Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
I had no problem charging up my camera battery. I carried an extra one all charged and switched when needed. All the albergues had a way to plug something in. My charger is very little and lightweight.
So if the question is can you plug something in, the answer is yes. I was glad to have an extra one with me though in case i needed it.
The charging issue is interesting. if your device uses normal U.S. current you will need a converter and most of them are kind of heavy. (As in a pound or more in weight!)I found one in a computer store that converts using a usb port and it is very light but your device needs to be capable of being charged with a usb port. e-books and gps devices charge this way and I assume some cameras do.
If your device uses European current you got no problem!
I also found a small device to charge an i-pod that simply takes 2 AA batteries. again, it it light and requires no plug-in but only works with i-pods. Some people might not like to idea of using aa batteries to charge an i-pod, kind of wasteful of the batteries.
I don't always (or even often) stay in albergues. I use a power monkey and solar panel which charges everything my donkey carries. However, it is light and small enough for a backpack. The real weight is in the extra batteries and second much larger solar panel that I use so I can be totally independent of mains. I use a camera with aa batteries for this reason, also have aa bats in my torch, and the power monkey charges my palm and my phone. If the weather is grey it takes a long time, so I carry ten aa batts and a pack that will do power out. I have the mains chargers for both in case I ever have mains available. I never in two months had a problem with lack of power for all my goodies. I am somewhat antisocial at times (I'm the one who gets grumpy when people rush up taking pictures of self and donkey without asking)and like to be independent when i don't feel like company. The problem with recharging in albergues is the number of power points relative to the number of cellphones and cameras.Also, you might consider that the camera itself tends to be larger and heavier with a lithium battery. You can gett aas pretty well everywhere, even on the norte and primitivo.
Almost ALL chargers for camera battery packs are dual voltage so you do NOT need a converter - however, you will need an adaptor for the plug to fit the outlets(power points) in Spain. These are small & lightweight and take up no room at all!
I find that when travelling taking a digitial camera that takes AA batteries makes life easier...I buy lithium AA batteries to take with me... (both Target/Walmart have the best prices on packages of 8!)...they weigh next to nothing....and last a long time..they are a bit more expensive that regular AA..but well worth the price...and of course always take spares as they are not as easy to find as regular AA batteries!
I'm always amazed with the quickness in response to my posts, so thanks to everyone for their advice! For those of you who said you took a digital camera that required aa batteries....would you mind posting the exact camera you brought??? I'm going to be purchasing one and it would help me a great deal to know what worked for your camino.
I have not yet gone, but am planning to take a Canon A710 IS that uses 2AA batteries. My plan was to take two lithium batteries in the camera and two extras. When I switched to the spares, I would have a sense of how long they would last and would begin looking in the tiendas for more lithiums (I suspect there will not be many). As I get close to the end of the life of these spares, I would buy regular AAs (2 to four depending on cost) if I don't find some spare lithiums. I am trying to minimize weight and would prefer to buy batteries along the way than to carry them.
Do you agree with my strategy? No chargers or adapters to carry. I bought the camera specifically for travel; to make it easy to buy batteries. It is not the lightest camera out there, which I would have been more inclined to purchase just for the Camino.
I have a Canon S2 IS which I thought was fairly light and had planned on taking ....it takes 4 AA batteries ..has a great 12X optical zoom....but as we get down to the final weigh-in of my pack...I have had to sacrifice it for my weighty diabetic meds and supplies....needless to say that was not a happy day...and instead I am taking my husband's Canon A570 IS. However it is not the camera that I would go out and buy to take on the Camino.
If you are purchasing a new one....I suggest you look for a digital camera with at least a 6-8X zoom....and at least 7 mega pixels...and uses 2 AA batteries and that the camera is small and light enough to fit in a small fitted case on the shoulder straps of your pack.
Remember you are taking snaps..not shooting for National Geographic...it is your memories that are the most precious!!!
Your plan is my plan...and I think it is a good plan...except I'm taking 4 spare lithium batteries...they are light enough for me to do that...I found in travelling in Italy last year that camera shops and large department stores usually carried lithium...but grocery and drug stores did not.
"Lithiums offer other advantages that might deserve consideration: A
weight of 15 grams vs. Alkaline's 23 grams, a shelf life of 10 years vs. 5
years, a higher initial voltage of 1.8 volts vs. 1.6 volts, and superior
performance at low temperatures."
need to look and see exactly what my elderlyish camera is, but only 4 megapixels. I use ordinary aas or rechargeables, they last ok. The results are fine up to A4 size prints, and it is small and light, and it was cheap, which is a consideration, not everyone you meet is honest