Category Archives: Gadgets and gizmos

Charging devices on the road

It seems this post is getting lots of hits from all over the place.  I guess I’m not the only one scratching my head about this topic!  I’ve updated the spreadsheet a number of times in the last few days.  Feel free to suggest additions or things that need to be corrected!

I have gizmos.  Lots of them.  GPS.  iPhone.  iPad.  Netbook.  Camera.  How the hell do I keep them charged on a long tour?

There are lots of options, some of which I’ve covered previously.  In an effort to summarise what device can charge which doodad (and how), I’m putting together a spreadsheet.  This is very much a work in progress, but it’s a start, right?

Mobile charging methods v3 (version 3, updated 26/09/2012 13:32)

This is an Excel 2010 spreadsheet (XLSX format).  Use the filters to figure out what will charge your device (or which devices your charger can charge).


Jetboil Sol

Much as I like the Trangia stove, it can take a while to get going.  I wanted something quicker, and had heard good things about the Jetboil Sol, so I went and got one!  Unfortunately, Anaconda had run out of fuel canisters, so I can’t actually try it out yet.  For now, here’s a picture.

Not just a Power Monkey

… but a PowerMonkey EXTREME!!!!!!!

The thing about being in the IT industry is that it exposes me to all sorts of gadgets.  My world is full of gizmos, doodads and whatsits.  For example, within two feet of me are:  an iPhone, an iPad and a bicycle GPS.  And that’s without even getting out of my chair to go find my other gadgets.  These gadgets do all sorts of things.  All of them have a GPS built in.  I can use any one of these three gizmos to record in precise, minute detail, any bicycle ride.  Two of these devices have 3G and WiFi connections, giving me access to the internet pretty much wherever I go.  These same two doodads are loaded with all sorts of nifty applications.  I can spend hours interacting with them.  One of these things also happens to be a phone.  Between the GPS recording, the game-playing, the crossword-solving, the dictionary researching, the eBook reading, the Facebook updating and, not to mention, talking, these gizmos use a lot of battery power.

The reality is that the modern cycle tourist… or, perhaps this modern cycle tourist.. needs all this stuff.  And she needs it to be charged whilst on the road.  But how does one achieve such wonders without the convenience of a wall-mounted power plug?  I present to you, the Power Monkey EXTREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEME.  OK, it doesn’t have all those EEEEEEE’s in it, but it sounds so much cooler when you say it like it does.  Go on, say it.  Say it out loud.  I’ll wait.

Now, this thing is basically a solar charging panel that charges its own proprietary battery.  Once that battery is fully charged (15 hours or so), that battery can then be used as a source to charge other things.  For example, your bike’s Garmin GPS, your iPad or perhaps your iPhone.  An interesting coincidence, then, that these are the very same devices that are sitting on my desk right now, no?

If it so happens that you have access to a power point, you can use that to charge the Power Monkey Extreeeeeeeeeeeeeeme’s battery instead.  Or if it so happens that you have access to a computer with a USB port (perhaps at a library or internet cafe), guess what.  You can charge the Power Monkey Extreeeeeeeeeeeeeeme’s battery with that too.

It makes the Power Monkey Extreeeeeeeeeeme very versatile, to say the least.  There is much I can say about this product, but since I haven’t actually used one (yet!), best you click the link to visit the web site.  The PME (I got tired of typing all those E’s) is definitely on the shortlist of things to take on a long bike tour.

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