Running Off the Grid


A friend of mine is going on an extended backpacking trip, and space is already tight, so he approached me to see if I had any ideas on how he should go about running his SLR for an extended period of time without being able to charge or re-charge.  A couple ideas came to mind:

1.  First, just buy a battery for each day – not the cheapest route, but the easiest way to ensure power is had all along.

2.  Second, what about renting these accessories?  If he has two of his own, then renting 5 would run half the cost…

3.  Another option was to get a battery grip.  Here he could use his own for as long as possible, then switch to disposable AA batteries…

4.  Last but not least, solar power…I’ve considered these and even saw them in REI – they were a tad expensive and I am not even sure how one would go about connecting these to an AC charger.  You’d need the solar panel, then a male USB/AC converter, then the charger.  And the other factor would be how much of a charge you could get off that…in addition to weather concerns.  What if it’s not all that sunny?

Given the options, my final recommendation was to go with option 3.  It’d be a sound investment, would actually make the gear easier to hold on to, and often more stable than going w/out.  He agreed and will likely buy based on my recommendation.  It’s always a good feeling to be helpful to others, but before he does, I asked him to hold off for a day or two if possible, because I wanted to throw the question out to the readership…what ideas does the audience have for my friend?

Some of the rental outfits I’ve pointed him to include:

I’ve not had the benefit of experience with any of these vendors as we have a local camera rental shop that gives pretty good rates, so I always rent local from them.  Anyone have any experience with the national rental outfits?  Would really be helpful to get some external input here as he is leaving soon on his trip and could use some direction.  Sound off with your ideas!

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2 comments for “Running Off the Grid

  1. GR
    March 8, 2011 at 5:42 am

    I second your recommendation with battery grip.

    One of the rentals I borrow my lenses are from – Happy with their service and would rent back from them!

    Goodluck to your friend on his backpacking expedition.

  2. Tom C
    March 8, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    I’d agree wholeheartedly with the battery grip option. He’s probably got this covered but don’t forget enough memory cards.

    I’ve rented from Borrow Lenses a couple of times and will DEFINITELY do it a lot more in the future. Awesome customer service and good deals on rentals. Only bad thing about renting is that I end up wanting to buy the lens I rented. 🙂

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