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Old Dec 17, 2008, 10:00 AM   #21
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Location: Tumbleweed, Arizona
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Morning Shvilist,

I grew up in California, and have hiked many of the parts of the JMT and PCT in my younger day. Up the Kern river, over Sawtooth, overnighted on Mt. Whitney, did the Death Valley to Whitney, and the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim. I used my dad's 35mm Kodak (slides), which I still have today and its still in perfect condition sitting up in my office's bookcase.

In my last post I listed several web sites that gave various resupply strategies and they were on average,about 3 to 6 days and about 50 to 100 miles apart. The longest section is 10 days with a full resupply (Kennedy Medows to Mammoth Lakes), along with a lot of shorter segments of 2 to 4 days each. You indicated that your taking about 900 images per week - which I would think would be about right. A lot of the custom Li-Ion batteries average around 500 to 600 shots, and 4 batteries should do pretty good with easily 100% spare in probably 5 oz total weight, given a re-supply stop about once a week. Plug in weekly, top off the batteries and you should be good to go. There is nothing wrong with the AA route, just that it limits your basic camera selection options. On the other hand the Li-Ion are more difficult to get, especially on the road. However, taking 4 or even 5 would be more than sufficient (considering a spare with a failure), and the weight would be less than rechargeable AAs with a solar recharger. The cost between the two would probably be a push. (note - I would also take a cell phone with a provider with coverage across the trail's path. If you have a failed battery, call a vendor, order a new one on a credit card and have it delivered to you next resupply stop. The miracle of modern technology!)

I know about weight. I was 6'3" and 110# most of my life, and carried a 60# pack (on the week trips). I saved every ounce ( had to ), so would never take a fork, just a spoon and a pocket knife - used to spoon handle to spread the peanut butter. There are tricks....

I would take the best AA based camera option you could find that appeals to you. Then just look for the best overall camera regardless of battery type, and then compare the two based on feature sets along with batteries. That way you would have specific battery weights and cost. Additionally, each of the manufacturers would provide a relatively low images per charge number. Say for example the LX3 - the vendor indicates about 300 images, and in use folks have been indicating up to 660 shots. You can also get higher efficiency battery models that would provde even greater number of images each. Then determine the battery strategies for each and their weight and number of images you think each approach would provide.

Then with two selections, having the details available, I would make an informed decision. Just some suggestions....

I have a Pentax K100, that takes AAs. Rechargable go for a few hundred images. CVR3 I get an easy 700 images from (no flash).
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Old Dec 18, 2008, 9:01 AM   #22
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Sound advice, interested observer.

I took a look at the LX3 you suggested and I have to say it is a bit pricey(at least where I live) and the thought of taking one and not knowing if it would survive the trip is not such a good idea.

Weight is an issue of course, but I didn't meddle with it on my last hike. I took whatever I wanted and realized on the way what is most needed and what I can give up. On average my pack weighed around 55 lbs(which is a lot), but I managed to survive the trip(miraculously I guess) without any stress fractures and such. The reason for so much weight is due to the fact that I hiked in the summer and I also hikedsolo half of the way.

If you have any more suggestions or any other advice, they are greatly welcome.

Thanks again.

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