Friday, January 24, 2020

A Texan in Tibet - Electronics & Power

Travelers from decades ago would probably laugh at travelers today and our dependence on our electronic devices.  The truth is, I can't go anywhere without my phone and like most people, I rarely use it to actually talk.  For better or worse, ours is a connected world and until the metal braincap is available (in the year 2025, according to Arthur C. Clarke), humans will continue to carry a handful of devices.  On this trip, I will carry my phone, my GPS watch, my two-way GPS communicator, my GoPro cameras, Bluetooth headphones, and a tablet or notebook with adequate storage to offload my videos and images as I travel.  All of these devices need to be charged.

International travel adds its own degree of complexity, partially because of the differing AC power outlet standards.  USB charging ports are becoming common in public spaces in the US; not so much overseas and especially in third world countries.  Even in the US, charging current from most public USB ports is so minimal that many devices barely charge at all.  I did a little research on electric outlets in Qatar, Nepal, and Tibet and have determined that I will need five different AC plug adapters in order to keep my electronics charged. My compact multi-port USB/AC adapter works on 50/60Hz 110-240V, so all I have to do is connect the right AC adapter, plug it into the local AC power, and I can simultaneously charge my own devices and still have ports to share with other travelers.  I've read electricity may not be available in my quarters at some of my sleep stops.  I will bring along a high capacity Anker battery bank that should hold me over for those nights.  That is, as long as I can keep it charged.