Sunday, March 6, 2011


Batteries are the bane of my existence. At least in terms of this expedition, and I am sure they are problematic on all expeditions. My GoPro takes its own lithium ion battery, as does my Olympus point and shoot. My headlamp takes AAA's and my GPS and VHF take AA's - and my VHF has it's own lithium ion as well. My iPod of course has its own non-removable battery.

I can of course pack AA and AAA batteries for the various devices I am bringing, but it is really the GoPro and Olympus that are the trouble makers. I currently own 3 batteries for the Olympus, and 5 for the GoPro, and I plan on buying 2 or 3 more for the GoPro. I just don't know when and where I will be able to plug in the camera to charge. In fact the Olympus requires a special charger to charge the batteries - the GoPro you just plug in the camera and it charges, which is a plus. I am glad I don't have to worry about charging a laptop on the trip, as that would be nightmarish. I do with there were an easy way to blog - or even just take notes electronically for blogging afterwards - while on the trip.

For the past six months of so I have been watching this company, and I am very excited by the products they are offering. I was even more excited to see this - the smallest item they make available at my local REI, and if I wasn't going to a massive rain forest I would consider it, I just don't think I will get enough sun to make it worth the money.

What I would like to see are devices lithium ion batteries become standardized. So chargers will become prolific, and there will be no guess work as to what works with what, and how long a recharge takes. Sort of the way SD cards have become standardized - though my biggest gripe about my Olympus is it uses a non-standard SD card which is very frustrating.

Now here is a million dollar idea that I would love someone to create. Solar chargers are great, but as a paddler they are usually not waterproof, and I tend to paddle in places without a lot of sun. I would really like to trail a tiny line off the back of my kayak with a small propeller that gets turned by my movement through the water. That turning is then turned into electricity in a dry box on my back deck, which in turn charges batteries. If someone could get to work on that I would really appreciate it. Something tells me the market for expeditionary kayaking isn't quite big enough to warrant the creation of such a device.


  1. You should brain-storm with K and invent the hydro-electric generator of which you speak.

  2. Take a bike light generator and replace the gear that runs on the wheel with a shaft and a propeller! That would give you a little DC current. Don't know how you get it to the battery from there though.