Charging batteries on the trail?

wmscyclonewmscyclone Posts: 56Member
edited May 2015 in Nikon DSLR cameras
I'll be hiking up Kilimanjaro in September and won't have access to any electricity for 9 days. Does anyone have suggestions for charging batteries along the way? In particular, Nikon D600 batteries (EN-EL15, same as D800, D750, etc.).

A fellow photographer on the trip is going to bring a backup battery for charging phones and other USB powered things. The battery is supposed to also have 12V output for charging other electronics. There are really cheap chargers on amazon that say they'll work with Nikon batteries, but I would like to hear your experiences.

Thanks!
Post edited by wmscyclone on
D600, Nikkor Lenses: 24-120 f/4G, 70-300 f/3.5-5.6G, 50 f/1.8G, 300 f/4E, TC-14E III

Comments

  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    I think you are probably better off buying multiple batteries. I would be surprised if you went through more than like 3 batteries, but IMO of course. I would maybe try something solar powered if you had to. The portable battery packs for like a cell phone won't cut charging a camera battery I don't think...and they are usually just usb compatible and can only charge a cell battery like 2 or 3 times.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    edited May 2015
    actually there are portable battery chargers now that can be used to start cars! I think they can be used to charge camera batteries as well.. I think that's what you friend may have.

    I would still get extra batteries... which may be all you need.

    Here is a link to how to use solar .. http://www.voltaicsystems.com/solar-camera-charger
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited May 2015
    +1 tcole. I've done the math. The Li-Ion batteries nikon uses have the best power to weight ratio of anythibg you can buy. It doesn't make sense to haul heavy batteries to charge lighter ones, when you can just bring more lighter ones. I'll add a second post with links to those threads. Solar is impractical as well, because you can't keep the panels up while hiking, and there isn't enough sunlight when you are camped at night to charge. Whatever solution you arrive at, make sure to test it all beforehand. Here's a 12v charger from b&h:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/837580-REG/watson_c_3410_compact_charger_f_nikon_enel15.html
    Hearty, there is no way anyone is hiking up Kilimanjaro with one of those sealed Lead-acid battery car charger jump starters! And the voltaic chargers you posted will charge a cell phone, but not much else.
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited May 2015
    Here is the previous discussion with lots of math:
    http://forum.nikonrumors.com/discussion/2526/wilderness-charging-solutions/

    ( BTW, this was the first hit with the search string "battery charger solar")
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    edited May 2015
    I guess you always have to worry about knock off Nikon stuff, but I got two batteries for my d5200 on eBay for $30 or so. I think you can get ones you are looking for, for a reasonable price...you would spend just the same buying some charging system. If you shop well you can probably get 3 extra batteries for under $100 I think.
    Post edited by tcole1983 on
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    :-) No not that heavy stuff ! ... there are these thing now ... http://www.cnet.com/au/news/pocket-sized-jump-starters/

    and you can strap these to your back pack and charge while moving .. http://www.voltaicsystems.com/fuse4w

    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,793Member
    edited May 2015
    Lets just get these minature jump starters in perspective ....the only reason that they can let you start your car is because excessive cranking has discharged the surface of the plates in the battery ..95% of it is still charged .
    These units speed up the diffusion of the discharged surface layer giving you access to the 95%
    To charge an EN EL 15 you need about 2 AH ...a battery on a small car is about 40 AH so go figure the weight of what you need to carry . Solar charger for AA batteries are also available.
    Best to carry 4 or 5 spares .KISS....I can shoot 750 at a wedding and still be at 75% charged ...????
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • kenadamskenadams Posts: 222Member
    I suggest you could always tie a solar charger panel to the outside of your backpack while walking. I've done a similar thing to sun-dry washed clothes and stuff.

    Don't know about your previous hiking experience, but my thoughts are this: I've hiked a lot in the Alps, sometimes for as long as 8 days. I didn't even bring the charger of my D80 to save weight, and one battery was enough. I could've shot more, granted. But then again, you're a lot farther up, for us, it was easier to just stop and stand for a minute or 5 while taking in the scenery than that might be for your crew. I should think it will be a challenge to get all the way up there even without stopping every 5mins to pull out the heavy D600 and taking pictures. This disturbs any kind of flow you might have and takes up time you might need to recharge your own batteries.
    I guess, one extra battery should suffice. I'd also consider getting a lighter camera setup for the trip.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,172Member
    edited May 2015
    Lets just get these minature jump starters in perspective ....the only reason that they can let you start your car is because excessive cranking has discharged the surface of the plates in the battery ..95% of it is still charged .
    These units speed up the diffusion of the discharged surface layer giving you access to the 95%
    To charge an EN EL 15 you need about 2 AH ...a battery on a small car is about 40 AH so go figure the weight of what you need to carry .
    ....

    ?? not sure what you are talking about but it sounds like you are saying that the car battery is being refreshed by the device? no these dont need the big lead batteries ..
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • wmscyclonewmscyclone Posts: 56Member
    Thanks for all the answers/discussion!
    D600, Nikkor Lenses: 24-120 f/4G, 70-300 f/3.5-5.6G, 50 f/1.8G, 300 f/4E, TC-14E III
  • One_Oh_FourOne_Oh_Four Posts: 70Member
    One thing to keep in mind is: what's the temperature the batteries are exposed to? We are used to excellent results from our batteries in mild climates but looking at the top of Kilimanjaro I see snow...... :)
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 559Member
    As others have said. Buy as many extra original Nikon batteries as you think you need - you need fewer than you think.

    I can't wait to see the pictures on the PAD :-)
  • kanuckkanuck Posts: 1,291Member
    I have always wondered about this myself and the answers are very interesting indeed! I have a rather extensive trip coming up this fall to Nepal and Tibet (Earthquakes regardless) and I also have a Pacific Coast Trail hike on mind in the future as well. I currently own 3 batteries for my D810 but only 2 for my Leica M9p. It looks like I will have to add at least 1 more for each body before departing...
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    Sounds enough if you can avoid using live view @kanuck.
    Always learning.
  • wmscyclonewmscyclone Posts: 56Member
    One thing to keep in mind is: what's the temperature the batteries are exposed to? We are used to excellent results from our batteries in mild climates but looking at the top of Kilimanjaro I see snow...... :)
    I am planning to take extra batteries, and I'll reserve at least one fully charged battery just for summit day. I'll keep a battery or two inside my jacket to swap with the one exposed to the cold. I'll switch between a warm one and the cold-depleted one as necessary! It should be coldest at night (sometimes below 0degF/-18degC) and I'll be shivering in a tent.
    D600, Nikkor Lenses: 24-120 f/4G, 70-300 f/3.5-5.6G, 50 f/1.8G, 300 f/4E, TC-14E III
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    Solar might be ok but if it is cloudy and you are relying on them you will be out
    One thing to keep in mind is: what's the temperature the batteries are exposed to? We are used to excellent results from our batteries in mild climates but looking at the top of Kilimanjaro I see snow...... :)
    I am planning to take extra batteries, and I'll reserve at least one fully charged battery just for summit day. I'll keep a battery or two inside my jacket to swap with the one exposed to the cold. I'll switch between a warm one and the cold-depleted one as necessary! It should be coldest at night (sometimes below 0degF/-18degC) and I'll be shivering in a tent.
    Yeah keep the batteries on you if possible or take them in the sleeping bag with you at night. Problem with something like a solar charging option is the possibility of clouds and or depending on the setup the time and everything to use it. You will probably have plenty to carry as is. Could probably sell the batteries used when you get back and not be too bad off as well.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    Check the specs, it takes 3-4 hours of full sun to charge a single DSLR battery. The solar panel costs $$ and adds weight to your stuff. I still think a pile of batteries is cheaper and weighs less. If you were setting up a base-camp the Solar might make sense, but you can't insure that the solar panel stays pointed at the sun while you are hiking.
  • kanuckkanuck Posts: 1,291Member
    Sounds enough if you can avoid using live view @kanuck.
    You are right spraynpray liveview is a battery killer especially on the D800 series I find. 1 hour in many cases per battery when shooting strictly in liveview which I can be prone to do. My M9p doesn't even have liveview so no worries there. Now if I upgrade to the M240 though...Not with each battery running 200 bucks I think

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