Over the last few months, we have seen some good proactive considerations of how to power devices, (as well as the decision by some participants to not use any powered devices, i.e. those happy with the paper map alone).
In the mix are; replacement batteries, replacement or back-up devices, piggy-back batteries and solar powered charging. As promised, our Race Director, Gary Tompsett, has been trialling a solar charger. He reports:
"The Portapow 11W charger has successfully charged both my iPhone and piggy-back battery charger from winter sun. It can take 3-4 hours for a full charge, and is best completed when all equipment is static. I have yet to test with this solar charger fitted to the back of a rucksack. I think that this would be slightly unwieldy and less effective during a run than an expeditionary trek".
It might be possible to complete some charging in the evenings, but for slower runners and despite long days of summer, there is unlikely to be enough evening sun to rely on the solar charger entirely. Replacement batteries, piggy-back charging sources and replacement devices would be more robust, and these can be applied to charge alike GPS Devices, and smart phones - though the latter needs to be well waterproof(ed) and both are often best stored in bespoke pouches to complete the robust reality.
We will have a receptacle for spent batteries during the event, and will take these to a recycling centre in due course.
We know that some runners are happy with map-use alone, and some of these runners have also explained how they will supplement this with an altimeter watch. The Harvey's event map will have altitudes marked as both spot and contour heights. Altimeter (non-GPS-but-might-also-include-a-compass) watches and altimeter-only devices use very little battery power and the Casio Pro Trek wristwatch range are powered by the sun and ambient light. Gary has never needed to change the battery on his Pro Trek in ten years!
- For further information see the Equipment section in Frequently Asked Questions
- For active participants to the May 2016 race only we would encourage discussion on this in the closed Cape Wrath Ultra Participants Facebook group