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Electric kit on-the-go

July 21, 2016 — BarryK
I have rationalized my electrical and electronic kit down to a very small number of items, and very light.

I have need of telephone, Internet access, GPS, read ebooks, and take photos, all provided by my mobile phone. I also wish to listen to music and news, either streamed from the Internet or by FM radio, and my mobile phone does both -- the latter requires ear pieces as the cable acts as the FM antenna.

I have need of light, for which I have two options, either my mobile phone, or a tiny rechargeable torch that I bought from
Note, I sewed a ribbon onto the torch, so it becomes an extremely light-weight head-lamp.

Optionally, depending on where I go, or in an emergency, I need some means of sterilizing water. I could boil it, but currently I am trying a Steripen, the Freedom model, with rechargeable battery.

So, phone, torch and Steripen, each with rechargeable battery, via micro-USB socket.
If I have mains access, I have a small power-adaptor. If not, I have a solar panel. Also, a short USB cable.

Here it all is:

This configuration is so flexible, and so light. Actually, the phone in the picture is not the one I normally use, as I took the photo with that. My everyday phone is a bit bigger, with 5.5 inch screen. Here are the weights:

My 5.5 inch phone: 171g
Torch, with ribbon: 18g
Ear pieces: 14g
Power-adaptor, plus USB cable: 43g
Steripen, with soft case: 98g
Solar panel: 92g

That is a total of 436g. Without the Steripen, it is only 338g.

The solar panel is not intended to be used on the outside of the backpack while walking, instead only used when stationary. I have explained why, and reviewed the panel here:

I have reservations about the Steripen, as it does not sterilize above the water-line. So water droplets on the inside and outside of the container will not be sterilized -- seems to me that you are gambling each time you use it. Though, if you are careful, the odds are pretty much in your favour.

Here is the manufacturer's page on the Freedom model:

I bought my Steripen from Travel Universe here in Australia, as it was far cheaper than any other Australian retailer (AU$139):

This is the USB-rechargeable torch that I purchased from Deal Extreme:

If you are curious about what phone I use, it is a Mlais M52:

...not the latest out there, but I love it. It has a 5.5 inch screen, but probably the next phone I buy will have a bigger screen, perhaps up to 6 inches. The bigger screen real-estate is good for browsing the Internet, reading ebooks, and, well, for everything.

Tags: light