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Charging medical devices ie Cochlear implants

CarrieJL

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Greetings-
I'm planning on doing the Camino Frances in Sept 2022. I wear cochlear implants and they need to be charged everyday. I have 2 options:
1- bring disposable batteries (extra .6 lbs that will lessen over time)
2- bring charging unit/spares/adapter/cables for nightly charging

What are the chances I can get access to charging my devices overnight every night? and not getting them stolen (who would want these!?) I think I am likely going to use batteries but prefer charging, and I am wanting to see what people's experiences are, if any.

Has anyone dealt with charging hearing aids vs bringing batteries on the Camino?
Any insights, tips suggestions I'm open.
thanks
Carrie
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
How long do they take to charge? I.e. would you need to leave them charging all night? There are certainly outlets everywhere, and it is no problem to get phones charged, but many of us use external power banks so we have a little extra flexibility with the timing. Can you do that, or have some rechargeable batteries on hand?

On arrival at an albergue, you might want to explain your need to the hospitaleros, so you can have a bed near to the outlet, and be sure that you have a "reserved" outlet for the night.

Thefts are rare but they do happen, and thieves may not stop to examine what they are grabbing.

Likely someone else with more specific knowledge or experience will help out soon.
 

Flog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
1- bring disposable batteries (extra .6 lbs that will lessen over time)


Has anyone dealt with charging hearing aids vs bringing batteries on the Camino?
They have shops everywhere in Spain. There is no earthly reason to carry be carrying 6 lbs of batteries with you.
 

CarrieJL

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
They have shops everywhere in Spain. There is no earthly reason to carry be carrying 6 lbs of batteries with you.
I so wish these are specially designed batteries powerful enough for cochlear implants would be easily available in most stores, unfortunately they're not. The weight would be 0.6 pounds. Thanks though
 
Last edited:

CarrieJL

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
How long do they take to charge? I.e. would you need to leave them charging all night? There are certainly outlets everywhere, and it is no problem to get phones charged, but many of us use external power banks so we have a little extra flexibility with the timing. Can you do that, or have some rechargeable batteries on hand?

On arrival at an albergue, you might want to explain your need to the hospitaleros, so you can have a bed near to the outlet, and be sure that you have a "reserved" outlet for the night.

Thefts are rare but they do happen, and thieves may not stop to examine what they are grabbing.

Likely someone else with more specific knowledge or experience will help out soon.
Good question. I am not sure how long they take (4+hrs?) to charge as I take them off just before I sleep so they're ready when I get up. Not going to sacrifice my sleep to recover batteries in the middle of the night. I could ask upon arrival at each albergue for "specially reserved charging access" of some sort. Could be a hit and miss though.....
I'll have to test drive my external charging brick but hate to pack that heavy block along with all the recharging accessories. thanks for your input
 
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Flog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I so wish these are specially designed batteries powerful enough for cochlear implants would be easily available in most stores, unfortunately they're not. The weight would be 0.6 pounds. Thanks though
Ah, I didn't spot the decimal point, sorry!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Good question. I am not sure how long they take (4+hrs?) to charge as I take them off just before I sleep so they're ready when I get up. Not going to sacrifice my sleep to recover batteries in the middle of the night. I could ask upon arrival at each albergue for "specially reserved charging access" of some sort. Could be a hit and miss though.....
I'll have to test drive my external charging brick but hate to pack that heavy block along with all the recharging accessories. thanks for your input
With a 10 ft charging cable I've always been able to reach an electrical outlet from my bed to charge my phone. You should always be able to charge your implants every night with no problem.
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
If you are worried about theft, ask the hospitalero to charge them for you e.g. in their room - it would be a rare hospitalero who would refuse.. Otherwise, charging devices is not an issue, pilgrims charge their mobile phones all the time. As for carrying replacements 0.6 lbs is around 300 gr, so not excessive. Have you checked out whether you can buy new ones in Spain? I feel fairly confident you could but it would have to be in one of the larger cities. Hope you can find a solution. I am sure the problem is not insuperable. Whatever happens, buen camino.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
My husband wears hearing aids and uses a CPAP. He carries batteries for hearing aids and extra HME's (heat moisture exchange filters) for his travel CPAP. It is a pain, but as you say the weight and bulk diminish over time. The hearing aids do not quick charge and must be left in the charger overnight so batteries are the better choice for him.
 
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Sandi Smith

Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Greetings-
I'm planning on doing the Camino Frances in Sept 2022. I wear cochlear implants and they need to be charged everyday. I have 2 options:
1- bring disposable batteries (extra .6 lbs that will lessen over time)
2- bring charging unit/spares/adapter/cables for nightly charging

What are the chances I can get access to charging my devices overnight every night? and not getting them stolen (who would want these!?) I think I am likely going to use batteries but prefer charging, and I am wanting to see what people's experiences are, if any.

Has anyone dealt with charging hearing aids vs bringing batteries on the Camino?
Any insights, tips suggestions I'm open.
thanks
Carrie
Hi Carrie,
I'm very familiar with CIs. and I've completed 2 Caminos. These are my thoughts. I hope they're helpful:
You could certainly bring batteries since they're so small and lightweight. Bring more than you think you will need. Don't expect to find them while on the Camino. (Too specialized). You definitely would be able to use your charger to charge your CIs. BUT these were the first thoughts that popped into my head- What if you accidentally walk away from an albergue and leave your charger behind? (You'd be surprised what is left behind!). What if someone steps on your pack while it's lying next to your chair or bed, or there is an accidental spill of water, or....? Are you willing to risk the only way to recharge? Not to mention the expense and hassle of replacement when you return home.
Background- I'm a professional medical interpreter in ASL. I work for a huge hospital system that includes an ENT department that does CI surgery and all of the related follow up and teaching. From my perspective, those chargers wouldn't be worth losing or damaging. I'd personally go for the batteries but bring many more than you think you'll need. Also, I don't know how new your processor is but if you have a waterproof cover for your CI, I'd bring it along. Not only because of possible rain but because of sweat.

I hope this helps
Sandi
 

Chris Gi

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
Greetings-
I'm planning on doing the Camino Frances in Sept 2022. I wear cochlear implants and they need to be charged everyday. I have 2 options:
1- bring disposable batteries (extra .6 lbs that will lessen over time)
2- bring charging unit/spares/adapter/cables for nightly charging

What are the chances I can get access to charging my devices overnight every night? and not getting them stolen (who would want these!?) I think I am likely going to use batteries but prefer charging, and I am wanting to see what people's experiences are, if any.

Has anyone dealt with charging hearing aids vs bringing batteries on the Camino?
Any insights, tips suggestions I'm open.
thanks
Carrie
I took both disposables and my charging unit I really didn't need the disposables as I was able to charge my unit whenever I needed to. this was on the Frances.
 

CarrieJL

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
With a 10 ft charging cable I've always been able to reach an electrical outlet from my bed to charge my phone. You should always be able to charge your implants every night with no problem.
That's a long cable but I get the idea. Tripping hazard would be my concern in some of these albergues if I share common dorms, unless I pay extra to upgrade to private rooms. Good to know that charging capabilities are plentiful. thanks
 

CarrieJL

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
If you are worried about theft, ask the hospitalero to charge them for you e.g. in their room - it would be a rare hospitalero who would refuse.. Otherwise, charging devices is not an issue, pilgrims charge their mobile phones all the time. As for carrying replacements 0.6 lbs is around 300 gr, so not excessive. Have you checked out whether you can buy new ones in Spain? I feel fairly confident you could but it would have to be in one of the larger cities. Hope you can find a solution. I am sure the problem is not insuperable. Whatever happens, buen camino.
I have thought about asking hospitaleros to charge them for me. I have done so in the past in other situations - been a hit and miss. Again these are specially designed powerful batteries exclusively designed for cochlear implants- they are NOT commonly sold in stores. Thanks so much for your input - good to know how accessible charging is.
 
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CarrieJL

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
My husband wears hearing aids and uses a CPAP. He carries batteries for hearing aids and extra HME's (heat moisture exchange filters) for his travel CPAP. It is a pain, but as you say the weight and bulk diminish over time. The hearing aids do not quick charge and must be left in the charger overnight so batteries are the better choice for him.
Thanks so much for your feedback!
 

CarrieJL

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Hi Carrie,
I'm very familiar with CIs. and I've completed 2 Caminos. These are my thoughts. I hope they're helpful:
You could certainly bring batteries since they're so small and lightweight. Bring more than you think you will need. Don't expect to find them while on the Camino. (Too specialized). You definitely would be able to use your charger to charge your CIs. BUT these were the first thoughts that popped into my head- What if you accidentally walk away from an albergue and leave your charger behind? (You'd be surprised what is left behind!). What if someone steps on your pack while it's lying next to your chair or bed, or there is an accidental spill of water, or....? Are you willing to risk the only way to recharge? Not to mention the expense and hassle of replacement when you return home.
Background- I'm a professional medical interpreter in ASL. I work for a huge hospital system that includes an ENT department that does CI surgery and all of the related follow up and teaching. From my perspective, those chargers wouldn't be worth losing or damaging. I'd personally go for the batteries but bring many more than you think you'll need. Also, I don't know how new your processor is but if you have a waterproof cover for your CI, I'd bring it along. Not only because of possible rain but because of sweat.

I hope this helps
Sandi
HI Sandi- Many thanks for your invaluable feedback. Hadn't thought about possible damage to or loss of charging unit. Good points. And yes I'd def bring waterproof backup CIs for this trek. and probably one spare CI too. I'm so glad I put the question out there. So wish I could bump into you on the camino. Be fun practicing signs & learning new ones with fellow terps. :)
Def helps - again thanks
Carrie
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
That's a long cable but I get the idea. Tripping hazard would be my concern in some of these albergues if I share common dorms, unless I pay extra to upgrade to private rooms. Good to know that charging capabilities are plentiful. thanks
I never leave the cable laying on the floor where people walk. The long cable is especially useful when I'm in an upper bunk, and the outlet is more than 6 feet away.
Many of the newer private albergues have an outlet for each bed in the dorms.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2021
I took my CPAP machine on the Frances last summer. I brought a multi-plug adapter along and was always able to share limited plug ins with my neighbors charging their phones. If you go with a charger I strongly recommend carrying one of these
 
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CarrieJL

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I took my CPAP machine on the Frances last summer. I brought a multi-plug adapter along and was always able to share limited plug ins with my neighbors charging their phones. If you go with a charger I strongly recommend carrying one of these
That's an excellent idea - thanks!
 

Sandi Smith

Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
HI Sandi- Many thanks for your invaluable feedback. Hadn't thought about possible damage to or loss of charging unit. Good points. And yes I'd def bring waterproof backup CIs for this trek. and probably one spare CI too. I'm so glad I put the question out there. So wish I could bump into you on the camino. Be fun practicing signs & learning new ones with fellow terps. :)
Def helps - again thanks
Carrie
When will you go?
 

Richard Smith

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2014
If you go down the charging path, bring an electrical plug with two outlets. This will avoid the need to 'reserve' a power outlet as you can piggy-back on one that is in use.
 

WGroleau

Wandering Weirdo
Past OR future Camino
2015 & 2016 (partial)
I have thought about asking hospitaleros to charge them for me. I have done so in the past in other situations - been a hit and miss. Again these are specially designed powerful batteries exclusively designed for cochlear implants- they are NOT commonly sold in stores. Thanks so much for your input - good to know how accessible charging is.
If they have a noticeably different appearance, they might be more tempting to a thief. And if a thief loses his charger, he might steal yours, without a care for the importance of the batteries connected to them. In four or five hundred kilometers on Camino Frances, I only had one charger stolen. But even one is an irritation even when easily replaced. I also had some thyroid and diabetes medicine stolen, and not even something anyone could get high on! Fortunately both are cheap in Spain.
 

Sharonih

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF (SJPdP to Santiago) March 15, 2018
Greetings-
I'm planning on doing the Camino Frances in Sept 2022. I wear cochlear implants and they need to be charged everyday. I have 2 options:
1- bring disposable batteries (extra .6 lbs that will lessen over time)
2- bring charging unit/spares/adapter/cables for nightly charging

What are the chances I can get access to charging my devices overnight every night? and not getting them stolen (who would want these!?) I think I am likely going to use batteries but prefer charging, and I am wanting to see what people's experiences are, if any.

Has anyone dealt with charging hearing aids vs bringing batteries on the Camino?
Any insights, tips suggestions I'm open.
thanks
Carrie
There is no way to guarantee that you will have access to charging every day. Most days but you have to share the outlets with others for a variety of reasons. I would suggest bring battery charges, a multi USB plug in and yes back up batteries for your implants. Truly the weights are negligible and due to the importance of your implants are worth carrying.
 
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CarrieJL

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
If they have a noticeably different appearance, they might be more tempting to a thief. And if a thief loses his charger, he might steal yours, without a care for the importance of the batteries connected to them. In four or five hundred kilometers on Camino Frances, I only had one charger stolen. But even one is an irritation even when easily replaced. I also had some thyroid and diabetes medicine stolen, and not even something anyone could get high on! Fortunately both are cheap in Spain.
well your input & experience certainly give me pause. I now recall last time I was in Spain I felt I had to be hyper vigilant,keeping my daypack front facing. Hate to give Spain a bad rap but theft seems more common there than other countries I’ve experienced. Probably best to go with battery option and forgo the CI charger. Thanks truly for your feedback.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
I now recall last time I was in Spain I felt I had to be hyper vigilant,keeping my daypack front facing. Hate to give Spain a bad rap but theft seems more common there than other countries
I don't have numbers but I doubt that is true as a generalization by country. If you are talking about tourist hotspots in Barcelona and Madrid, then yes you must be hypervigilant, as you must in Prague, Rome, and elsewhere. On the Camino you should "normally" vigilant, which means don't trust strangers (even if they look like pilgrims) with your valuables.
 

Antnix1

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés
I'd suggest buying a power bank, assuming your hearing aid supports USB charging.
They're a bit bulky but you should get a few charges out of it and can recharge the power bank at your leisure .. even if you left it unattended it would be inexpensive to replace
 
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