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iPhone Portable Battery Charger

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese "2014" from Tui to Santiago
Camino Norte "April 2016"
#1
We have been experimenting on our training walks with Wikiloc on our iPhone which seems to zap the battery life. We want to be able to use our iPhone 5 for GPS purposes so think that we may want to carry along a iPhone Portable Battery Charger. We have seen some that can recharge up to 4 times. Can anyone with experience with these comment or advise on a good "lightweight" charger that they've used?
 

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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#2
Yes Jacquie, I also have an iPhone 5 and have to say that the battery life is poor when using GPS, so I also took a battery charger. Unfortunately there seems to be a relationship between the weight and whether it is 2600mAh (pretty useless), 16000mAh (better) and 30000mAh or higher - so the number of times you can recharge from the bank when it is fully loaded.

I split the difference and took one that would recharge a couple of times. I have a really good one that recharges about 5 times, but it is a brick so I left it home in favour of the lighter one.
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
#3
If it weighs more than the iPhone itself, then its too heavy. A 2000-3000mAh charger is fine, get a 2 or 3 port EU USB charger and plug in both at the end of the day of walking.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#4
Last time I walked with one of those external batteries that look like an elongated block. Never used it. There are power outlets everywhere these days, in newer albergues each bunk has one. This year I will walk with a battery phone case, double duty tool.
 

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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#6
Well, in the last 2 years I have only walked the Norte and Primitivo, and the bit from Melide to Santiago and it was not an issue. More people are bringing multi USB plug chargers as well. Now, will San Juan de Ortega have individual outlets per bunk? Doubt it, and it's not as if Granon even has bunks, nor mattresses o_O.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese "2014" from Tui to Santiago
Camino Norte "April 2016"
#7
Thanks everyone for the input. I am checking out the Power Bear battery phone case which we will probably buy. Maybe my husband can carry it :D.
 

GreatDane

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF to Burgos Sept/Oct 2014, Burgos to Astorga April 2016, Astorga to SdC 2017
#8
Well, in the last 2 years I have only walked the Norte and Primitivo, and the bit from Melide to Santiago and it was not an issue. More people are bringing multi USB plug chargers as well. Now, will San Juan de Ortega have individual outlets per bunk? Doubt it, and it's not as if Granon even has bunks, nor mattresses o_O.
Granon does have bunks and matresses, just not at the parochial .
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
Alone.
------------------------------
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
with my wife Pat.
------------------------------
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
together again :-)
#9
For those who may still be looking for a 'Camino' phone, consider a Galaxy Note 3 that allows you to pull off the back and pop in a spare battery ;) Or memory card!
I used GPS all day and took loads of movies, and quite often needed to swap batteries. No need for any additional chargers. Just charge one battery in the phone, and swap in the next one.

Sadly the new Galaxies don't have this feature so I'll stick to my old 3................
 
Last edited:

ProjectBrigid.Org

Cultural immersion is the seed of cultural growth!
Camino(s) past & future
Walked in 2009 & volunteered as a host and vegetarian cook for 6 summers. Next Camino will hopefully be in 2017!
#10
It's nice to leave the phone at home. However, you don't have to have your GPS on when you're not using your phone. An easy way to avoid the app killing your battery is to turn it off until you need it, close the app until you need it, and/or keep your gps off... until you need it. You think the extra battery is small, and then something else, and them something else, and then when you're climbing up to O'Cebreo, you will ask yourself "what was I thinking!!" hahahah. pack light my friend. It's amazing how little you need to survive.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2017
#11
Last September, I bought the new iPhone 6s. Battery life was poor to begin with, so I added the Apple "piggyback / saddleback" battery case, custom-made to fit the iPhone. I find it extends battery life so I can use the phone with constant Wi-Fi "pinging" for nearly three full days. On a recent trip to Belgium, I used the case in the constant Wi-Fi ping mode for three full days before I had to stop and charge the phone/battery.

Apple programmed the iPhone, and this case, so the phone charges first to 100%, then the battery case charges. On use, the reverse is true. The battery first drains completely, then the phone depletes itself. So, you will see that the phone is at 100% charge for something like a day and a half, or longer, before the phone battery level starts to drop below a displayed 100%. So, once you see less than 100% displayed, you know you are on your last day and need to recharge the battery and phone.

While this iPhone, case combination is great for general use, I am thinking it is too heavy, at a combined 289 grams, 10.2 ounces for Camino use. Read on...

I have experimented with alternative battery packs and find that it takes a 1000 mah battery pack to fill my iPhone once, from about 8-10% charge to 100% charge. Hence, you will need about 2000 - 2200 to fill your iPhone twice. Others have commented on this same relationship. but, these larger capacity exterior batteries are heavier.

Though I am leaving for Madrid this Monday, I am still experimenting with field charging alternatives. I have a Zippo lighter sized 220 VAC wall charger made by Apple, with a retractable cable that can be used to charge or synch both Lightning and micr0-USB devices. I also have a flat prong USA type plug adaptor so I can use this rig in the US on my way out to Spain or coming back. My airline (UA) has power outlets at most all seats now. When walking, the charging setup rides in a cargo pocket where it is always with me. I carry a low-profile "cube-tap" to share an outlet with others in my rucksack toiletry kit.

I am comparing the weight of the Apple "Piggyback" or "Saddleback" case to the weight of portable charging battery "sticks." So far, the lightest option I found is a 1000 mah stick sold at Staples, and elsewhere, under the PNY brand. I think Best Buy also sells this generic product.

The Apple Battery Case weighs 1o1 grams, or 3.6 ounces by itself. The PNY battery stick weighs only 65 grams or 2.3 ounces. I can use the single retractable charging cable mentioned above to charge and feed from this stick. I have weighed other 1000 mah sticks. The PNY is the lightest I have found for this capacity.

The weight of the PNY, single full charger and the naked iPhone is 213 grams or 7.5 ounces. Conversely, the weight of the iPhone in the Apple "piggyback / Saddleback case is 250 grams or about 8.8 ounces.

So, the overall difference between having a separate battery, good for a single charge, and a Apple-specific battery, good for probably two full charges of the iPhone is about 37 extra grams or 1.3 extra ounces. On a cost-benefit basis the Apple "piggyback / saddle back" case is the winner. However, this is the Camino. Extra grams and ounces quickly add up to pounds and kilos. Do I need the third charging cycle capacity in the integral Apple case? Am I prepared for the weight-tradeoff?

The other serious consideration is that I usually carry the iPhone, as I did my old iPod Touch before it, in a LokSak ziplock-style plastic bag, certified waterproof to 200 feet. It rides in a cargo pocket of my zip-off trousers. The LokSak keeps the electronics from getting fried in a heavy rainfall. I can use the touchscreen through the Loksak material. However, the Apple pigyback case is a VERY grippy silicone material that will not easily fit in this superb plastic bag. So, that is the dilemma, far superior battery life at the risk of the iPhone getting wet...TBD

STOP THE PRESSES!!! I just located a 4" x 7" Loksak bag. The iPhone 6s in the Apple "Piggyback / Saddleback" Silicone Case fits snuggly into the bag. Problem-solved!

It is not easy to get the iPhone in and out, but I think I am "good-to-go." I can position the iPhone in the bag so the open end of the bag is on the same edge as the Lightning port. Then I will not even have to remove the "outer wrapper" to recharge either the iPhone or the battery." Decision made. I will suck-up the extra ounce and a half overall weight in return for the much longer and predictable battery life. I was hoping to use fseom GPS capabilities on this Camino. This solution helps in that regard.

I hope this rambling dialog helps someone out there.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#12
Hi Jacquie!
My sister-on-law and I are both carrying oldish phones with dubious batteries. So we both got external chargers (little cylinder shaped ones for about $25). It only gives a partial charge to my phone, but that is enough to get me through any high-use day.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese "2014" from Tui to Santiago
Camino Norte "April 2016"
#13
Hi Jacquie!
My sister-on-law and I are both carrying oldish phones with dubious batteries. So we both got external chargers (little cylinder shaped ones for about $25). It only gives a partial charge to my phone, but that is enough to get me through any high-use day.
Hi Clare,
We were looking at the ones that you are talking about. I think we will go with these PowerBear Battery Cases. They get about 2 charges (I think) and use the same charger as the phone, so only need to carry one cord. We used Wikiloc on a local hike and lost our battery charge really fast, so we just think we might need the boost. Heading out 2 weeks today for the Norte. Yikes!
 

jrm

Active Member
#14
I brought an Anker Astro Pro 2 battery with me. It is a 20,000 mah battery, and we used it to keep mutliple iphoes going for about 2 weeks. I've had plenty of external batteries and, by far, this is the best and most powerful battery I've ever used. I think it will recharge an iphone something like 9 times? My travel plug adapter also had a usb charging plug on it.

Sure, it's a big battery that weighs about a pound. BUT, it was totally worth it. Not only is it easy to use in the field, but it charges crazy fast. The whole thing in about 3 hours. I have a different battery that I use that doesn't charge near as fast. It can aslo charge three things at once, so it's nice to be a good neighbor when all the wall plugs in the albergues are used. And, I use it all the time now when I'm back too. Highly recommended.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese "2014" from Tui to Santiago
Camino Norte "April 2016"
#15
I brought an Anker Astro Pro 2 battery with me. It is a 20,000 mah battery, and we used it to keep mutliple iphoes going for about 2 weeks. I've had plenty of external batteries and, by far, this is the best and most powerful battery I've ever used. I think it will recharge an iphone something like 9 times? My travel plug adapter also had a usb charging plug on it.

Sure, it's a big battery that weighs about a pound. BUT, it was totally worth it. Not only is it easy to use in the field, but it charges crazy fast. The whole thing in about 3 hours. I have a different battery that I use that doesn't charge near as fast. It can aslo charge three things at once, so it's nice to be a good neighbor when all the wall plugs in the albergues are used. And, I use it all the time now when I'm back too. Highly recommended.
Just did some investigation and the Anker looks great. The 10,000 mah (which recharges 4 times) is a fraction of the price (in Canada) and weights only 1/2 lb. Thanks!
 

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