Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

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Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby tattoogoddess » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:23 pm

So I have found out I am going to roughly need 90 batteries for the week EEEP! I know there are solar battery chargers out there but can't seem to find any. Could some one post me a link for these? I have looked and most are for like charging a Iphone or what not.
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby Rice » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:52 pm

Hi tattoogoddess,

I love rechargeable batteries but tend to use disposable batteries on the playa. (Usually on-playa for about 2 weeks)

I have LED headlamps, flashlights, bike lights, tent-lights etc. Anything rechargeable out on the play is just that much more challenging.

I get about a week of use with my headlamp (at 6 hours per night).
My flashlights seem to last the two weeks.
My bike lights also last over a week.

I always assume stuff is going to die and have two sets of spare batteries per week. So I take about 25 AAA and 18 AA and usually bring over 1/2 of those batteries home.

Spending money on a headlamp that will give you 24-36 hours on one set of batteries is money well spent :)

YMMV
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby tattoogoddess » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:55 pm

This is my math I did-
AAA Batterys for head lamp (3) and flashlights( 2 flashlight 2 in each) 28 needed
AA Batterys for camera 36 needed (15 days worth,4 per day or so. I dont think I will use full set for 7 of those days)
C Batterys 36 8 needed per day for Christmas lights (2 per line and 4 lines, for markers of tent so people can see it and dont run into it at night

So yeah Im thinking charger might be cheaper?
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby Sail Man » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:42 pm

TG, I've used rechargeable batteries and they just don't last as long as the standard batteries. Plus, if the weather is bad your not going to get the full charge you need, or you leave camp forgetting to put them in the charger, or you wake up only to be eye to eye with 1000 barbies :P Myriad of things that can happen to cause you to forget putting them in the charger. Besides, they ain't cheap either. And while I love the whole idea about not throwing used batteries in the trash (not that you need to Ive seen recycling bins at wally worlds, homey despot stores among others), its just a lot easier out on the playa using reg batteries.
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby BBadger » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:02 pm

Only bother getting rechargeables for your camera, but don't bother for other stuff. Your camera will drain Alkalines too fast, which makes the NiMH batteries a better choice. However, for headlamps and such, Alkalines should work just fine. I think I replaced the batteries maybe once during the week and I was always out at night on bikes and stuff. I also brought an LED flashlight with batteries that I had been using already for a while, and I still haven't changed out the batteries.

Rechargeables are far more expensive than regular batteries, and usable solar cells are expensive as well. You probably won't get enough use out of either unless you're planning on using them a lot at home. I did recharge my camera batteries a few times.

I would buy a few cheap-ass headlamps such as this and leave them around (they're essentially the same as the name-brand ones), as well as a backup flashlight if you need a lot of light on your belt. Make sure to get blinky lights too, so you're not a darktard out there (but don't buy them until the yearly discount code is revealed).
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby tattoogoddess » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:57 pm

I have a headlamp alread and 2 led flashlights :) Man I think the batteries are going to cost me as much as my ticket at this point! lol
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby trilobyte » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:22 pm

Rechargeables cost much more and don't last as long as alkaline batteries, and solar powered rechargeables would cost significantly more still. I suspect that they'd also take you considerably longer to recharge than you may be thinking.

It sounds like you're either using really inefficient gear or you're really over-estimating your battery needs. 3 AAA's for your headlamp and then 4 more in 2 flashlights comes to 7, but you say you'll need 28 AAA batteries (4 sets). If those are LED's that's easily twice what you'll need and if not, you may want to buy more efficient gear (you'll make it back on battery savings). As a less expensive option for lighting your tent space you may want to consider a 4-pack of solar powered garden lights. Many big box and home/garden stores will have them on sale between now and then, they come ready to go out of the box. Charge by day, light at night, nothing to remember to turn on/off, no batteries to replace. High tech, eco-friendly, and probably half the cost. While you're at the big box/home and garden joint take a look at their batteries on offer. They usually have some kind of 'mega-pack' of batteries, which would let you cover all your camera's battery needs for $10-$15, less than what a single set of rechargeables would set you back and a fraction of the cost of solar.
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby Sham » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:23 pm

I rarely have to change batteries. I bring a few extra sets just in case, but I usually end up giving them away to someone who didn't bring extra batteries. As was said by BBadger, the LED bulbs use almost no power. If you have any female self gratification devices, only you can judge how many extra batteries you might need to lug with you! :shock:
Remember, if you don't use what you bring, you can always bring them home and use them there.
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby Dr. Pyro » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:26 pm

TG, if I may interject. You are suffering from Newbierosis. Overthinking and, as we are wont to do, overdoing much of this. I don't think there's a single camp within Barbie Death Village that has found it necessary to "light their camp" in the very unlikely event that some bozo might trip over a guy wire or worse. There is a lot of light there, comparatively speaking, and it just isn't necessary. You'll have to trust me on this one. In fact, might I suggest some of our fellow Barbiebarians (I'm talking to you MDF, Tamara, Mel, Graidawg, Cap'n Joe, to name just a few) chime in on this. To put it in it's proper perspective, I have two headlamps (have only needed one, the other is a backup in case I fall on my face and break it), several cameras including a Flip video, battery powered alarm clock, and I have always brought out spare batteries and have never used them. In fact, the only time the packageing ever even got opened was when I gifted several to a burner who had their batteries run their course. So you might want to, as our governor once said, "Lower your expectations." The playa will, occasionally, provide.
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby junglesmacks » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:20 pm

Dr. Pyro wrote:TG, if I may interject. You are suffering from Newbierosis. Overthinking and, as we are wont to do, overdoing much of this.



+5000


Calm the fuck down. You're not going to the moon. You're going to a giant parking lot with 57,000 people.



It's really not that big of a deal. You're WAY over thinking this entire thing and wasting a shit ton of money and stress and time in the process.
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby Rice » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:25 pm

For tent markers, I use those solar lawn lights. Up here I can find them for around $7 for a pair. They are probably cheaper in the US. I put the lights by the door of my tent and to mark my camp site. (I let them charge at home and then they are ready to go on the playa.)

I am mostly used to shopping in Canada, but have found some decent battery deals at Radioshack and Walmart (sorry for the evil store reference :) )

The only place I have ever found solar battery chargers (for AA & AAA) was online.

Hope that helps
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby Annfan » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:39 pm

Target has them from $1.00 and up.
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby Rice » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:42 pm

Dr. Pyro wrote:TG, if I may interject. You are suffering from Newbierosis. Overthinking and, as we are wont to do, overdoing much of this. {snip}
The playa will, occasionally, provide.

Doc, you are a king amongs ePlayans!!!

I really hope to make it to the Meet n Greet! (Last year I had CORE.)

I had waay to many batteries for my first burn, in fact I used them on my 2nd and 3rd burn before I ran out. The only thing that ate batteries was my cheap-ass bike light that used halogen bulbs. I have since switched to LED (which only needed 1 set of batteries).

If you had one set of spare batteries for all your lights and batteries for your camera you should be gold.

You will probably only need your lamps when you are out exploring and for that occasional 3AM rummage through your playa gear {grin}
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby tattoogoddess » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:08 pm

I don't want to be speared and bbq-ed for being a sprakle pony though :( So yeah I over plan alot. I'm sorry. Maybe my batty old mother has beat it into my head that I will die out there if I dont plan plan plan? Who knows.

I have not dealed with LED's much so I don't know how fast they suck power out of batteries. Im going to go with just one replacement set for them and the head lamp. So you really dont think I should do the 4 guy lines? Im still going to stick with one at least so I can at least find my damn tent when im sloshed (im sure I will be at some point) That string uses c's. Should I just bring one back up? they are not led but if i have led's can i some how cut the plug off and put the battery box on them? ( i know someone on here knows about this kind stuff)

Camera- It is a beast and those cheap dollar store batteries worked 5 minutes with it. I am doing video and stills on it (dont want to take my flip and my camera) What would be the best brand for this (Fuji s9000)

Thats for knocking me down a few notches. I need it.
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:20 pm

led rock!!!

http://www.buycheapr.com/us/result.jsp?ga=us7&q=newray+solar+light

Last from dusk till dawn, plus there will be a full moon this year! 8)
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby gyre » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:29 pm

The most light you usually need is 3 watts.
If you can get a headlamp using AAs, much better.
A 1 watt with 4 AAs will last a long time.
Newer LEDs are way more efficient than older.
Dimmable headlamps may last longer, though few are properly dimmed.

3 AAA in a 3 watt will last you 3 days to a week in a 3 watt with alkaline.
Longer with ultras.
The disposable lithiums have virtually a flat voltage curve, so very useful in a headlamp.

Just worry about the camera.
For nimh, get a smart charger if you can, bring your own breakout and find someone with a generator.
Chip in on their costs.

A fluorescent is nice for more light.
You can get a nice lantern for about $25 (18 watts) or get more serious.

http://store.sundancesolar.com/solbatchar.html
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby gyre » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:31 pm

LED strings?
Maybe.

Just buy a battery string, and put a D pack on it.

For tents, marking with reflective tape works.
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby BBadger » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:46 pm

tattoogoddess wrote:I don't want to be speared and bbq-ed for being a sprakle pony though :( So yeah I over plan alot. I'm sorry. Maybe my batty old mother has beat it into my head that I will die out there if I dont plan plan plan? Who knows.


The people who don't bring lights are darktards not sparkleponies. Sparkleponies... they bring a bunch of costumes, maybe a bike, but nothing to live off of. They don't even have a clue that they haven't brought enough.

I have not dealed with LED's much so I don't know how fast they suck power out of batteries.


Try using your headlamp for a while and see how it performs. I think I still have batteries from last BM in the headlamp that I use during soldering stuff.

Im going to go with just one replacement set for them and the head lamp. So you really dont think I should do the 4 guy lines?


For guy lines, you just need enough so people don't impale themselves. For that, buy some cheap-ass LED sticks from a place like ExtremeGlow (again, don't buy until the sale) and replace the batteries each night with those cheapo button cells from Amazon.com. They blink, so they last all night. If you're feeling especially inventive, you can wire them up with AA batteries instead and they'll probably last the whole week if you turn them off in the day. You'll need some LED sticks anyway so you aren't a darktard, and the minimum purchase from that site is $25, so you might as well throw some in.

Im still going to stick with one at least so I can at least find my damn tent when im sloshed (im sure I will be at some point) That string uses c's. Should I just bring one back up? they are not led but if i have led's can i some how cut the plug off and put the battery box on them? ( i know someone on here knows about this kind stuff)


Don't bring them if they're not LED Christmas lights (i.e. they're incandescent lights). Incandescent lights just waste energy and your batteries. You'll end up spending more on the batteries than buying something else. I wouldn't even use that much static light unless you really want a highly decorated tent that you probably won't even visit except at 4AM--if then. Just keep the flashlight on your body. It's more useful than some lights on your tent, and you can use it when going to the portapotties anyway. Most camps are decently lit anyway.

Camera- It is a beast and those cheap dollar store batteries worked 5 minutes with it. I am doing video and stills on it (dont want to take my flip and my camera) What would be the best brand for this (Fuji s9000)


If you're bringing disposables, get those Lithium disposable batteries. They cost more, but aren't like alkaline batteries which will get eaten for lunch. You may consider buying some rechargeable NiMH batteries for your camera anyway if you ever plan on using it outside BM. Your camp will probably have some power to charge them, and in my experience a charged set lasts about 300 photos if you don't use your flash--which you probably won't.
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby tattoogoddess » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:24 pm

I have one set of solar LED's that I am going to use on my bike along with these little led sticks that screw onto your air thingy on your bike. They light up only when the bike is moving ( I use them now and rock)

I have a set off Blue LED Christmas lights but they are plug in. I have 4 strings of normal lights with 2 c's battery packs on them. Can I chop it off and soder it to the LED strand? Like I said I don't get it.
I have 2 orange ones in the set of 4 that look like this but are solid and the box is a little bit differat. How do you tell if they are LED's? This pic is LED and say "Runs approximately 72 hours on a set of batteries"
Image

My head lamp is a Rayovac SPHLTLED-B Sportsman LED Headlight. It is my sisters she used in Belize. I just looked it up and it said 200 hours?
"Two red led?s in this Sportsman headlight gives improved night vision and one white led for close up use and a long range krypton for distance
This headlight has a battery life up to 200 hours when used on led setting
Beam brightness, 2900 peak beam candlepower"
So looks like I should be ok at night for sure with one set of batteries?


I do have 2 LED sticks. Yay for Halloween clearance! They are the life gear ones.
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby gyre » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:48 pm

If the LED is bright enough, you're fine.
You need at least a 1 watt for bike riding, in my opinion.
Don't even bother with the incandescent lamp.

Some ac strings can be converted for dc, but it usually involves cutting up and rewiring.
Some are very easy to do.
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby BBadger » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:28 am

tattoogoddess wrote:I have one set of solar LED's that I am going to use on my bike along with these little led sticks that screw onto your air thingy on your bike. They light up only when the bike is moving ( I use them now and rock)


You'll want them to be lit all the time, not just while you're moving, and even when you're not there so that when you wander back to your bike you can find it.

And solar... don't use solar lights. They don't last very long and they're expensive and finicky.

I have a set off Blue LED Christmas lights but they are plug in. I have 4 strings of normal lights with 2 c's battery packs on them. Can I chop it off and soder it to the LED strand? Like I said I don't get it.
I have 2 orange ones in the set of 4 that look like this but are solid and the box is a little bit differat. How do you tell if they are LED's? This pic is LED and say "Runs approximately 72 hours on a set of batteries"


For the Christmas lights, honestly, just ditch them. You don't need them. I brought some LED AA-battery Christmas lights the first year. They were cute at first, but quickly got tossed aside because they weren't needed. Your thinking is probably that you can make your tent easier to see, and/or make the camp look better. Well, it's rarely the case. Your camp will be in one of two states: brightly lit, or extremely dark. In the former case, your Christmas lights don't add anything; in the latter, you're not even in camp, and that's why it's dark. You have your headlamp; don't bother with Christmas lights. It's just another disused thing to haul back home.

My head lamp is a Rayovac SPHLTLED-B Sportsman LED Headlight. It is my sisters she used in Belize. I just looked it up and it said 200 hours?
"Two red led?s in this Sportsman headlight gives improved night vision and one white led for close up use and a long range krypton for distance
This headlight has a battery life up to 200 hours when used on led setting
Beam brightness, 2900 peak beam candlepower"
So looks like I should be ok at night for sure with one set of batteries?


The rated "200 hours" is only for the annoying, blinking red LEDs that do not illuminate much and will be no use other than to not be a darktard. They don't last quite that long on the other batteries, and I've found that model of headlamp too bright and unnecessary. It's more like a bike light than a headlamp.

I'd leave your sister's headlamp at home, and get some cheap crappy LED headlamp. You don't want to bring something you're going to worry about breaking, ruining, or losing. What more, you don't need fancy features like krypton bulbs for long distance viewing. You'll need the most light when you're in the deep playa, and even then you'll only need to illuminate about 5-10ft in front of you. It's very bright and flat, and you're not going to get lost. Your head lights are just so you don't trip or run over things, and so you can see what you're doing when you're taking a shit.

Hell, I'd concentrate on buying lights so that people can see you, not the other way around. It's very bright and busy out there. Spend your time and money on making your bike and yourself easily identifiable so when you get detached from whomever you're following they can wait for you to catch up.

I do have 2 LED sticks. Yay for Halloween clearance! They are the life gear ones.


You'll want more than that: some for your bike, some for both sides of your body (front and back), lighting up tents, other people, etc. They're like a buck each, and they break too, so you'll want spares.
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby tattoogoddess » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:41 am

"blinking red LEDs that do not illuminate much"
They are solid red. They dont blink or I have never found a function on there that makes them.

It is not a big deal if I lose the head lamp. I do have 5 back up led book lamps I can use.

The solar light string. I have been using it everyday sense chistmas works like a champ! So idk I have not had any issues at all with it. It has those big bulbs on it. So really good lighting and turns on I would say 7 or 8pm and it is still on right now at a quarter till 3.

Guy lines,tent- Me drunk... yep. Not a great thing. I tend to kinda forget what place is mine if im really drunk. I argued with my bf at the time on my 21st about where i lived. He took me home and I yelled at him saying it was not my house. I did this for a good 5 min untill he pulled me out of the car... I was upside down in the front seat. I don't drink much now haha.



Thats kinda why I need something to make my tent stand out. Im not a drunk idiot but my brain is not on all cylinders while intoxicated. As doc said the camp will be lit so im good but need to "mark" my tent or someone is going to have a late night soup spoon they didnt ask for. ;)

Also where are you finding those life gear sticks for a buck!?
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby AntiM » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:40 am

I have several of the battery Christmas lights. I wear them. Just throw them around my head or hat or down my back with the battery pack in my pocket. They light up a porto potty nicely without fumbling with my headlamp or flashlight. I also have a string or two on my camelbak at night. Or hang them on my bike.

Sometimes I just think they're pretty.
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby tattoogoddess » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:25 am

Also a good idea. Never thought about that. I cant afford el wire so good option!
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby Drawingablank » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:04 am

In 2011 all our gear (all LED including head lamps, flashlights, and bike lights) seemed to take AAA's except the camera and one strand of EL wire I had which was AA.

Being birgins and not knowing what to expect, we brought 100 AAA's and 24 AA alkalines for 3 of us.

I still have 94 of the AAA's and many of the AA's. We did not need to change a battery all week and returned home with the packages unopened.

For illuminating the camp we used cheap solar walkway lights from the depot - $4 each.

If you want to try EL wire on a budget, Bikeglow (listed in the BM resource guide) offers a 10 foot length with battery pack ready to go so no soldering needed. As the burn approaches they usually offer this at a discount to burners (last year was $15 including shipping). http://www.burningman.com/preparation/r ... tml#lights Of course just because it is called Bikeglow, that doesn't mean you can't use it for other things.
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby ultratang7 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:28 pm

Did someone say Crisco-Twister???
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby MyDearFriend » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:49 am

(((TTG))), seriously, a few solar path lights will safety-fy your tent. For marking it and making it easy to get into at night, you want a short string of solar powered xmas lights (20 or 30 LED string). Yes they work, they come on at dark and stay on until dawn, so, you can set & forget em. Completely automatic & drunk-proof. Those things give plenty of light inside your tent to change clothes or get into bed. 8)

Your bike wants a string of battery-operated LED xmas lights, and if you leave them on blink mode your batteries will last a good while. This is also better than a head lamp, when wrapped around your body or fastened to a scarf at night; you will not be reading books or changing tires out there, so, no need to blind people when you talk to them. A simple LED flashlight on your belt will light your steps, and the JOTS. A head light for your bike will help keep you from running over darktard bikes left randomly on the playa; that's the only proper light you really need.

Bring ONE big pack of AA and ditto AAA. If you run out, come ask... people are happy to unload that heavy stuff they don't need!
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby tattoogoddess » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:52 am

MyDearFriend wrote: come ask... people are happy to unload that heavy stuff they don't need!


So lots of people are single by the end of the week ;) ha ha bad joke.
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:53 am

To regress for a bit, you may not even take many pictures out there. When life is that in the moment, photography just doesn't occur to many of us.
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Re: Solar charger for AA,AAA,C's?

Postby Rice » Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:46 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:To regress for a bit, you may not even take many pictures out there. When life is that in the moment, photography just doesn't occur to many of us.

Too true!

Did not even bother with a camera my first two burns.

Then I picked up one of those water-proof, shock-proof point-n-click cameras with a built in rechargeable battery pack (which has never gone dead while I am on-playa). This baby is small enough to fit in the front pocket of my shorts, anything that involved more work would honestly be left in my car.

Took 15 pictures my 3rd burn. and about 150 pictures on the 6000Km drive to/from the burn.

My 4th burn I took about 70 pics, but mostly during my volunteer shifts.

About double that on my 5th burn - again, mostly during shifts.

I have found that there are so many professional pictures of the cool art, that my taking a pic is kind of unnecessary. I do, however, have pics of the cool ppl I have met and stuff that I only see on-shift...

YMMV
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