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A guy I met at Moore Creek mentioned he was going to do some "arduous backpacking" looking for gold. It has been my goal to hit remote areas with the SDC 2300 so I asked if he could use a partner. It has been many years since I have lived out of a backpack for days on end, so this will be a good chance to tune my outfit. Got my little tent, sleeping bag, pad, food, emergency gear, SDC 2300, and related prospecting gear into a 45 lb pack. Not a lot of places to save weight there. Could leave the tent and go with my bivvy bag but no reason to go that hardcore on this trip since we are establishing a base camp then working out of it. A tent works better for that. The SDC is critical to keeping things manageable, not so much for the weight but in being nice and compact. My GPX 5000 with batteries and harness would pretty much fill my pack with no room for anything else.

Anyway, I managed to stay in touch daily while in Alaska, but will probably be offline for this trip. There is almost never any need on this forum to take administrative actions, but by chance I did have to knock one of those guys trying to sell gold and diamonds off the classifieds a couple days ago. So I have made Chris Ralph a forum moderator, just in case anything really egregious occurs. Chris will be out doing his own prospecting but will be able to check in periodically from where he is.

Other than that, good luck to anyone else who is out and about. I will report back next week. We head out this afternoon.

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Good luck to you Chris and thanks for keeping an eye on the forum. The IP Board spam blocking is superb and the members the best so I expect no issues.

Thanks moxford.

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Steve, before you go what is your plan as far as batteries for your SDC 2300 on this backpack trip?


Yesterday, I was thinking I should ask you how long it takes to recharge your new detector batteries in the back country, using the solar panel by itself, as I am still thinking about buying one.  I wouldn't think you would take a lot of throw away batteries with you in this instance, as you would still have to carry them in and out, which wouldn't be good.


I think you would have to have at least two sets of rechargeables, maybe three sets along, using one set for say 1/2 day, putting it on the panel recharger, so the recharge time would not be so long.

It will be interesting to learn how you will manage this aspect.


Best of luck in any case!  Hope you are packing your horsehair lariat to put around your sleeping bag, to keep the rattlesnakes away at night...   :lol:


I know Chris will manage things well here. I understand he is a hard task master and won't allow any funny business...



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Good luck! You must be married to an Angel!!! :)


I am!

Gary, my solar panel charges a set of batteries in 3-4 hours. However, we pack in one day, hunt 3 days for sure, maybe a fourth. So I have three sets of fully charged batteries with me, each set good for a day unless I go long, which is possible. So I have two more sets of alkalines just in case. Two sets weigh less than the panel and charger so there you go. Packing out what I pack in is not an issue, anything I can pack in I can pack out.

In theory all I need is the solar panel with charger and two sets of batteries, since the panel charges the batteries in half the time it takes to use them. Just put fresh set in detector in morning and leave other set to charge, and swap whenever. This trip was right at the tipping point - any longer and I would have went solar. But as is I think just batteries will be fine. I will know in a few days!

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As always, your answers are well thought out and complete!


Apparently, your 20 watt panel is about the right size for the job at hand with respect to the four "c" cell batteries you need to recharge.  I believe Goal Zero's next smaller foldable panel is 13 watts, I am not sure, however, if it would struggle with the four 5000 mAh 1.2v batteries or not. 


Maybe someone with some portable/foldable solar knowledge might be able to chime in on this.  I am ready to spend the $ for a solar setup like yours, but not so flush with those $ that I wish to spend more of it than I need to.  I have plenty of "extra" stuff  sitting on shelves, that I have spent money on, and not been able to use.


When I used Doc's Pocket Rocket batteries for my Minelab GP's, I had an extra set to use after detecting for about one half day, put on my car charger, the second set would last me the rest of the day easily, then in the evening I would charge the second set.


The idea was, however long you detected was about the length of time it would take for the batteries to recharge.  It was a good system, was field rechargeable with 12v., in the truck receptacle or r.v., or could be recharged at home with the same 12v male plug, along with a Radio Shack 110v. transformer, which are relatively inexpensive, while pretty robust and durable.


Thanks very much!




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