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Thread: Fun Trek planning questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    201

    Smile Fun Trek planning questions

    I'm so excited, I have the air tickets and just wired the upfront money for the trek. This time I'll have the family so I get to set up four bags of gear. The planning and anticipation is almost as much fun as the trek.

    I have three questions for the group. 1. Has anyone tried the cheaper replacement batteries for digital cameras? I want to bring an extra BP-511A or two battery for my Cannon EOS and the difference in price between the name and the no-name brand is dramatic (almost three times as expensive). I can't tell if itís a case of you get what you pay for or not.

    2. Is one set of the new lithium batteries enough to power a 4 LED head lamp through a twenty day trek? I really hate to carry four extra sets of batteries around for the fun of it.

    3. How do people carry their cameras while trekking? It is a pain to take it in and out of the pack and having it bounce around the neck is no treat. Someone must have a better method.

    Thanks, Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    England
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    1,285

    Default Re: Fun Trek planning questions

    1. Has anyone tried the cheaper replacement batteries for digital cameras? I want to bring an extra BP-511A or two battery for my Cannon EOS and the difference in price between the name and the no-name brand is dramatic (almost three times as expensive). I can't tell if itís a case of you get what you pay for or not.

    >> I have four non brand Canon batteries. One is a dud but the rest have worked fine for a couple of years. I know lots of people who have bought the non-brand without any trouble.

    2. Is one set of the new lithium batteries enough to power a 4 LED head lamp through a twenty day trek? I really hate to carry four extra sets of batteries around for the fun of it.

    >> Yes easily. Most LED headtorches will last 90+ hours on one set. That is more than 4 hours per day which is more than enough. I have carried only one set many times and they have lasted the whole trip and a few months more.

    3. How do people carry their cameras while trekking? It is a pain to take it in and out of the pack and having it bounce around the neck is no treat. Someone must have a better method.

    >> I use a lowepro toploader case that has a chest harness that allows you to wear it on the front like a front worn rucksack. The camera sits in the top and the other lenses are easy to get to. Also I can keep snacks, money, my mp3 player, sunglasses etc in it so they are always handy. When I am out walking without the toploader case I carry my camera over one shoulder and under my arm. Not ideal (has been bashed while scrambling) but it is always handy. I had to put gaffa tape around the parts of the strap that attach to the camera as the constant rocking motion gradually saws through the webbing which is what happened to my old film EOS, but fortunately I managed to catch it!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    201

    Thumbs up Re: Fun Trek planning questions

    Escher,
    Thanks for sharing your battery experience (I will try the no name brand) and the lowepro Topload Zoom 2 bag sounds like just the ticket. Have you tried putting your backpack waist strap throught the belt slot on the bag to carry on your hip? From the web pictures it looks like it might be possible.
    Thanks,
    Jim

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    England
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    Default Re: Fun Trek planning questions

    I have tried doing that but it didn't really work for me. I couldn't get the bag far enough around the side on the hip belt to prevent it from banging into my thigh on every step. I also want to carry lenses and spares and have those within easy reach so I can take whatever shot I like without taking my pack off and that necessitates a bigger bag. The bigger the camera bag the more likely it is to bang into your leg if put on the hip belt. Another idea I have seen is to use a Lowepro toploader style bag (one larger than the ones that just take the SLR, it would probably work with other styles of camera bag too) and clip it onto the plastic D clips on the front of each rucksack strap over your shoulders with mini karabiners. It then positions it in pretty much the same place as the chest harness does i.e. on the front of your chest. If you want to take your pack off you can then just unclip one side. Doing this also means you can keep all your camera stuff together, useful if you want to keep it with you at all times, and means you can carry a smaller lighter pack too on your back too. The case I use has a neat rain cover that pulls out of the bottom pocket too. http://www.lowepro.com/Products/Topl...der_75_AW.aspx
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Escher

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    201

    Default Re: Fun Trek planning questions

    I like the idea of clipping the camera bag to the front harness straps of the backpack. I'm surprised that none of the bag manufacturers have marketed it. If will give it a try. Thanks for the good ideas.
    Jim

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Packington, Leicestershire
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    Default Re: Fun Trek planning questions

    For lightweight cameras I use a bag which slides onto my rucksack waist belt. I have a little clip attached to the camera case which allows me to locate the camera case in a fixed place on the waist strap. Works fairly okay but you have to remember not to drop your pack off heavily in case you bash the camera case on the ground! Not suitable for large, heavy cameras as they bash on your thigh as you walk. Margaret has a fixing on her shoulder strap to hold her camera case as this seems to work well. Mostly I walk with my camera strap round my neck and camera to hand. I put one arm through the strap to hold it in place, as I usually walk with two trekking poles. Also on difficult ground you don't want it swinging around with the risk of damage.
    **************
    * thesilvertops *
    **************

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    201

    Default Re: Fun Trek planning questions

    What type of power converter is needed for Kathmandu, Namche and the various solar set-ups in the lodges for charging camera and mp3 batteries? Can anyone recommend a US/Nepal converter? Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sydney
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    2,851

    Default Re: Fun Trek planning questions

    Quote Originally Posted by James
    What type of power converter is needed for Kathmandu, Namche and the various solar set-ups in the lodges for charging camera and mp3 batteries? Can anyone recommend a US/Nepal converter? Thanks
    First, nepal has the 220-240V setup, so you'll need a converter from the US 110v.

    Secondly Nepal has European 2-pin plugs. So have a converter which works in Europe and you'll be fine.

    Third, most lodges have power these days, some charge you some money per hour, for... charging...

    Lodges higher up (I don't know... say over 4000m altitude as a guideline, but could be lower as well) don't usually have power for you to charge. Usually the last 2 days in a trek before climaxing... and the first day back, or down, there's nowhere to charge stuff. So have at least two sets of Lithium Ion batteries and keep the spare fully charged set close to your body while walking (I dunno, poket of bra or something...) and in your sleeping bag while you sleep. You'll have a lovely time.
    yakshaver

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    201

    Default Re: Fun Trek planning questions

    Thanks Yakshaver,
    Last trip I didn't need to charge anything so I didn't pay attention to the configurations. But this trip the real energy hogs will be my kid's ipods and mp3s. I'm guessing they will be getting some pretty heavy use. Just so I'm clear, do the lodges that get the hydro power in Namche and the solar powered systems beyond Namche use the same 220-240V European 2-pin plugs as Kathmandu? While I'm no electrical engineer, I find it hard to imagine those solar systems producing anything above low voltage.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    402

    Default Re: Fun Trek planning questions

    Lodges higher up (I don't know... say over 4000m altitude as a guideline, but could be lower as well) don't usually have power for you to charge. Usually the last 2 days in a trek before climaxing...
    "climaxing" while trekking, what a concept. Myself, I am just happy to get over the top (climax or not).

    re no-name batteries: I purchased two and had no problems with them.

    We leave for KTM tomorrow night... finally! Then off to the AC.

    Landfall38 (David)

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