I’m charged up

I’m not going to run out of battery power in Afghanistan.  I may wear down and be wiped out but my video camera will have the juice it needs to keep on recording.

Today I charged all 7 JVC data batteries I’m bringing with me.  Annoyingly the dual-cradle charger I bought doesn’t fully charge batteries; the batteries never gain a charge greater than 60% of max; so I’ll be leaving it at home.  Instead I’ll just use a single-cradle charger and the camera to charge up.  I’ll be able to charge two batteries when I go to bed; I’ll set an alarm so I can wake up and charge a couple of more. I can wake up early enough to charge before breakfast, too.

Each battery will give me around 2 hours of record time; on a day of heavy shooting I would imagine I’d have the camera powered up for 8 hours, maybe 10, of that time I’d be recording 3, at the most 4 hours of footage.  If I taper my shooting I bet I’d have enough battery power to go a day without charging.  Rumor has it I’ll be sleeping indoors each night, indoor accommodations most-typically means access to electricity so battery-wise all should be good-to-go.


For entertainment I'm bringing an iPod; it's already loaded with books and music. The large headphones will be used when I'm able to shoot video without wearing the Kevlar.

Yesterday I packed.  Today I left the bags untouched.  Tomorrow I’ll pack again. My big coup was being able to fit my sleeping bag inside my pack (not having to attached to the outside) and still have plenty of room for the: 4 pairs of socks and underwear, one long-sleeved shirt, two short-sleeved shirts, one pair of pants, track suit pants, towel, shorts, Crocs, camera accessories and small digi camera.  Even though I flippantly boasted in an earlier post that I would forgo the digi camera in lieu of another pair of underwear I’ve been persuaded to bring it…it’s small, easy to use, and unassuming.  I’m talking about the camera, not the skivvies. The camera could come in handy, and because an extra pair of grunders could too I still may stash another pair of underwear in there somewhere.

I have received a lot of great advice from fellow travelers and bloggers about what I should and shouldn’t bring. Without this advice my back would be hurtin’ for certain as I humped extra pounds of gear I wouldn’t end up needing through airports and military bases. If you were one of the folks who preached minimalism, ‘thank you’.