Toy solutions for toy problems...#

My buddy Stephen Forte has convinced me to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with him this October.

Its not a technical climb (no hanging from ropes here), really its just a hike... to 19,300 feet. It takes place over 18 days, although only (heh - only) nine days of climbing. There's a four day safari at the end.

When I travel, I like to take lots of pictures. Like, a couple of hundred in a day. A digital camera is essential, but so is the laptop to dump all those photos out (and write silly captions for them).

Needless to say, laptops are not considered essential hardware for a hike like this, but I still want to take lots of pictures. So, I have two problems to deal with. The first is capacity - where am I going to store all these pictures? The second problem is power - not a lot of outlets on Kilimanjaro.

My camera of choice for the moment is the Olympus C-750 my wife bought me for Christmas. It uses xD picture cards, up to 512MB. Each 512MB card should hold about 600 pictures, so three ought to do it, if I can limit myself to a hundred photos a day.

One of the best things about this camera (besides the amazing 10x optical zoom) is that it uses AA batteries. I have a couple of sets of Nickel-Metal-Hydride batteries for it. So I suppose I could carry ten pounds of AA batteries for it to cover all those pictures, but then I had a better idea. Silicon Solar makes a fairly small solar AA battery recharger. It does four batteries at a time, the same number of batteries the camera takes. So I can have one set charging while I'm snapping away with the other.

Of course, now that I'm thinking solar, maybe a bringing a laptop along isn't so crazy after all.

Toys | Travel
Tuesday, May 18, 2004 7:28:16 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) #    Comments [5]  | 


Wednesday, May 19, 2004 1:16:20 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
You can always turn off the LCD display and save battery life greatly. That is what I did on Everest and it worked great.
Sunday, May 30, 2004 12:03:34 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Coincidence or not, there's a comparison of four different solar chargers in this month's Wired mag (12.06)

ICP Solar Technologies PowerFLEX 20
WIRED: Offers 20 watts-enough to charge a laptop. Waterproof. Only 1.9 lbs
TIRED: Adapters arent included; they're $15 extra. Unwieldy (52x13.4 inches when unrolled)

with one of those, you could tote along a Kanguru Media Exchange with a 40gb HD and have pretty close to unlimited pictures. (and unlimited battery charges for the camera)

Side Note: Gas prices hit KYD$3.25 a gallon on Friday. that's just over US$4
Mark F
Friday, July 16, 2004 7:53:06 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)

I saw there's also the iSun charger that's used as a DC charger for cellphones and other gadgets
Thursday, August 19, 2004 9:00:47 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Ah yes, another techno geek like me! I've hauled all these and more up the Western Breach - not once but twice!

Pocket PC with GPS and Memory Map software with Kilimanjaro chart, Satellite Phone with data port, GSM cell phone, NIKON 8700 with 1Gig Flashcard, Sony TRV39 with extra batteries and tapes, lenses, tripods, Suncatcher Sport Solar Charger with built-in battery and various adapters for the cigar-lighter socket, Sherpa altimeter, pulse-oximeter.

All of this to help with the production of our new climbing DVD.
TOP TIP: Bring cleaning cassettes for the camcorder. Bring cleaning solutions for lenses. Bring filters as the sun is always above as you shoot up towards the summit.
FINAL TIP: Don't forget to take pictures! Most folks wait instead of shoot. Conditions change fast on the mountain. Shoot, shoot, shoot before the clouds cover everything.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008 11:58:37 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Sometimes it's best to enjoy the outdoors without the thought that you need to capture the best photos. Once my camera broke on a 5 day hike so I didn't get any photos. Turns out I absorbed more while in the moment than I ever do when I have a camera.
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