Climbing the mountaintops and ridges of the Frank Church Wilderness with my 14-year-old son and 4 other boys last week was an unforgettable experience. Last week we ventured off trail across incredible mountain scapes in an attempt to complete the 52-mile Big Baldy-Indian Creek Loop in 5 days.
While we ended up having to come out a day early due to some of our group getting serious altitude sickness, it was an INCREDIBLE experience. We are planning a second attempt next year.
On my trip, I decided to bring my iPhone to capture photos. No, I wasn’t thinking I’d have connectivity and check emails late at night. I was on an adventure and intended to capture every moment on the iPhone’s camera. So I decided to pack a lightweight
USB + AA solar charger from PowerFilm Solar to keep my iPhone fully charged.
Here are my findings:
- Time to charge the 2 AA rechargeable batteries: about 2 hours
- Time to fully charge my battery from 50%: 2 hours
- Charging my iPhone worked better if I charged the batteries at the same time.
- Folded up very nicely for easy storage
- 2 grommets made it easy to attach the unfolded solar charger to my back backpac
- Ideal for light charging.
- Flashing indicator light sometimes was difficult to see in direct sunlight
- As you would expect, direct sunlight was optimal for charging. Diffused or indirect sunlight didn’t work nearly as well. Fortunately we had a lot of sun.
- I found charging my iPhone everyday with the PowerFilm Solar ideal. One of my hiking companions let his iPhone battery drop to 17% capacity. We charged the application for half a day a recharged the battery to 84%.
- I switched my iPhone to Airplane Mode and shut off all unused applications. This significantly helped reduce the drain on my battery.
All in all I’d give the PowerFilm Solar a thumbs up. Yes it was a little slower than I’d prefer to charge the iPhone from lower battery status. But for continuous light charging it was a great option.
PowerFilm Solar Specs:
- Solar operating voltage: 3.6V
- Solar operating amps: .4A
- Weight w/o batteries: 4.9 ounces
- Folded dimensions: 3.24 x 5.55 x 1.38 inches (83 x 140 x 35 millimeters)
- Unfolded dimensions: 24 x 5.5 inches (620 x 140 millimeters)
- USB Charging Voltage: 5.0V
- USB Charging Current (Amps): up to 1.0A
Information about Frank Church Wilderness Baldy Creek Trail – http://www.ultimateidaho.com/sec3/extras/frankchurch.html
Jody Sedrick – Zenware