Author Topic: Charging iphone for maps while touring  (Read 5268 times)

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Offline Jgilleo

Charging iphone for maps while touring
« on: March 25, 2015, 03:00:01 pm »
Greetings,

I am getting ready for a 3 week bike trip.  I have hard maps but I think I would like to have access to my phone for directions everyone once in a while.  I do not know how often I will have access to an outlet so I want to know how people here power their GPS/iphone/phone on long rides.


Should I invest in a dynamo, solar or just some spare battery packs?

Thanks!

Offline John Nelson

Re: Charging iphone for maps while touring
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2015, 04:41:42 pm »
I do not know how often I will have access to an outlet

Depends on where you are touring, where you are sleeping, how much time you have, and how hard you try. If you are in a first world country, and/or sleeping in motels, then you don't have to try very hard. If you are camping, then you have to try a bit harder. If you are wild camping, you will have to try harder yet. If you have several hours in the middle of the day to spare, then you can usually find an outlet to sit by during the day.

Should I invest in a dynamo, solar or just some spare battery packs?

Well, you've pretty much outlined the main options. For me personally, I'd choose the spare battery packs. They are getting cheaper all the time, and you can charge them all in parallel. But I don't want to mess with solar or a dynamo, and I have a hard enough time getting up hills without something dragging on my wheel.

But I'd rather take a GPS unit separate from my phone. That gives you another battery and if you run out of power for your GPS, you still have a phone.

Offline RonK

Re: Charging iphone for maps while touring
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2015, 12:41:45 am »

Greetings,

I am getting ready for a 3 week bike trip.  I have hard maps but I think I would like to have access to my phone for directions everyone once in a while.
If you turn the iPhone off when not in use, the battery will last a long time.
I have an 12000mAh Anker Zolo battery that can recharge an iPhone 6+ four times.
I also have a dynamo hub that I use to recharge the Zolo when I'm away from an outlet.
invariably people tend to acquire more and more gadgets, and ultimately you'll likely need a combination of all three.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Offline staehpj1

Re: Charging iphone for maps while touring
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2015, 07:54:06 am »
I have cut back on the electronic devices I carry and now it is usually just the smart phone.  I leave it turned off most of the time nd generally tend to minimize usage.  Mine takes spare batteries that are about an ounce and are fairly inexpensive.  I also own one of the smallish power wallets which I may or may not take depending on the trip.

I tend to eat at least one meal a day in some kind of diner or restaurant so charging is typically available much more often than I need it.  If you don't you still might consider buying a beverage and sitting in a fast food place nursing the beverage while you use their wifi and charge batteries.

If going out into the backcountry I get by without charging by taking the spare batteries, the power wallet and conserving on usage.  I really don't think I personally will resort to a dynohub or solar panels for any tour I am likely to do.  The weight, drag, and expense of a dynohub (or solar panel) seem like enough downside for me to not even consider them.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Charging iphone for maps while touring
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2015, 10:07:20 am »
I think he's planning D.C. to Maine. Charging should not be a problem. In addition to the options mentioned above, many campgrounds, including state parks with modern facilities, have electrical outlets in the bathrooms. Picnic facilities like covered pavilions in campgrounds may also have electrical outlets.

Unless you plan to "wild camp" I don't think charging will be an issue.

Offline chippedtooth

Re: Charging iphone for maps while touring
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2015, 12:55:53 am »
I am going down the dynamo route for my up-coming trip.
Expensive, but well worth it.

I built up new wheels for my tourer with a Supernova hub-dynamo. I have dynamo lights that run off of it as well as a Supernova Plug. It sits where your stem-cap is and it is essentially just a USB port! You can plug anything you like into it and it just charges as you pedal, using power that you generate.

The drag is virtually nonexistant. Equivelant to having about 10psi less in your tyres. Un-noticeable. You have to be doing about 7mph in order to have both the lights on and be charging... Not hard at all.

It isn't the cheapest route to go down, but well worth it if you can afford!

Just my two cents... My friend is bringing a battery pack that can be charged from the mains as well as from a small solar pannel, works pretty well so that is also an option and much much much cheaper! I just like my gadgets. :)
Thanks for the tips! :)

Offline RonK

Re: Charging iphone for maps while touring
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2015, 04:23:13 pm »

You have to be doing about 7mph in order to have both the lights on and be charging... Not hard at all.
Hmmmm, lights and charging a voltage sensing device at the same time. Good luck with that, it didn't work for me.
And when you reach the hills, 7mph can be very hard.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Offline chippedtooth

Re: Charging iphone for maps while touring
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2015, 05:22:33 pm »
Then you just switch off the lights (we don't intend to do much night riding) and it goes down to 5mph!

I just quite like the idea of using power that I have generated myself as I pedal along.
Thanks for the tips! :)

Offline erniegrillo

Re: Charging iphone for maps while touring
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2015, 08:55:39 pm »
Goal Zero solar charger.  I used one on a 3 week hike in the Sierras.
Lightweight and Great for charging a phone

Offline DarrenBnYYC

Re: Charging iphone for maps while touring
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2015, 11:31:05 am »
Last year I bought one of these integrated solar-powered charger/battery pack gadgets, and it really worked well:
http://www.mec.ca/product/5036-246/

The 5000 mah battery takes about 2 (sunny) days to charge up, and it easily repowered my android phone or inReach device when needed.

As a backup, I also carried one of these AA-powered USB chargers:
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/281644760088

Very handy for topping up a phone. I carry extra AA batteries anyways, to run my bike lights, and the charger itself is small and weighs almost nothing. Plus, I can get fresh AA batteries almost anywhere as needed and dispose of the spent ones easily, so I don't have to carry around the dead weight of an empty USB-battery power supply.