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Question about power banks

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I have searched the forum and see that there are people with knowledge about power banks. If I make it to the camino in September, I plan to leave my trusty Garmin Dakota GPS behind and rely on wikiloc on my phone.

I know that to prolong the battery life when I am walking, I should switch to airplane mode, but even so, I think I am going to invest in a power bank.

On the recommendation of a tech guy at my office, I bought an Aukey power bank to use this year as I went out on long bike rides and found that my phone wouldn’t last. It works great, I think it has 3 full phone charges in it, but it weighs almost a pound.

How should I decide how small/lightweight I can safely go? Any specific recommendations?
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I use a power bank with 5000 Mah, which gives me about one full charge, which is more than adequate. It weighs about four ounces.
I prefer a thin, flattish power bank because it's easier to fit in a pocket or purse while attached to the phone.
Something similar to this:

 

A Kerryman

Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
I have searched the forum and see that there are people with knowledge about power banks. If I make it to the camino in September, I plan to leave my trusty Garmin Dakota GPS behind and rely on wikiloc on my phone.

I know that to prolong the battery life when I am walking, I should switch to airplane mode, but even so, I think I am going to invest in a power bank.

On the recommendation of a tech guy at my office, I bought an Aukey power bank to use this year as I went out on long bike rides and found that my phone wouldn’t last. It works great, I think it has 3 full phone charges in it, but it weighs almost a pound.

How should I decide how small/lightweight I can safely go? Any specific recommendations?
Here in Ireland ,Lidl and Aldi often have small ones for sale , very light maybe €10 and I found my Lidl one very good and it kept its charge for a long time .Its mainly as a back up as you will only use your phone mostly in the evenings.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
My Ankar is several years old now, weighs 180 g, and gives me at least a couple of charges, but I don't know exactly what its capacity is. There are smaller ones that charge less. Since you will be staying in private accommodation and can certainly recharge every night, you probably don't need to get a big one, provided that your phone currently can operate most of a full day on a single charge.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
I have searched the forum and see that there are people with knowledge about power banks. If I make it to the camino in September, I plan to leave my trusty Garmin Dakota GPS behind and rely on wikiloc on my phone.

I know that to prolong the battery life when I am walking, I should switch to airplane mode, but even so, I think I am going to invest in a power bank.

On the recommendation of a tech guy at my office, I bought an Aukey power bank to use this year as I went out on long bike rides and found that my phone wouldn’t last. It works great, I think it has 3 full phone charges in it, but it weighs almost a pound.

How should I decide how small/lightweight I can safely go? Any specific recommendations?
it depends upon the capacity of your current mobile battery, considering you will be staying in civilized places where you can recharge every night, you do not need a huge pack, any pack that provides 1.5 times the capacity of your battery will be perfect to provide a "boost" charge, you will barely ever need a full fledged charge in the Camino because you should have wall outlets handy in all places. Battery packs and mobile batteries can have a "communicating vessel" effect, like a pack with 10% capacity will not be able to charge a mobile a lot above 60 or 70 percent.

I would go for something smallish in this case, like a boost in mid afternoon if that day you have used a bit more juice than usual.

And, certainly, airplane mode makes a huge difference. The IGN app (for Android only) works very well and includes tracks for hundreds of stages in mahy different caminos. There are several versions of this IGN (Instituto Geográfico Nacional) app, I would go for the one that looks like this, and which includes links for Camino de Santiago. If you download it, make sure you download the version with this particular color combination, there are other smaller ones, but I know you feel confident with GPS apps.
1629139343169.png
 
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Smallest_Sparrow

Life is rarely what you expect or believe it to be
Past OR future Camino
2012: most of some, all of a few, a bit of others
Sometimes comparing battery life of a phone that is mostly sitting on your desk to one with Maps and GPS open and running for hours is significantly different. Normally ppl turn off GPS and close maps to extend battery life but that would defeat the purpose. I assume you’re sure you’re closing all other applications and have looked at your battery health and if it needs replacing (I think Apple designs batteries to be short lived but I just can’t go over to the Android side)

I wonder if a couple of small/light weight chargers (designed to recharge phone once before you have to plug it in) would be lighter than the one you have (more likely designed to be hauled around in a brief case or carry on than on your back. The number of small chargers based on how many times you need to recharge your phone in the course of a day using maps and gps continuously. Im not sure if they’d recharge quickly though, hate to be on a mountain top waiting for power to come back on.
 

Happy Penguin

Rainy day in Castilblanco
Past OR future Camino
2021
I use a Xiaomi Mi 5000 mAh, the weight is 165 g which is just under 6 oz.

The capacity (5000 mAh) and the weight of a power bank go hand in hand.

Knowing we can charge our power bank and our phone every night, 5000 mAh seems to be too much (of power and weight) 2500 - 3000 should be enough if you can find one.

If you use GPS, wikiloc and take many pictures throughout the day, depending on the length of your stage, the phone battery may be not enough. I often walk until 5 or 6 pm if weather permits it, and on a such long day I need to charge my phone from a power bank. I found it more convenient to charge the phone during coffee breaks or a lunch break (if you take one), rather than waiting until the phone runs out of power at the end of day.

Hope it helps :)

I'm not sure if you can use wikiloc in the airplane mode. I know I can use Maps Me without the internet if I need to, provided I have downloaded necessary maps before I start walking.

Photo: my Xiaomi Mi 5000 mAh

xiaomi-mi-5000-mah.jpg
 
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Roland49

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
I did took an 10.000mAh Powerbank with me on my CF in July 2019 and did used it only once.
My phone had a battery of 5.000mAh and I charged it every second day, but did used it rarely, only maps or some searches for local information.

The best technical thing in my pack was a triple-adaptor for the socket, so 3 devices could be charged.
That was in use almost every day! I never did stay in an Albergue that did have enough sockets!

HTH and BC
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
Be aware that powerbanks must stay in your handluggage during flights, not in your sent luggage. I bring a light one from apple.
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Look for the mah (milliamp hour) rating of your phone's battery and that of your power bank. Even if the same don't expect getting a full charge.

I also use my phone as a GPS and it gets low in power. I had a thick, heavy, rectangular battery but it was not easy to hold all the phone, battery and cord when charging (which you need to when following a track). I bought another like @trecile pointed you to. Fitting along the sides were short charging cables, one each for Android and Apple. It is easy to hold these together and the battery doesn't even get in the way of taking pictures.

On my last camino I took both batteries with me. When my phone got low I would charge with the good one. When done I would charge the good one with the older one inside the pack. That is not efficient but if I did need another phone recharging I wanted it to be with the more convenient battery. I don't recall needing a second recharging while on the trail though.
 

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Past OR future Camino
SJPP2Santiago completed (Sept.15, 2018).
I have searched the forum and see that there are people with knowledge about power banks. If I make it to the camino in September, I plan to leave my trusty Garmin Dakota GPS behind and rely on wikiloc on my phone.

I know that to prolong the battery life when I am walking, I should switch to airplane mode, but even so, I think I am going to invest in a power bank.

On the recommendation of a tech guy at my office, I bought an Aukey power bank to use this year as I went out on long bike rides and found that my phone wouldn’t last. It works great, I think it has 3 full phone charges in it, but it weighs almost a pound.

How should I decide how small/lightweight I can safely go? Any specific recommendations?
I use a Stealth Angel Solar charger for my backpaking trips. I attached velcro to back of the charger and on top flap of my backpack - it rides securely and catches good rays. The solar charger has two usb ports, waterproof & flashlight. The teeny/tiny weight diff is totally worth it on my longer backpack trips.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Fitting along the sides were short charging cables, one each for Android and Apple. It is easy to hold these together and the battery doesn't even get in the way of taking pictures.
Do you think that those cables are a good idea or will they just duplicate a cord I’m going to have to carry anyway to charge the phone and/or battery pack at night anyway?
 

Happy Penguin

Rainy day in Castilblanco
Past OR future Camino
2021
The best technical thing in my pack was a triple-adaptor for the socket, so 3 devices could be charged.
That was in use almost every day! I never did stay in an Albergue that did have enough sockets!
It's a very useful device. I used it daily to charge my phone, my power bank and my wireless headphones at the same time (until I lost it). If you can, get one and take with you on the Camino!

Probably you can also buy it in Chinese supermarkets in Spain.
Hd3153e2afdbd4ce2a9e52f50c6b1f142j.jpg
 
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Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I have a power bank which I have recently decided to take with me to Spain, since the new track from Mora to Ajofrin on the way to Toledo via Cobiso will not be marked, except on maps.me on my phone. My charger weighs about 160 g., holds four charges, and has two receptacles for plugging in electonics to charge. It is labelled "My Charge" and I use it with a Kanex plug, which can be plugged into the back of the plug for my water heater coil when in Spain. Since I plan on staying largely in private accommodation, I am not too concerned about charging other pilgrims' devices, although there will be one free receptacle. However, the only occasion when I might have used a charger in Spain was on my very wet Invierno in the autumn of 2019 and I was afraid to subject it to rain. Fortunately, that long day through the park was very well marked.
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
I have searched the forum and see that there are people with knowledge about power banks. If I make it to the camino in September, I plan to leave my trusty Garmin Dakota GPS behind and rely on wikiloc on my phone.

I know that to prolong the battery life when I am walking, I should switch to airplane mode, but even so, I think I am going to invest in a power bank.

On the recommendation of a tech guy at my office, I bought an Aukey power bank to use this year as I went out on long bike rides and found that my phone wouldn’t last. It works great, I think it has 3 full phone charges in it, but it weighs almost a pound.

How should I decide how small/lightweight I can safely go? Any specific recommendations?

I have an Anker battery pack. They come in all sizes and weights. Excellent battery pack and it will recharge overnight.
 
Last edited:
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Do you think that those cables are a good idea or will they just duplicate a cord I’m going to have to carry anyway to charge the phone and/or battery pack at night anyway?
Definitely a good thing. You only lose them if you lose the battery as they are permanently attached to it. You only have to worry about one end coming lose as you jog along. They are only about 3.5 inches and so they aren't in the way. They tuck into the side of the battery and so out of the way when not in use. The cables themselves are incredibly light. For night charging you probably want a 2 or 3 meter cord, very inconvenient to use while walking.

The battery comes in black and in color(s).
One type has one cord USB micro B and the other Lightning. Another has the USB cord type C instead. I wish they had one without Lightning and USB types C and micro B.

 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Do you think that those cables are a good idea or will they just duplicate a cord I’m going to have to carry anyway
For night charging you probably want a 2 or 3 meter cord
Yes, they will duplicate. But since I think @trecile (and, it seems, Rick) like to carry a very long cable for night time charging in albergues, I can understand their advice. However, where you are staying in private accommodation, your phone can be near the outlet at night, so it doesn't need a 2-3 m cord.

Personally, I would take a single 1-m cord, a Euro-plug charger, and the power bank. If I need to charge while walking, I can put the phone and the battery pack in different pockets, connected by the 1-m cable. I have a twist-tie gear tie to keep the cable coiled.
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
If I need to charge while walking, I can put the phone and the battery pack in different pockets, connected by the 1-m cable.
Or in the pack but whether pocket or pack this is inconvenient for people who are following a GPS track or taking a lot of photos.

On second thought the use of a pocket may suit Laurie just fine. I hold the battery and phone together all the time, I don't usually walk with poles. Laurie might not have hands free to get the best use of a battery like mine.
 
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300m from the cathedral and around the corner from the fresh food market in Santiago. Perfect place to tele commute from (1GB symmetrical connection).
When you walk the Camino, and suddenly a pandemic appears

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
Or in the pack but whether pocket or pack this is inconvenient for people who are following a GPS track or taking a lot of photos.
I keep the phone in the same place it always rides. The power pack can either be in the same place, under the phone, or in a different pocket. Either way, the 1-m cord allows me to take out the phone and use it with no problem while the power pack remains in its place. If you have a very short connection, you HAVE to hold both.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
So based on what you are saying, maybe I don’t understand how this works. When I use the big power bank on my phone, I have them connected while I am taking a break. At the end of the break, the power bank has charged my phone (maybe not completely, but enough for the rest of the ride). I disconnect it and go merrily on my way, with the bank and the cord in my pannier. This sounds like I will need to have the phone connected to the power bank if I want to rely on that power source, and that it will not actually charge the phone. Am I making sense?
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
When I use the big power bank on my phone, I have them connected while I am taking a break.
What; you take breaks!?

You can do the same thing as you are used to. I my head I was seeing you check the GPS a lot and so holding it like I do. I let the phone go down to 20% and then go back up to 70% while walking. I COULD keep it in the 70-80% range by charging during breaks.

You're looking for a smaller battery. I like mine for the reasons I gave. I thought that you might be using the phone and battery like I do but, if not, find something that works for you.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
We are complicating things. With a small external battery, when the phone gets low, just plug them together - no matter if you are taking a break or not! The length of the cord only determines if you need to handle them together, or if you can leave the battery in your pocket while you grab the phone to take a picture. 🤪
 
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jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
Yes, they will duplicate. But since I think @trecile (and, it seems, Rick) like to carry a very long cable for night time charging in albergues, I can understand their advice. However, where you are staying in private accommodation, your phone can be near the outlet at night, so it doesn't need a 2-3 m cord.

Personally, I would take a single 1-m cord, a Euro-plug charger, and the power bank. If I need to charge while walking, I can put the phone and the battery pack in different pockets, connected by the 1-m cable. I have a twist-tie gear tie to keep the cable coiled.

That is what I do
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Personally, I would take a single 1-m cord, a Euro-plug charger, and the power bank.
FA66C69B-0768-46B3-ACAE-CD215725CDC3.png

So, just to be clear — if I have one of these, I won’t need to worry about leaving my adaptor in the socket?!

I have taped an adaptor to my (formerly your) electric coil, but this is much more elegant.

Any idea why the European charger plugs are twice the size of the ones you plug in in the US?
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
So, just to be clear — if I have one of these, I won’t need to worry about leaving my adaptor in the socket?!
Correct. You won't be able to use it in th US, but I think planes will accept it

Any idea why the European charger plugs are twice the size of the ones
Mine is not significantly bigger.
 

longwayhome

Member
Past OR future Camino
SJpdP to Santiago ( Sept-Oct 2018)
Just found this one for iPhones with the magnetic charging facility..very convenient while walking and no cable required to charge your phone. Obviously a cable needed to charge the battery pack .160gm

.https://www.amazon.com.au/imuto-Magnetic-Wireless-Portable-Compatible/dp/B092LZBBHX/ref=sr_1_31?dchild=1&keywords=battery+charger+iphone&qid=1629150718&sr=8-31

 
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Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
So, just to be clear — if I have one of these, I won’t need to worry about leaving my adaptor in the socket?!
Exactly.
Any idea why the European charger plugs are twice the size of the ones you plug in in the US?
I don't see any reason that the electronics should be larger. After all you can attach an adapter to a US charger and it will work.

Perhaps you are thinking of the rectangular piece between the round pins and the cube-like piece holding the electronics? That is there for safety. In the US our plugs just go into the outlet. In Spain (and elsewhere) the receptical for the pins are indented into the outlet and that rectangular piece goes into that indentation. That makes it more difficult for the plug to loosen or fall out of the outlet.
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I haven't tried this kind, but this little power bank that attaches to your phone looks pretty handy.
It does. It looks like it would work fine when on and you are using the phone. I wouldn't want it in my pocket though. On camino I wouldn't have it in my pocket but back home I don't normally walk around with a pack.
 
I have searched the forum and see that there are people with knowledge about power banks. If I make it to the camino in September, I plan to leave my trusty Garmin Dakota GPS behind and rely on wikiloc on my phone.

I know that to prolong the battery life when I am walking, I should switch to airplane mode, but even so, I think I am going to invest in a power bank.

On the recommendation of a tech guy at my office, I bought an Aukey power bank to use this year as I went out on long bike rides and found that my phone wouldn’t last. It works great, I think it has 3 full phone charges in it, but it weighs almost a pound.

How should I decide how small/lightweight I can safely go? Any specific recommendations?
I am happy with this one, it has attached cords--which plays well with my lack of organizational skills. I could not paste it without it being embolden and large--oops

Portable Charger with Built in Cable, Metecsmart 10000mah Power Bank Portable Charger Type C USB C Cell Phone Thin Slim Lightweight Travel Tiny 5V Backup Battery Pack for iPhone Samsung Android iPad


 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I am happy with this one, it has attached cords--which plays well with my lack of organizational skills. I could not paste it without it being embolden and large--oops

Portable Charger with Built in Cable, Metecsmart 10000mah Power Bank Portable Charger Type C USB C Cell Phone Thin Slim Lightweight Travel Tiny 5V Backup Battery Pack for iPhone Samsung Android iPad


Did you mean to post a link to the actual product?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I can't figure out how without sending the link to my cart--it is on amazon and that description will lead you to the listing
All you need to do is copy the url on the product page and paste it in your post.
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Past OR future Camino
2022
Most airlines have a maximum battery rate and amp/hour rating for lithium battery packs. Our local airline instructions: https://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/tra...e lithium batteries must,in your carry-on bag.
Best to check with your airline.

Secondly, I also use my battery pack to reduce the risk of my phone being stolen or left behind. I never charge my phone by plugging it into a wall socket. I only ever plug my battery pack into a wall socket and then if I go out of the room/albergue and it goes walk-about or I manage to forget it then I can easily replace it.

I always charge my phone (when away from home) from my battery pack.
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
I have used GPS, google maps, a camino app and wikiloc on most of my caminos while walking. I have always carried a power bank just in case but never run out of power on my phone when it has been fully charged at the start. In addition, most of my walking days are 8 hours or so!
 
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JLWV

Jean-Luc
Past OR future Camino
Levante (2014-2016); Levante to Toledo (2017-2018), to be continued; Fisterra & Muxia (2018);
The IGN app (for Android only) works very well and includes tracks for hundreds of stages in mahy different caminos.
This APP has an option of configuration to customize time of GPS activation, which reduces battery use.
 
Last edited:

sambajammer

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Camino del Norte 2018
I have searched the forum and see that there are people with knowledge about power banks. If I make it to the camino in September, I plan to leave my trusty Garmin Dakota GPS behind and rely on wikiloc on my phone.

I know that to prolong the battery life when I am walking, I should switch to airplane mode, but even so, I think I am going to invest in a power bank.

On the recommendation of a tech guy at my office, I bought an Aukey power bank to use this year as I went out on long bike rides and found that my phone wouldn’t last. It works great, I think it has 3 full phone charges in it, but it weighs almost a pound.

How should I decide how small/lightweight I can safely go? Any specific recommendations?
I found that when I did my pack reconsideration in Pamplona this was one of the items I sent home. I used maps on my phone but only at the end of the day as I was heading into the town, or on the very rare times I missed an arrow. The arrow system is excellent--particularly on the Frances.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
I took a Ravpower RP-PB078 10,000 mAh portable charger with me on my last Camino. I did use it regularly, but it had way more capacity than I needed. I would take this when walking with someone else and we could both use it.
 

Bob91

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Secondly, I also use my battery pack to reduce the risk of my phone being stolen or left behind. I never charge my phone by plugging it into a wall socket. I only ever plug my battery pack into a wall socket and then if I go out of the room/albergue and it goes walk-about or I manage to forget it then I can easily replace it.
I really like that idea! Thanks.
 
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Petsu

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2011
it depends upon the capacity of your current mobile battery, considering you will be staying in civilized places where you can recharge every night, you do not need a huge pack, any pack that provides 1.5 times the capacity of your battery will be perfect to provide a "boost" charge, you will barely ever need a full fledged charge in the Camino because you should have wall outlets handy in all places. Battery packs and mobile batteries can have a "communicating vessel" effect, like a pack with 10% capacity will not be able to charge a mobile a lot above 60 or 70 percent.

I would go for something smallish in this case, like a boost in mid afternoon if that day you have used a bit more juice than usual.

And, certainly, airplane mode makes a huge difference. The IGN app (for Android only) works very well and includes tracks for hundreds of stages in mahy different caminos. There are several versions of this IGN (Instituto Geográfico Nacional) app, I would go for the one that looks like this, and which includes links for Camino de Santiago. If you download it, make sure you download the version with this particular color combination, there are other smaller ones, but I know you feel confident with GPS apps.
View attachment 106918
Have you noticed, that there is also a Camino specific app from IGN. Same symbol, but colours are yellow over blue. Screenshot_20210817_171820_es.ign.caminosantiago.jpg
 

greghiker

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I have searched the forum and see that there are people with knowledge about power banks. If I make it to the camino in September, I plan to leave my trusty Garmin Dakota GPS behind and rely on wikiloc on my phone.

I know that to prolong the battery life when I am walking, I should switch to airplane mode, but even so, I think I am going to invest in a power bank.

On the recommendation of a tech guy at my office, I bought an Aukey power bank to use this year as I went out on long bike rides and found that my phone wouldn’t last. It works great, I think it has 3 full phone charges in it, but it weighs almost a pound.

How should I decide how small/lightweight I can safely go? Any specific recommendations?
Hi, smallest and lightest weight is best, but I imagine that your Aukey is about as big as your phone, and you have to carry it... so it's your choice. Almost a pound is 454 grams.... do you really need to have a map? I'm just going to follow everyone ahead of me.... there will be lots of us. And, if by chance, I fall off the cliff, I know that they were Lemmings, and not Peregrinos. (I do have the book, and will use that to write in)
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Have you noticed, that there is also a Camino specific app from IGN. Same symbol, but colours are yellow over blue. View attachment 106978
interesting... I know the one I recommend is a full featured GPS apps which includes links to hundreds of different Camino stages, including France! This might be a smaller, more specific version, probably more user friendly too. I have noticed the IGN have published different apps lately, when I first heard of these apps, the one I recommend is the only one that was available.
 

greghiker

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I have searched the forum and see that there are people with knowledge about power banks. If I make it to the camino in September, I plan to leave my trusty Garmin Dakota GPS behind and rely on wikiloc on my phone.

I know that to prolong the battery life when I am walking, I should switch to airplane mode, but even so, I think I am going to invest in a power bank.

On the recommendation of a tech guy at my office, I bought an Aukey power bank to use this year as I went out on long bike rides and found that my phone wouldn’t last. It works great, I think it has 3 full phone charges in it, but it weighs almost a pound.

How should I decide how small/lightweight I can safely go? Any specific recommendations?
Your almost a pound Aukey would be great... however, that is almost 454 grams, and we all strive to carry no more than 7-10 kgs including your backpack. Your list of things should be in the twos of... and a lot of quick dry Merino. Two underwear, two shirts, two hiking pants/shorts, one rain jacket, one warm layer (compressible down).... a notepad, your Camino Guide book, a rock from home that has meaning... (a small one). No GPS or Maps.me not needed. There will be a line of people to follow, you'll meet up with Peregrinos doing the same thing. Lots of locals to point the way... Merino can be found on Amazon, look for Goodlove brand.
It's daunting not to have to trust your GPS, but it's the way its done. The guidebook is all that you will need, it has room for writing in it, and at the end of the day, you will know your mileage... over a pilgrims meal and a glass of wine.
I'm following the line of people ahead of me... and if I fall off a cliff at the end... I'll know that they were Lemmings!
 
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MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Several things to consider:
Not sure the cell you use but with iPhone, there is not only Airplane mode but also :LOW BATTERY MODE. This shuts off extraneous services and saves battery.

Rather than a separate battery bank, have you considered an external cellphone battery / case? I have been using one for years and do not carry a battery bank because of it. Mine is made by Mophie. It effectively doubles my cellphone battery, which has been more than enough to get through the day. So, why charge two things when one will do?

Second, there is a young Irish fellow on the Camino Frances right now, Derek Cullen, who reports daily where he is, insights he receives as he goes and is using an app called Hiiker, (not misspelled). Take a look. It may be of benefit.
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I'm just going to follow everyone ahead of me.... there will be lots of us.
Hi Greg. Welcome to the forum. Just to let you know that the original poster, @peregrina2000, walks caminos where there is no one to follow and no guide books to follow either. GPS is valuable to her. She also records her trips so others can follow her and works on guides and instructions that she posts on the forum. She's a forum and camino gem.
 
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Past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
I have searched the forum and see that there are people with knowledge about power banks. If I make it to the camino in September, I plan to leave my trusty Garmin Dakota GPS behind and rely on wikiloc on my phone.

I know that to prolong the battery life when I am walking, I should switch to airplane mode, but even so, I think I am going to invest in a power bank.

On the recommendation of a tech guy at my office, I bought an Aukey power bank to use this year as I went out on long bike rides and found that my phone wouldn’t last. It works great, I think it has 3 full phone charges in it, but it weighs almost a pound.

How should I decide how small/lightweight I can safely go? Any specific recommendations?
An alternative and lighter option is a solar charger. I had one on El Norte in March 2018 and it always saved my use of offline maps last 2 hours of the day (having used low battery & airplane modes up till then). It was the size of a larger smartphone and weight was unnoticeable clipped to the outer topside of my pack it charged. It was a cheap model gifted to me by a non-hiking sister. I was sceptical but took it and was glad.
 

peregrino_tom

Member
Past OR future Camino
.
If I needed more juice on the camino I'd bring along this one that weighs 170g/6oz.
https://cpc.farnell.com/gpc-industr...PING&s_kwcid=AL!5616!3!224680288544!!!network
It's actually a pack of 4 AA batteries, each rated 2600mA. So you can take them out and use them round the house when you are not on the camino (but try and remember which device you put them in...)
It works nicely with the Goal Zero solar panel if you are in sunny places
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
For those who have a *Miniso* store near to them, I have found that their powerbanks are the least expensive with the most ports and highest mAh; I have one that cost me less than $20 CAD, has 2 ports and 10,000 mAh. Miniso reminds me of Hema... so you might check out Hema as well if you are transiting though the Bordeaux train station (which is the only Hema I know of outside the Nederlands and on the path of a pilgrim).
 
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JoEllen

Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
2019
I have searched the forum and see that there are people with knowledge about power banks. If I make it to the camino in September, I plan to leave my trusty Garmin Dakota GPS behind and rely on wikiloc on my phone.

I know that to prolong the battery life when I am walking, I should switch to airplane mode, but even so, I think I am going to invest in a power bank.

On the recommendation of a tech guy at my office, I bought an Aukey power bank to use this year as I went out on long bike rides and found that my phone wouldn’t last. It works great, I think it has 3 full phone charges in it, but it weighs almost a pound.

How should I decide how small/lightweight I can safely go? Any specific recommendations?
I have an Anker PowerCore 13000mAh and it kicks butt!! It will charge an iPhone from 25% to full very quickly, has two USB ports, last a long time before the bank needs recharging and the unit itself recharges really fast. I take it everywhere.
 

MarkyD

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
I have searched the forum and see that there are people with knowledge about power banks. If I make it to the camino in September, I plan to leave my trusty Garmin Dakota GPS behind and rely on wikiloc on my phone.

I know that to prolong the battery life when I am walking, I should switch to airplane mode, but even so, I think I am going to invest in a power bank.

On the recommendation of a tech guy at my office, I bought an Aukey power bank to use this year as I went out on long bike rides and found that my phone wouldn’t last. It works great, I think it has 3 full phone charges in it, but it weighs almost a pound.

How should I decide how small/lightweight I can safely go? Any specific recommendations?
I've used a few powerbanks over the last 10 years and I've found the RavPower brand to be good value for money. The 6700mAh model is my "in the pouch" option, but while walking I keep my phone in airplane mode 75% of the time.
I only connect to GPS if absolutely necessary and I only connect to data if I need to make an Internet booking and use phone network for reservations sometimes. A 9000mAh model would give you a bit longer charging time to get you through the day, depending on type of phone and usage, but I usually charge both phone and powerbank at any cafeteria where I stop for coffee etc. and tip them for the use of their power socket.
I've used 9000mAh and 16750mAh versions, but they are significantly larger and heavier, so I don't use them on Camino walks.
 

jerbear

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino de madrid, camino francis, camino inverino (2012, 2013,2014)
CdM, Francis, San salvador, primativo june 2015 CDM , francis, inverino 2016
Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia
As a seasoned repeat walker, I train with mine because I want to have it.If I want it I must carry it. One of the very basic rules of backpacking. Oh, I carry two! Watch, phone,headlamp,table fan, bluethooth speaker earbuds. Soon to add a 450g blender.
 
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Past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
For those who have a *Miniso* store near to them, I have found that their powerbanks are the least expensive with the most ports and highest mAh; I have one that cost me less than $20 CAD, has 2 ports and 10,000 mAh. Miniso reminds me of Hema... so you might check out Hema as well if you are transiting though the Bordeaux train station (which is the only Hema I know of outside the Nederlands and on the path of a pilgrim).
Great suggestion, here in Ottawa they have 7500 one but am I wrong to assume you’d need an EU adapter to charge this power bank ?
 
Past OR future Camino
See signature. Too many to list here.
I think this might have been mentioned before.... Just based on personal experience... power bank attached to phone while walking during the day... so phone is always topped off while trekking.... at destination while laundry etc; power bank charging in wall but phone in pocket (fully charged). Come home from gallivanting about the town for dinner, etc.. phone and brick charging from DUAL charger during night. Repeat over and over... Bank just adds a bit of safety.

I am accustomed to the anker 10k... light, reasonable power, reliable.
 
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MikeyC

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
I posted the link below in a similar thread 18 months ago.
Which is the brand name of the Consumer Association here in the UK.
If you scroll down their report to the section on power banks their advice is to avoid unknown brands on the likes of Amazon, Ebay, etc... There are serious safety concerns.
We use Verbatim which we bought in a large retail chain.

 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Great suggestion, here in Ottawa they have 7500 one but am I wrong to assume you’d need an EU adapter to charge this power bank ?
Yes, I take my EU Apple brick adapter. It has a USB port, of course, and so with that and the brick that has 2 ports, I can charge my iPad, iPhone, and watch, making the weight of the adapter quite worth it.

Generally, I charge the phone and iPad together, and then when I'm in the shower I connect my watch to the battery pack, keeping them inside my dry-sac to do so.
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I have no idea where my spouse found my stocking stuffers, but I'd suggest looking on Amazon:

They are hand-warmers as well as portable chargers, and I will take them on the Camino do Madrid in January... for sure.

Each one if 5000 mAh, and the warmer part feels very much like a "hot pocket" and can be used in that mode or not, as you wish.
 

jerbear

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino de madrid, camino francis, camino inverino (2012, 2013,2014)
CdM, Francis, San salvador, primativo june 2015 CDM , francis, inverino 2016
Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia

davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
I do not know if these points have been made up-thread, so I apologize for any repeats.

Aside from phone recharging needs, I frequently use a GoPro Hero Black series video/action camera for continuous video recording that can last anywhere from 4 to 10 hours (except for rest stops). To do this, I use a power bank, which resides in a hipbelt pocket, taking up about half of the space inside.

To that power bank, I use a 3 foot+ USB A to USB C cable. The cable runs up to my shoulder strap where the GoPro is mounted, and plugs into the charging port of the GoPro. I do leave the GoPro battery in the camera, so instead of directly powering the camera, it continuously charges the battery of the camera as the camera battery is discharged.

A few things I have learned:
  1. It is helpful to have a Power Bank which has at least 2 different sized connection ports to fit different sized connectors. This allows for different shaped connectors. In some power banks it may also allow the charging of two devices simultaneously.
  2. Connector styles are slowly evolving due to increasing usability and changing technology applications. No big deal. Currently, the most common connection ports on many power bank are USB-A and USB-C. There are also micro adapters to allow one connector type of plug on a cable to be changed to a different connector type. That means that instead of buying a new power or data cable because you need a different plug style, you can purchase an adapter as long the power or data transfer needs are compatible.
  3. There are TWO important factors to shop for in a power bank. The technologies incorporated into a power bank dramatically differ, which affects overall usability :
    • 1. How quickly it can be recharged (2 to 4 hours vs 8 to 12 hours for example).
    • 2. How quickly it can recharge a device like a phone or GPS device; this can vary in speed by up to 4 hours.
Right now, out of the various brands of quality (dependability and longevity and accuracy of quoted specifications) I use the Anker PowerCore 10000 PD Redux. It is a 10,000 mAh capacity, weighing in at 6.8 ounces / 193 gm.
 
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NadineK

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Norte/Primitivo (2015)
San Salvador (2016)
Le Puy-Cahors (2017)
Aragonés (2019)
Lots of good info already here, but I just have to chime in, given that I’m recently back from a Camino adventure on a less traveled path, and my power bank was so great to have. It’s a newer addition to my pack list and I think worth the extra weight. I have an older iPhone that doesn’t hold a charge super well, plus I took a lot of video so I’d be lucky if my phone could stay charged all day! I’d always plug the phone into the power bank when I’d stop for a rest, and probably recharge the power bank every 4 or 5 days. This is the one I use!

 

LesR

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
I have searched the forum and see that there are people with knowledge about power banks. If I make it to the camino in September, I plan to leave my trusty Garmin Dakota GPS behind and rely on wikiloc on my phone.

I know that to prolong the battery life when I am walking, I should switch to airplane mode, but even so, I think I am going to invest in a power bank.

On the recommendation of a tech guy at my office, I bought an Aukey power bank to use this year as I went out on long bike rides and found that my phone wouldn’t last. It works great, I think it has 3 full phone charges in it, but it weighs almost a pound.

How should I decide how small/lightweight I can safely go? Any specific recommendations?
My two bobs worth...

Having carried a power bank with enough nominal 4000 mAh capacity (weigh unknown but it was a couple of hundred grams) and used it only a couple of times... Probably would not carry it again.

My experience has been that the navigation function is rarely required on CF (yellow arrows are just about everywhere) except for finding the way through the larger cities to accommodation, but was more useful on CP as the coastal way was occasionally not well marked.

As you have worked out, carrying a power bank is a compromise between convenience and weight.

I was advised by my walking buddy that turning the Location Service off was an effective way to reduce power consumption - the GPS chip in the phone checks with the GPS satellites every few seconds and uses power to do so - turning it off reduces total power drain during the day. Of course one has to remember to turn Location Service back on when one gets lost and looks to the trusty phone to get back on track! And then turn it off again...

Given the near universal availability of charging points, I doubt that I would carry a power bank again, unless I were walking a less well marked camino...
 
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Sixwheeler

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2013
I have an Anker 20,000 mah power bank that I keep for emergencies but have just bought a hany 10,000 mah one from Aukey that is light enough to carry with me all the time. Beware of the small ones, I have found them most disappointing.
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I was advised by my walking buddy that turning the Location Service off was an effective way to reduce power consumption - the GPS chip checks with the GPS satellites every few seconds and uses power to do so - turning it off reduces total power drain during the day.
True. For those that don't know, the GPS radio in your smartphone does not transmit; it is a receiver only. I would also like to add that Location Service is also useful in annotating your photographs with a location in addition to a date. Even if I wasn't using the service with GPS apps on a camino I would leave the service running for photos. Here's an example of what the Google Photos app can tell you; click to enlarge the attachment.
(Santa María de Eunate):
Screenshot_20210817-181851.png
 
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Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I would also like to add that Location Service is also useful in annotating your photographs with a location in addition to a date.
There is a privacy issue though. Leaving Location Services running but not having certain other settings disabled may allow you to be tracked. Here is an example from Google Maps. It followed my last camino and other trips. (It looks like it labels places that are the extremes of N, S, E, W).
Screenshot_20210817-194242.png
 

Dawsie

Mature member
Past OR future Camino
Via De Plata (2019); Camino Del Norte (2019)
Hi all,
It sounds like some of you are suffering from a version of Battery life anxiety. I hope these comments help.

a) Although by default I am an optimist, the best bit of advice I got from this forum was "Don't take anything with you on a Camino that you aren't prepared to lose". Write your name on things to try to minimise losses. There will be occasions where you will want several hours to charge your kit, which may of necessity sometimes have to be out of your sight. So as previously suggested charge a battery pack, then later transfer that charge into your phone. Buy a light weight, low capacity power pack that you won't cry buckets if you forget and leave it somewhere or it disappears.
b) In pre-Covid times, I would use an Albergue where possible, but pay for a private room every 4 days. This provides an opportunity for decent sleep and a bit of handwashing with a radiator to dry things, but also gives a chance to securely recharge phone and power pack to 100% overnight.
c) Do not worry about occasionally losing all charge in your phone. Even on the quietest Caminos, the way marking is excellent and there are nearly always other periginos to follow, or someone else will come along soon to help you. However, one of the best experiences of walking a Camino will be when you get lost, and will ask for help from Spanish locals in your halting little bit of Spanish and score a success when you find your way back to the path with their help.
d) I have previously used a small solar panel which was on the outside of my rucksack and would trickle charge my phone during a normal walking day, but I have recently switched to using a Power bank now that they have got light enough and that cafes are more comfortable with pilgrims who want to plug chargers in to a socket for an hour or so.
e) Take a USB power supply which has two or three outputs - that way you can offer to charge someone else's unit as well. Buy a standard 5V 2A USB power supply since almost all phones and battery packs will work. Don't bother with a more sophisticated "Fast charger" which works up to 9 volt because it will often only do its fast charging trick with an expensive phone or power pack - see (a) above.
f) Phone batteries charge quickest from 10% to 50%, it takes much much longer to charge from 60% to 100%. If you have your power pack to hand, then you can be quite confident to let your phone charge to get down to 10% rather than getting all panicky if you drop below 80% charge.
g) Take your phone and power pack as hand luggage on a flight. They need enough charge to be able to demonstrate that they work to security staff.

Conclusion - assuming that your phone can be configured to allow its battery to last a day or so.
Take a small low cost, light weight power pack enough to keep your phone running for another day or two, a short and long USB cable, a standard dual 2A USB power with Euro plug.
and be brave and learn some useful Spanish phrases like "can you help, where is the camino" rather than "can I charge my phone".

Enjoy your adventure - be safe.
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Write your name on things to try to minimise losses.
Good post @Dawsie .

Perhaps also include your picture with your name. The last person leaving the albergue in the morning might carry your forgotten object and pass it to you before you even know it's missing. You could place the battery/phone down so the name and picture don't show or, on a phone, on the back but inside the protective case.

Two years ago on the Aragonese I found an iPhone near a gate. Almost certainly it was lost by a peregrino. I was able to recharge it from about 5% but the only clue to the owner's identity was that lock messages were in Catalan. There was nothing attached to the phone behind the protective case. I passed it on to a Spaniard on camino, much faster than me, going all the way to SdC and who lived in Catalonia. Calls to albergues several days in advance didn't find any Catalans or anyone mentioning a lost phone. The Spainard made it all the way to SdC without finding the owner.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Even on the quietest Caminos, the way marking is excellent and there are nearly always other periginos to follow, or someone else will come along soon to help you. However, one of the best experiences of walking a Camino will be when you get lost, and will ask for help from Spanish locals in your halting little bit of Spanish and score a success when you find your way back to the path with their help.
I appreciate the good intentions here, but I’m afraid we are talking about very different caminos. Some of the quietest caminos may have good marking, like the Invierno and the Madrid, but many do not — Geira (which I hope to walk this year, hence my questions), Ebro, parts of the Olvidado, Levante, Catalán, to name a few. On some of those routes there are kms and kms through unpopulated areas, sometimes in the mountains, sometimes in wide open vastness so there is no one to ask. On some of these caminos you can walk for days, or in fact the entire way, and never meet another peregrino/a. I walk alone and do not relish the idea of needing my GPS when my phone is dead and I am nowhere near anyone. That would definitely not be one of the “best experiences” of my camino. ;)

So please understand that what you interpret as “battery life anxiety” is actually just trying to make sure that I do not find myself in a bad situation that can easily be avoided with the purchase of a little battery pack!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
@peregrina2000
Expectations of what a camino is like are, on this forum, generally formed by experience of the Frances. My personal expectations of what a long and solitary walk is like are formed by nearly 50 of years walking alone in the Rocky Mountains. That is why I carry my emergency beacon, as well as a phone and a charger (the phone will be of no use where there is no phone service or no charge). Also, my sense of direction is poor, so I need maps, whether online or even paper, to help me find out where I am and where I am going. I agree with you that the solitary walker needs to know how to find her way, how to take care of herself and what she will need to do both. The pure joy of the walk makes this entirely worthwhile.
 
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Sheesh

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF (2009, 2013);
? (2020)
I appreciate the good intentions here, but I’m afraid we are talking about very different caminos. Some of the quietest caminos may have good marking, like the Invierno and the Madrid, but many do not — Geira (which I hope to walk this year, hence my questions), Ebro, parts of the Olvidado, Levante, Catalán, to name a few. On some of those routes there are kms and kms through unpopulated areas, sometimes in the mountains, sometimes in wide open vastness so there is no one to ask. On some of these caminos you can walk for days, or in fact the entire way, and never meet another peregrino/a. I walk alone and do not relish the idea of needing my GPS when my phone is dead and I am nowhere near anyone. That would definitely not be one of the “best experiences” of my camino.

So please understand that what you interpret as “battery life anxiety” is actually just trying to make sure that I do not find myself in a bad situation that can easily be avoided with the purchase of a little battery pack!

Of course newer members will not be cognisant of the vast wealth of knowledge and experience you bring to the table Laurie, nor may they know of the many and varied Camino roads you have walked, and subsequently documented for the benefit of others. So I just wanted to say that I appreciate your measured and kind response to these newer members; your thoughtful tone illustrates so clearly why you are a Moderator of this Forum.

I wish I could add to the discussion, but I am bit of a Luddite in these matters. In fact, my potential trek in 2022 (route tbd) will be the first on which I bring technology in the way of a cell phone with me.

The days of my seeking out a Locatorio are long past.
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
Even on the quietest Caminos, the way marking is excellent and there are nearly always other periginos to follow, or someone else will come along soon to help you
You may have good intentions, @Dawsie, but both these bolded statements are actually not true, once off the more popular routes.

My very first tentative day on a quiet camino resulted in almost 10km extra walking from getting off track, and I didn't see a fellow pilgrim for days, until I made it to the Frances. I had no functional map because of phone difficulties, and had to make do with screenshots I had taken ahead of time, 'in case.' I learned that depending on waymarking and others was only possible in that other universe, not where I was.

A functioning battery and an offline map and directional system (I use OoSMand) are essential for many of us who are walking far from the more popular routes. @peregrina2000 has been doing this for years and was one of the main inspirations for me to get off the busier routes onto more solitary ways.

So I just wanted to say that I appreciate your measured and kind response to these newer members; your thoughtful tone illustrates so clearly why you are a Moderator of this Forum.
Amen. Gracias, aniga! And for all your help and inspiration to so many us us over the years.
 

jerbear

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino de madrid, camino francis, camino inverino (2012, 2013,2014)
CdM, Francis, San salvador, primativo june 2015 CDM , francis, inverino 2016
Camino madrid, via de Plata. Santiago.
Coast of the dead malpica to muxia
I carry a paper map, compass, and prayer beads.
I am only lost, if someone find me. Lol.
Thread when out.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Perhaps also include your picture with your name.

Two years ago on the Aragonese I found an iPhone near a gate. Almost certainly it was lost by a peregrino. I was able to recharge it from about 5% but the only clue to the owner's identity was that lock messages were in Catalan.

The ‘lock screen’ of my iPhone (when I’m on Camino) shows a clear photo of me (not Henry the actual dog) holding a sign on which is written my email address and my home ‘phone number.

I don’t include my mobile number for the obvious reason that whoever is looking at the photo is holding my iPhone in their hand.
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
And although this subject has now been thoroughly discussed and dissected I’m adding my 2 cents worth as @peregrina2000 ponders which small powerbank to purchase.
I’ve recently replaced my older heavier one with a lovely lightweight 5000mah version.

My main reason for purchasing it was the small digital readout showing how much charge is remaining in the powerbank. For example it would read 100% when fully charged so you know when it’s time to remove from the wall socket.
Then when plugged in to my iPhone it shows how much of the powerbank reserve is remaining eg 72%. Very handy.

And I totally ‘get’ the issue of being on ‘lesser walked’ caminos with no other pilgrims. It’s an extra comfort to have maps.me and battery backup.
Thanks for all you do to pioneer these routes @peregrina2000.
 
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The Ghost

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I have searched the forum and see that there are people with knowledge about power banks. If I make it to the camino in September, I plan to leave my trusty Garmin Dakota GPS behind and rely on wikiloc on my phone.

I know that to prolong the battery life when I am walking, I should switch to airplane mode, but even so, I think I am going to invest in a power bank.

On the recommendation of a tech guy at my office, I bought an Aukey power bank to use this year as I went out on long bike rides and found that my phone wouldn’t last. It works great, I think it has 3 full phone charges in it, but it weighs almost a pound.

How should I decide how small/lightweight I can safely go? Any specific recommendations?
I just returned from walking the Del Norte over a 7 week period. I had a small 6k power bank and I had another 4 k with me as well. Carrying the extra one was a total waste. I actually only needed the 6k bank a couple of times just to keep my phone going and it wasn't hooked up very long before we reached our destination for that day. I have a Samsung s10 and it not too bad on power usage. I didn't have a service provider while on the walk so I only really used my phone with my "alltrails" app to help with navigation. Sometimes I was also using my Buen Camino app also. My settings were, wifi off and I was in airplane mode. And of course I was also taking pictures with my phone.
 

David Hobson

Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
I have searched the forum and see that there are people with knowledge about power banks. If I make it to the camino in September, I plan to leave my trusty Garmin Dakota GPS behind and rely on wikiloc on my phone.

I know that to prolong the battery life when I am walking, I should switch to airplane mode, but even so, I think I am going to invest in a power bank.

On the recommendation of a tech guy at my office, I bought an Aukey power bank to use this year as I went out on long bike rides and found that my phone wouldn’t last. It works great, I think it has 3 full phone charges in it, but it weighs almost a pound.

How should I decide how small/lightweight I can safely go? Any specific recommendations?
If you use Maps.me it doesn't use much power. Certainly should last 2 or 3 days of phone use.
And that is a small power bank you have!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Probably you can also buy it in Chinese supermarkets in Spain.
Hd3153e2afdbd4ce2a9e52f50c6b1f142j.jpg
Just a heads up. I have been advised by several Spaniards that you should never buy chargers or any electronic things in a tienda de chinos. There is a high incidence of fake stuff, apparently, even goods bearing what looks like the official C€ mark.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Another satisfied and thankful customer reporting back. I put all your recommendations together and wound up buying a Misso 6000 mAh charger that has the little connector cords coming out of the side that tuck back in very cleverly.

I let my phone die down and then used the power bank. The phone got to 97% and the power bank still has power, so it will be plenty! Thank you so much for all your help.

Fingers crossed I get to use it in a few weeks!
 

Canche

Volcano Climber
Past OR future Camino
2016
I use a power bank with 5000 Mah, which gives me about one full charge, which is more than adequate. It weighs about four ounces.
I prefer a thin, flattish power bank because it's easier to fit in a pocket or purse while attached to the phone.
Something similar to this:

I also need a power bank but live in Guatemala and don't have time to get anything ordered. Do you think I might be able to get one in Leon? I'll be leaving for the San Salvador from there.
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
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.

Canche

Volcano Climber
Past OR future Camino
2016
Another satisfied and thankful customer reporting back. I put all your recommendations together and wound up buying a Misso 6000 mAh charger that has the little connector cords coming out of the side that tuck back in very cleverly.

I let my phone die down and then used the power bank. The phone got to 97% and the power bank still has power, so it will be plenty! Thank you so much for all your help.

Fingers crossed I get to use it in a few weeks!
Oh how I wish I could get that. I am in Guatemala and no Amazon delivery here much less in time as I leave Aug 30th. Do you think I'll be able to get anything like that in Leon?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Oh how I wish I could get that. I am in Guatemala and no Amazon delivery here much less in time as I leave Aug 30th. Do you think I'll be able to get anything like that in Leon?
Worten is a big chain, kind of like Best Buy. They have them. There is one in Madrid but not León. Media Markt is another one of those chains, and they have a León store (a long way from the center). But I’ve been unable to do a search through their catalog.

But I am virtually certain you’ll be able to get one somewhere in León. I would just ask for help in your hotel/pensión/albergue. I wonder if the phone stores (Movistar, Vodafone, etc) would sell them. Good luck, @Canche — you are almost at the one week mark!
 

Canche

Volcano Climber
Past OR future Camino
2016
Worten is a big chain, kind of like Best Buy. They have them. There is one in Madrid but not León. Media Markt is another one of those chains, and they have a León store (a long way from the center). But I’ve been unable to do a search through their catalog.

But I am virtually certain you’ll be able to get one somewhere in León. I would just ask for help in your hotel/pensión/albergue. I wonder if the phone stores (Movistar, Vodafone, etc) would sell them. Good luck, @Canche — you are almost at the one week mark!
Thanks so much. I'm sure I'll find something. Yes. Almost at the one week mark. Can't wait. So excited.
 
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A selection of Camino Jewellery

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I just thought —Corte Inglés—and got back on to see you were a few steps ahead of me.:) Of course that’s the best idea. Not far from the old town, reliable merchandise. Sometimes pricey but you can be sure about quality.
 
Past OR future Camino
2022
I use the Anker Powercore power bank 20100.
Fully charge my mobile phone 5 times.
The disadvantage is that charging the power bank takes 6 hours and it weighs 419 grams.
Charge my camera and mobile phone 3 times at the same time
Huawaei P20 Pro and a canon gx7 mark ii
 
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Come follow the vivid imagery of this life-changing adventure.
When you walk the Camino, and suddenly a pandemic appears

Dawsie

Mature member
Past OR future Camino
Via De Plata (2019); Camino Del Norte (2019)
Thanks Perigina2000 and VNwalking for tempering my optimistic recollections regarding Camino signage. Inevitably my impressions of excellent route signage will have been coloured by the strongest memories coming from the end sections of Caminos - on the approaches to SdC itself (on del Norte and Via de Plata).

I also have the luxury of mostly walking the UK South West Coast Path, which is well signposted in both directions, unlike Caminos which only point to SdC.

This forum taught me the habit of noting each Camino marker as I passed it. If I didn't see another one in 10 minutes, then my Spidery Sense starts to twitch and I start looking more carefully for the next marker. If I hadn't seen another after 15 minutes, then I would really start to get nervous. Time to look at a map or name of the next village on the list and to reflect on how attentive I had been over the past hour or so. If the area was very remote, it might be worth continuing for a bit further, but most often it was worth swallowing my pride and turning around and walking back up the trail. I would ask for help from anyone I might bump into on the way, local or pilgrim. If I got back all the way to the last marker, then it was time to re-assess my routing decisions and try again. Eating humble pie and admitting mistakes was one of the lessons I had to learn as a pilgrim.

By contrast, the first few stages of a Camino (when signage is more likely to be a little more scant) are the only bits that are worth planning in any great detail before plans inevitably change, or get changed for you.

Even as a fully paid up optimist, I still take some kind of routing information and plan on paper, perhaps with a version stored as a document on my phone which could be reprinted if needed. A simple list of the villages to be visited. Anyway what else are you likely to be doing over the Winter (or lockdown)?

I really like the idea from HenryTheDog to change phone lock screen to a mugshot.
Thanks everyone.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
There is a privacy issue though. Leaving Location Services running but not having certain other settings disabled may allow you to be tracked. Here is an example from Google Maps. It followed my last camino and other trips. (It looks like it labels places that are the extremes of N, S, E, W).
View attachment 107020
I have found that if I have forgotten where I stopped for lunch on day 12 of a Camino 5 years ago, Google can tell me exactly where, and how long I stayed there for lunch before moving on.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portugues (Oct 2015), Camino Primitivo (Apr 2019)
One thing to be aware of (that you might or might not need) is if the power bank is pass-through or not. Will you be charging it with the same cable you charge your phone (less cables but you will have to think about charging both, no need for pass-through), or will you be charging them at the same time (will need pass-through if you want to charge the other device through the power bank).

I took my 20.000mAh and heavy powerbank but it did allow me not to rely on hunting for outlets each night. I would charge my phone and gps watch from it at night if the outlets were too far or too few.
 

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