Cold weather causes tremendous shrinkage in the life of a battery leaving it with only 10% of its normal usage. We confirmed this during our trip to the Harbin Ice Festival 2yrs ago. Thus the livelihoods of our combined 3 cameras were at risk. ‘Isn’t there electricity in the Himalayas?’ you ask. The answer is sort of. The ‘fancier’ guesthouses have a single 15watt bulb in the common eating room that they light from 6-9pm. Outlets? Never saw one. But some entrepreneurial spirits have brought a handful of solar panels to supply tourists with their precious juice. So anyone wanting a charge could pay $5/hr. Just hope your battery recharges quickly. Even then people were only getting half charges due to questionable wiring. But that’s why we bring someone along with too much time and no sensible fear of electrical fire hazard. When John first walked off the airport bus way back in Beijing my first question to him was ‘What’s that on your back?” He looked like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle living in the Matrix. But that’s how solar panels on your back are going to change your image. Oh sure there were the common enough glares by locals and tourists alike. They spat out questions like ‘What is that?’, ‘Does it work?’, and ‘Is that what I think it is?’. And yes, it worked like a charm. Even came with a built in flashlight. We put in a request that next time he jerry rig a heater, or air conditioner as befits the environ.
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