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I am going on the Grand Canyon on October 5. Looking for a relatively inexpensive solar charger to charge my iPod. Thoughts? Thanks!
 

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Sorry got ahead of my self.

... makes some really nice stuff i have one of their smaller ones for similar purposes and im pretty happy with how it does.
 

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Goal zero vs. LiOn batts

I've had a goal zero for a few years and found what I used the most was the battery pack. I just charged up a bunch of batteries for my trips and charged my devices (cameras etc) off of the battery packs.

Now, with the proliferation of these battery packs, I'm considering just taking a couple of big (10000mAh+) batteries with me and not even worry about solar.

When I say big - I mean capacity. The acutal size of these are pretty small.
 

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I did a Sept. 13th trip last year and brought my goal zero with mixed results. If you are only charging an ipod you will ok, unless you bring it down to empty every night. There are not a ton of spots to charge in the sun at camps and lunch breaks. Figure out a decent way to charge it while you are on the water and you should be fine. Short days make it tougher. If it is really important to you then bring an extra set of charged batteries with the goal zero and that will help a bunch. Whatever you do make sure you test it really well at home first.
 

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Yea - it's just that it may be nice not to have to drag out the charging stuff at every stop. I need to do the math on these batteries but my goal zero was about $100 and you can buy a lot of battery for that.
 

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Goal Zero

+1 for the goal zero. I borrowed one for my Grand trip in June. Test your solar charger choices before purchase. Our solar charger (don't remember the brand)would surge and certain times and shut down ipod/iphone charging. We ended up using the solar charger to power up the goal zero and then would use batteries to charge ipods. We were all disappointed in the charger.
 

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Goal zero seemed to work well enough to charge gopros for a few days. I used the battery to recharge 1 gopro then recharged the battery in about 2 hrs using the panel and then recharged 2 gopros from that. The gopros seemed to recharge in about 2 hrs as well. The jury is still out pending further testing, but initial impressions were positive.
 

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What possible thing does your IPod offer that will enhance your canyon trip?

Just asking..............
Totally off topic and well debated in past discussions, just leave it as different strokes for different folks.

Back on topic, I have a Goal Zero as well. As mentioned before i typically use it to charge the battery pack then charge up my ipod or camera off of that. You can put it in a waterproof map pocket and charge while you float. It is a better option than hoping for a sunny camp. On my next trip I am planning on bringing a small motorcycle battery. They fit in an ammo can and have plenty of juice to power anything I can imagine for the trip without worrying about a recharge.
 

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Goal 0 products are very good. There are other options, but nothing that it significantly more compelling than Goal 0.

One thing to consider with any solar charging option is that you should always turn the device that you are charging OFF. In my experience shooting video in remote locations this will greatly increase the viability of solar charging as an option. You can also bring a small reflector and position it so it increases the volume of light that the actual cell is getting - this also makes a big difference.
 

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I have a friend who uses his cpap machine on river trips. He brings 1 or 2 golf cart batteries. They were the smallest he could find that would do the trick. He keeps them in Pelican cases. He bought a larger solar panel charger (not sure what brand) to see how that would work for recharging the golf cart batteries and had ok results, but not as good as he had hoped. The large solar panel is also carried in a Pelican case. He is currently on the GC. I'm not sure if he took the solar panel or not. I'll post some info when he returns.

I personally use a New Trent charger pack to recharge my Nook and camera on 7-10 day trips. I would investigate these types of power packs as an alternative to a solar panel. I can generally get 30 days on a full charge of my Nook, so it's the camera that gets the juice most often. I have stopped bringing my iPod on the river, as I found I wasn't using it much.
 

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When I bought my GoalZero, the sales rep told me that some devices, especially the Apple products, are sensitive to voltage variations and may quit charging as you go into the shade, face away from the sun, etc.. The solution, as I think some here are alluding to, is to use the battery pack as a buffer between the panel and the device being charged, keeps the voltage more constant.
 

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When I bought my GoalZero, the sales rep told me that some devices, especially the Apple products, are sensitive to voltage variations and may quit charging as you go into the shade, face away from the sun, etc.. The solution, as I think some here are alluding to, is to use the battery pack as a buffer between the panel and the device being charged, keeps the voltage more constant.
Apple products won't consistently charge under the best conditions. With a small solar panel W/o battery, I wouldn't expect them to charge at all

I run a pretty simple panel with a smallish 12v 7ah battery, roughly 5W panel. Enough to drive our rv water filter pump and to charge small electronics. I use a good quality 12v to USB adapter and it can top off an iPod while charging the battery recovering from the morning water usage

Don't plug in any inverters and as long as you have enough sun you should be fine. Also, unless you are using an integrated system you want a battery float charger to cut off the panel before it overcharges your battery
 

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What possible thing does your IPod offer that will enhance your canyon trip?

Just asking..............

I have insomnia and listening to boring podcasts lulls be back to sleep.
 

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+1 on battery system of some sort.

We had three Goalzero setups on a recent Grand trip. One did not work and the other two could not charge all devices and were unable to keep up with demand (personal cameras, gopro, ect.).
 

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Solar Charger for Grand Trip...

Hi There - we are a private GC outfitter and we use the Goal Zero Guide 10 plus (this version has enough amperage output to charge APPLE products...Ipads, Ipods, etc..) it has a panel, plus batteries so there is a bit of extra charging to be had -- You can also take marine batteries - with inverters and a power strip, some extra fuses and you should have plenty of juice to charge plenty of electrically run items (ie. SLR cameras, goPros, Ipods etc...)

Good Luck!
 
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