oldmanonthetrail wrote: ↑
Mar 02 2018 3:54 am
Ditto on Fireflys comment . I also kept a copy of the AT book on my Kindle app as well.
I also carried a small 5 ounce solar panel rather than a battery pack due to the increased load on phone battery .
Similar here. I kept the AT book on my phone. Makes good reading in the evening to prepare for the next day. I also kept two electronic fieldguides for birds on my phone that were used a lot (and are quite power hungry), because birding is my thing (also carried 2lbs+ binoculars around my neck 100% of the time) and I carried a separate compact camera because it has a powerful zoom that I use for birds etc. I don't care about not being ultralite so I carried both a powerbank (10.000mAh) and a solar panel (Suntactics 5W) and was able to operate off-grid for the entire thru-hike. No need to charge in towns. I actually had a big power surplus in sunny Arizona. I could have provided charging services to other hikers
My solar panel was attached to my backpack. It charges only slowly while walking because then usually the panel isn't aimed at the sun properly and output drops. But during breaks I would take my backpack off my back and aim the panel properly towards the sun. At these moments it charges quickly. Same when making camp.
I never charge the phone directly from the solar panel. Most phones (including mine) don't charge well when input varies, switching the display on and off or stop charging at all. Worst case it actually drains power from your phone (because of display switching on and off). So I always charge the powerbank (it will take whatever current is available) and later use it to charge the phone, camera, headlight, etc from the powerbank. So my procedure was always to charge the powerbank during the day and top up my electronic devices from the powerbank after sunset.
For my needs this worked very well, but hikers who stay in town more frequently, use less electricity and don't care about being self sufficient for electricity could be better off just carrying a powerbank and charge in town. That's lighter and cheaper.