily, but found these suggestions somewhat unpractical...

I got the solarpanel last week and tested it by a hike on the Alps, Soierngruppe in Karwendel near Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Well, the test yielded a clear result: the solarpanel was not able to produce such a current, which would habe been recognized from my gadgets. Nil. None.

What could I do now? It seemed to me, the only solution left was buying many spare batteries. Luckily I found pretty cheap ones in eBay, and ordered them.

That was last week. Now it's monday evening, and the batteries are not there. I'll fly Wednesday morning. Let's say, I would be very glad, if those batteries arrive on Tuesday! Two separate packages...

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