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Old 12-03-2010   #1
Parkersburg, West Virginia
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 11
How many camera batteries for GC trip?

I will be doing a 26 day Grand Canyon trip, and I have a Pentax Optio waterproof camera to take along. Does anyone have any idea how many batteries I might need if I snap a lot of photos throughout the trip? I am weighing taking a small 12 v charger along vs. taking batteries. The camera is kind of new (last one is on the bottom of the Devil's Tooth Rapid on the Salmon River) and I don't have a sense of how long the battery might last. Thanks!

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Old 12-03-2010   #2
Canon City, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 426
Take the battery charger that you can plug into a 12v cigarette lighter outlet. Take a 50cal ammo box with an AGM battery with a 12v outlet wired to it to charge the small battery off of.

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Old 12-03-2010   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 586
I took the Olympus stylus Tough on a 21-day trip. I made it through on 2 batteries, and I took quite a few pictures. The camera and batteries were quite new, so I probably got max efficiency.
Also, you'll probably take most of your photos early. The canyon is much more photogenic for the first half or two-thirds of the trip, like through Lava, maybe. The best side hikes, like Havasu, Nakoweap, Silver Grotto and Deer Creek are all in the first two-thirds. I took TONS of photos in the first 12 days.
I was conserving battery and not taking many photos by the time we were past Lava, but I didn't mind. I don't feel like I missed anyhthing. And I still did take some at the end, including floating out onto Lake Mead, last night's camp, etc...
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Old 12-03-2010   #4
The Mogur's Avatar
Oregon City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 457
Here's how we took care of charging several different cameras with different chargers. We carry a small 12v battery--the kind made for garden tractors. It costs about $25 and has enough capacity to get you down the Grand Canyon with power to spare, even if you use it (as we did) for topping-off rafts in the mornings and inflating air beds in the evening.

You see here a 300 watt Jensen inverter, which has two AC outlets. Everyone was able to plug into that when they needed to. We even re-charged our satellite phone on it.

The next picture shows how I carry the battery. That little 6-pack cooler is just the right size for the garden tractor battery. I wired-up a cigarette lighter outlet to the battery, and the inverter plugs into that--as can any 12-volt charging system.

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Old 12-03-2010   #5
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 178
I took 5 for my Olympus 1030 on a 15 day. 2 original equipment Olys and 3 cheapo off-brands. I used the 1st Oly then when it died switched to the cheapos, saving the other good Oly. for the end. There was scraps of power left in them all at the end but they were dwindling.
That 12V and inverter looks nice.

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Old 12-04-2010   #6
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Oregon City, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 457
Originally Posted by yojimbo View Post
That 12V and inverter looks nice.
And you can take your coffee grinder along, too.
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Old 12-04-2010   #7
Ashland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 107
We did a 21 day Grand trip this October/November. I took 3 batteries for a Canon Powershot D10, which wasn't quite enough - the last one was close to dead on day 19, but I could eke a few more shots out of it. I took over 600 shots on those 3, but tried to conserve batteries by shooting almost no video and not viewing my photos. Next time I would take more, or some kind of charger.
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Old 12-06-2010   #8
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steamboat springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 199
i have a pentax optio w30. i took 6 batteries. i took over 600 pictures. still had batteries to spare at the end of a 21 day trip. i took two chargers and charged the two dead batteries that i had at phantom ranch. so after phantom, i was back to six fully charged batteries. i even loaned out a couple of batteries at the end of the trip to other people who had cameras that took the same batteries that mine did.

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