Battery charging in remote locations

Discussion in 'Travel' started by anne_kerr, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. How can I charge my batteries when Im out in a place like Cambodia? Should I buy multiple batteries (how many?) or some other
    gadget?

    Are solar chargers good?
     
  2. The first accessory I would buy with a new camera is a spare battery. That way you can simply swap them when you run out of juice and charge the empty one so it's ready when you need it.
    When in Cambodia, are you going to be staying somewhere where they don't have electricity? If so, then a solar charger would probably work, or a small power inverter to plug into a vehicle cigarette lighter if your going to have access to a vehicle.
     
  3. At your hotel, ask when the electricity comes on.
     
  4. Make an estimate of the number of pictures you will be taking and buy spare batteries accordingly. When travelling in remote places I bring 7 or so spare ones. (EOS 5D + BP511 batteries). Have a look at 3rd party suppliers.
    And it's 2013: you will probably find electricity in all but the most remote places.
     
  5. "Are solar chargers good?"
    They can be painfully slow and require long time placement in ideal conditions. I suggest extra thorough research before purchasing any particular model.
     
  6. My son recently trekked to from Lukla in Nepal to Everest Base Camp. Foot and yak traffic only but he had no problem charging his camera and phone anywhere.
     
  7. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    Depends on where you're staying. I 'd have thought that most hotels would have electricity at least part of the day, in which case maybe a couple of spares might do unless you're a big Live View user. Also depends on what sort of camera you have and what sort of batteries it takes. For example with a 5D its easy to say "Buy lots of spares" because 3rd party batteries work decently, if not quite as well as OEM. But a 5D11 with much more expensive batteries is a different story and whilst you'd still need a spare or two, its time to be shooting off emails to your tour operator or hotels direct to see what access to sockets you'll have and what adapter works.
     
  8. How can I charge my batteries when Im out in a place like Cambodia?​
    I think you'll find they do have electricity in Cambodia, along with automobiles, tvs, telephones etc etc. Sounds like maybe you need to buy a guide book?
    As for anywhere in the world, all you'll need is to make sure you have the right plug extension for your charger and one spare battery.
     
  9. Ther are (or were) digital cameras that run on AA batteries. Easy to pack and readily available.
     
  10. I didn't mean to imply I thought that Thailand, the Philippines, etc was so behind that they didn't have electricity or cars. Of course they do. As someone said previously, it's 2013. It's true, I haven't read on Cambodia -- or SE Asia in general, yet -- but I have heard of people taking like 10 batteries with them on long, outdoorsy trips, and I only assumed it was for a reason. If they took more than 2 or 3, I assumed it was because charging batteries, and therefore, access to electricity wasn't as easy as in other places.
    David,
    I have a Sony A390 and the batteries for it cost about $30 each (NP-FH50). Your idea of calling the hotel sounds good. Is that an uncommon thing to do? Will they think me strange?
    I know this isn't the same thing, but the only experience I've had with an adapter/converter (isn't this the same thing? Why make an adapter that doesn't convert the voltage?) was with an iron. I used the iron every day for about 2 weeks while in England. One day, I plugged it in and the iron made a weird buzzing sound. Soon after the buzzing sound, there was a funny burning smell accompanied by a little smoke. Needless to say, the iron was KO. This is what worries me the most. I don't want to fry my camera equipment on a once in a lifetime trip to Asia/the Pacific.
    Thank you for your help!
     
  11. There is no electricity in
    cambodia, as well as running
    water, nor interweb. We
    firewood and boil our water.
    And once you bring your
    electronic gadgets over the
    border, it will self implode,
    especially sony;)
     
  12. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    Well personally I'd find it difficult to buy and carry sufficient spare batteries to get me through a trip of more than a few days- but then I commonly use a lot of Live View and would need to budget on an avarage of 1.5 batteries a day. So, whilst I'd probably have maybe 3/4 batteries with me, I'd certainly need to carry a charger and find somewhere to charge batteries every couple of days or so.
    You're going to need your charger and an adapter . There's a lot of help on Google to tell you what type of plugs work in Cambodia. Try, for starters
    www.Kropla.com/electric2.htm and the Lonely Planet Travel Forum where there is a relevent thread. But paraphrasing this you'll find some places using the 2 pin flat N American plugs and others using the two pin round European plug. Some can take both. We always carry an adapter kit that covers both these options.
     
  13. "There is no electricity in cambodia, as well as running water, nor interweb. We firewood and boil our water. And once you bring your electronic gadgets over the border, it will self implode, especially sony;) "
    I had heard rumors about the Sony imploding. Thank you for the confirmation!
    I'll be sure to word my questions in forums more precisely in the future to avoid confusion over what I was talking about when I said "remote location." I obviously did not mean Phnom Penh.​
     
  14. Anne,

    Exactly where in cambodia do
    they not have electricity? Or
    "remote locations" as you put
    it. It's all a false narrative
    in your imagination. Some would even call it ignorance...
     
  15. I know this isn't the same thing, but the only experience I've had with an adapter/converter (isn't this the same thing? Why make an adapter that doesn't convert the voltage?)​
    Some electronics can handle a wide range of voltages so all you need is an adapter. Your battery charger probably falls in that category. To find out check the back of it and look under "Input" it should say something like "100-240V 50-60Hz" if so then it can handle normal household electricity pretty much everywhere in the world. If it says "110-120V 60Hz" then you might need a convertor to step down the voltage. As for other electronics, many have a small swith that lets you chose what kind of voltage they can use. So for things like hair dryers, make sure to get the kind that have the switch. That way you can get away with a cheap set of plug adapters and don't have to worry about a converter frying your electronics.
     
  16. I have been to battambang,
    pailin, siem reap, kep, kampot,
    ppenh, snookyville, poipet, prum
    etc...and nowhere had they no
    electricity...maybe kratie?
     
  17. Siegfried,
    You're awesome! Thank you! It does say "100-240V 50-60Hz."
     
  18. I carry three camera batteries wherever I go. The three batteries provide me approximately 6 days of shooting without the need to recharge. I sincerely doubt that you will be traveling anywhere where you will not have access to electricity for days. You may not have access to electricity at night - maybe, but not for days in Cambodia.
     
  19. Anne, Cambodia uses the same type of electrical sockets as the U.S. If there is a power surge, it could affect your battery charger, but it shouldn't fry your expensive equipment. I've spent several months on various occasions traveling around Cambodia, and I've never suffered any damage to electronics from charging them. I did have a cheap, aftermarket iPod charger go up in smoke in Thailand one time, but I easily found another cheap replacement at a local shop.

    " It's all a false narrative in your imagination. Some would even call it ignorance..."

    Leslie, you seem to misunderstand the purpose of this forum. Its purpose is to help people who have questions about photography issues when they travel. Ignorance is not a crime here; if everyone already knew everything, we wouldn't need the forum. The purpose of the forum is NOT to try to make yourself look knowledgeable by posting snide, mocking responses. If you want to make yourself appear knowledgeable, the acceptable way to do it is to post civil, helpful answers.
     
  20. Mobile phones are the key to communication in 'remote' countries. Remote phones need to be charged. You can even
    use them in the USA and Europe.
     
  21. I have an FM2n you can borrow if you want to be free of the worries of charging your batteries. The button battery in it has been there for 4 years and I've walked all over Cambodia and Laos. The only risk you will have is carrying a US passport. The governments there have long memories, specially Laos. You should be fine though.
     
  22. "The only risk you will have is carrying a US passport. The governments there have long memories, specially Laos."

    If you have the cash (US currency preferred!) for a tourist visa, the governments of Cambodia and Laos will happily give you one. I've gotten visas from Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam with no problem at all (though the officials at the Cambodian land crossing will typically squeeze a few extra dollars out of you, but that's an issue of corruption, not of "memory"--they do that no matter what your nationality is). The idea that most Cambodians, Laos, or Vietnamese have anything against American visitors is a false myth.
     
  23. Although this thread is already much too long I have to second Mike's response. I have traveled in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam and have never had any trouble because I was American. Just the opposite in fact, regardless of being in cities or remote areas.
    At this point I can only hope the OP is convinced that there is little to worry about and that some basic planning - extra batteries, maybe a car charger and just plain common sense will suffice for the photo equipment. Then start to appreciate what a wonderful adventure this can be.
     
  24. it

    it

    Batteries everywhere in Cambodia. Lots of electricity to charge.
    I was shooting rural stuff in Battambang last week.
     
  25. Mike,
    "Anne, Cambodia uses the same type of electrical sockets as the U.S. If there is a power surge, it could affect your battery charger, but it shouldn't fry your expensive equipment."
    Thank you reassuring me. I might be being overly-paranoid, it's just that this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, and I'm terrified of something going wrong. It would be terrible to take all my stuff across the globe and miss the opportunity of seeing such different and beautiful countries, and showing others through a lens when I get home.
    Oh, and thank you for your kind comments.
    Jeff,
    I apologize if I seem to worrisome! I have never been in a country where I would feel so out of place, where everything is so different. This makes me want to plan things more than I usually do, and that, in turn, sometimes makes me worry needlessly. I appreciate your comments though, and you have all made me feel more at ease in general.
     
  26. Most likely something will go wrong. The key to any successful journey is to accept that everything will not be perfect nor does it need to be perfect to have a wonderful experience. Go with the flow and be willing to adapt to situations. Best wishes.
     
  27. There is not a problem in Cambodia; rural or otherwise in Battery charging provided you take spares. Most electric equipment auto switches from 110v to 220v so you will not likely to get damage from the voltage. I
    I've been here running photo tours for 10 years and can say with some conviction that even where there are no mains electric batteries and or local generators are uses it never been a major problem. If you are traveling by car or 4Wd there are small inverters that pug in the the car electrics to run laptop battery chargers etc. I take one on tours but its not often needed and more likely for my laptop.
    The infrastructure is improving and some places that were difficult a few years ago are now well provided for. Let me know where you are headed and I can give specific advice.
     
  28. Hello Anne, According to this handy website, electricity in Cambodia runs at 230 volts. The site also lists the types of plugs used in different countries around the world:
    http://www.kropla.com/electric2.htm
    You'll also need a voltage converter like this one:
    http://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/Travel+Voltage+Converter/204882
     
  29. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    You'll also need a voltage converter like this one:​

    She absolutely does not need a voltage converter. Like virtually all modern battery chargers, the charger for the Sony A390 she says she is using handles 230v.
     

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