Lightweight Touring – Chargers Apart

We make every effort to tour light.  We each carry two panniers and a bar bag. I have a saddle bag for bike-related bits (tools and spares) and our wet weather gear.  We start each trip with 4.5 kilos in each pannier.  They tend to lose weight over the weeks as consumables get used up and older stuff gets discarded.

However, we seem to carry a ridiculous number of chargers. At a rough count we have different chargers for: two cameras; two phones; two iPads (we have different versions of each); one for our bike coms system and one for our Garmins.  In addition, we carry one three-way UK extension lead with a euro-plug converter – an excellent idea that helps manage the nightly cue for charging in hotels that only offer one socket.

Every trip away I think I ought to be able to do better, but somehow it never happens.  Any idea how I might improve things? Don’t suggest leaving the electronic gear at home please – that’s a non-starter!

 

10 thoughts on “Lightweight Touring – Chargers Apart

  1. Hi, I did a 6 week tour of France and Spain and used one of these:
    PortaPow Crystal 4.2A USB Universal Charger
    Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00IM8G3LM
    It takes either a UK or EU ‘shotgun’ cable adapter, which are only a couple of pounds on ebay.

    I also found this solar charger strapped across the rear carrier pretty good, mainly to trickle charge a battery via one of it’s 2 USB’s, which I could then use later in the day to top up phone etc while camping.
    Solar by PortaPow
    Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B012DBPZ8U
    Good luck with the tour and enjoying the updates! 🙂

    1. Hi, I did a 6 week tour of France and Spain and used one of these:
      PortaPow Crystal 4.2A USB Universal Charger
      Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00IM8G3LM

      It takes either a UK or EU ‘shotgun’ cable adapter, which are only a couple of pounds on ebay.

      I also found this solar charger strapped across the rear carrier pretty good, mainly to trickle charge a battery via one of it’s 2 USB’s, which I could then use later in the day to top up phone etc while camping.
      Solar by PortaPow
      Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B012DBPZ8U
      Good luck with the tour and enjoying the updates! 🙂

      PS; I bought the 3-panel 15W version Solar.

      1. Cheers, and thanks for these suggestions, I’ll check them out once we get home. I kinda wish I’d gone for front wheel hub dynamos when we bought our bikes, but the extra expense scared me off at the time.

  2. I can understand the need for electronic gear. Is there any electronic equipment to deter dogs that like to attack my heel on the down pedal. I had this dog chase me this morning. I tried to out pedal the dog. That was difficult as it was attacking my foot I kept lifting my foot off the pedal to avoid its bite. So that slowed me down. Finally, its master called for him and he retreated. What do you do in that situation?

    1. We are chased by Portuguese dogs on a regular basis, but we have yet to be attacked by them. I have heard of sonic devices that frighten off dogs with high frequency sounds that deter them from attack, but which the human ear can’t detect. I have also heard that the best thing to do is to dismount on the side of the bike away from the dog. Presumably before they have hold of your ankle. Then edge way from them. I hope we never have to put these ideas to the test!

  3. Most of the cables for those devices plug into a USB port. You could take just one or two chargers – ones that have the USB port on the side like the one in your pic – and then have only the cables themselves which are smaller. This would mean you couldn’t plug them all in at the same time but you shouldn’t need to do that anyway.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion Rachel and I had wondered about that as a solution, but worried that although they were all USB they might have slightly different, but important power ratings. The Apple examples are different certainly as they have the amp rating printed on them, but maybe the differences are insignificant. Certainly the Sena headsets and mikes came with just a cable and I bought a cheap EBay charger/plug for them and it has worked faultlessly and is pretty neat and small. In passing these bike to bike com units are the devices we would give up last: they work great over quite long distances and conversing naturally as we ride transforms the experience – for us at least. I’ll have another look at this once we get home, based on your suggestion, thankyou.

  4. Christian sent this very interesting comment, but somehow WordPress and or I lost it in the approval process, or at least it does not appear on the site. Here’s a cut and paste copy. Sorry about this Christian. Norman

    Hi, I did a 6 week tour of France and Spain and used one of these:
    PortaPow Crystal 4.2A USB Universal Charger
    Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00IM8G3LM

    It takes either a UK or EU ‘shotgun’ cable adapter, which are only a couple of pounds on ebay.

    I also found this solar charger strapped across the rear carrier pretty good, mainly to trickle charge a battery via one of it’s 2 USB’s, which I could then use later in the day to top up phone etc while camping.
    Solar by PortaPow
    Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B012DBPZ8U
    Good luck with the tour and enjoying the updates! 🙂

    PS; I bought the 3-panel 15W version Solar.

    Christian’s site is at ultragal.wordpress.com

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