Category: Equipment

January 7, 2006

Energizer e2 AA Lithium Batteries - my choice for Kilimanjaro

Energizer e2 Lithium Battery AA As I’m taking a number of devices up Kilimanjaro that require battery power such as my GPS, Camera and Head Torch I did a bit of research to see which batteries would be the best to use in the freezing cold temperatures at the top of Kilimanjaro.

I came to the conclusion that the Energizer e2 AA Lithium Battery would be my battery of choice for the mountain. Although rechargeables was an option, on Kilimanjaro there’s not going to be a power source for performing a recharge. According to the Energizer site the properties of the e2 battery are as follows:

  • Lithium takes up to 600 pictures while leading ordinary alkaline only takes up to 90 pictures
  • Weigh 1/3 less than standard alkaline batteries
  • Performs in even the most extreme temperatures from -40 to 60 degrees C
  • 15-year shelf life

The main area you need to address on Kilimanjaro is how your batteries respond in the cold so the temperature rating on these batteries is what got my attention. I bought 10 packs of 2 (20 batteries) to take up the mountain with me, some off e-bay and the rest from the Small Battery Company.

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January 6, 2006

Nikon Coolpix 5600 Digital Camera

Nikon Coolpix 5600 Digital CameraThis is the camera I recently purchased at Jessops which I am intending to take on Kilimanjaro with me. I needed to take a camera that uses AA batteries as all my other devices like GPS and Head Torch do and I only really want to take one type of battery up with me.

Manufacturer’s description of the Nikon Coolpix 5600 Digital Camera is as follows: -

Whether you are an experienced or first-time digital camera user, you will enjoy COOLPIX 5600 as it is so easy to use. Packed with loads of versatile features designed to make it easier than ever before to take great quality images anytime and anywhere.

The unique Nikon innovative D-Lighting function adds light and detail to dark areas on your picture. It works in the playback menu after a picture is taken. Ideal to brighten dark or backlit subjects. It works instantly and it’s pc free.

Red-eyes appear often in the night portrait photos and can ruin your picture. Now your COOLPIX camera has a solution, after activating the feature, camera detects, and then corrects most common red-eye photos. It’s fast, and it’s pc free.

Packed in a compact and lightweight body, the Nikkor 3x optical zoom lens gives you the possibility to zoom in and still see the clear and crisp detail of your subject.

Try out 16 pre-programmed scene modes such as beach/snow, night portrait or museum. Find out how easy it is to use your COOLPIX even in a museum where flash photography is prohibited.

Product Features

  • Compact size and lightweight body
  • High image quality with 5.1 Effective Megapixels
  • 3x optical Zoom-Nikkor lens
  • “D-Lighting” provides a powerful in-camera solution to repair and rescure underexposed images without the need of using PC
  • In-Camera Red-Eye Fix detects and removes the red-eyes instantly and automatically
  • 16 pre-programmed Scene Modes (4 with Scene Assistance)
  • “Help” button provides straight-forward explanations of each menu function
  • Long battery life
  • Compatible with a wide range of rechargeable and disposable batteries
  • 5 Colour Options

Most of my friends know that I have Japanese tendencies when it comes to taking photographs and on Kilimanjaro I intend to be even worse since it’s the trip of a lifetime. I’ll let you know how the camera does. As a backup I’ll be taking a disposable just in case the digital doesn’t survive the extreme temperatures and conditions on the mountain. I also have an underwater analog camera which I was given at Christmas and hope to use when snorkelling on Zanzibar after the climb.

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December 23, 2005

Rab Neutrino Endurance Down Jacket - 2004/05 Model

I recently acquired this jacket as it’s one of the many layers I need for my Kilimanjaro ascent. I bought it at Outdoor Mega Store for GBP150 (RRP GBP200) and have to say I’m very impressed with it as it keeps you nice and warm. Only down side is that the hood is not detachable.

Rab Neutrino Endurance Down Jacket

The Rab site describes the Neutrino jacket as follows:

By combining Pertex Quantum (the lightest down proof fabric) with 96% pure white goose down we have produced a superlight and compressible down jacket that lofts well, packs small and will form a vital part of any ‘fast and light’ mountain system.

  • Filled with 220g of our finest quality 96% Polish goose down (750+EU 850+US fill power)
  • Stitch-through construction provides a simple yet effective method of containing the down
  • Elasticated hem provides a secure seal at the base of the jacket keeping warmth in and cold out with one handed pulls for ease of use
  • Fixed filled down hood with draw-cord closure and stiffened visor protects against heat loss
  • Two external zipped hand-warmer pockets and one inner zipped security pocket provide for all your storage requirements
  • Full-length lightweight reversible YKK zip
  • Velcro adjustable cuffs for a secure seal against the elements
  • Provided with a stuff sac
  • Weight 600g

The care section of their site also provides the following useful maintenance tips for RAB down filled products:


  • Store uncompressed out of direct sunlight in a dry, cool place.

If item becomes damp:

  • Air thoroughly
  • If unsuccessful, a short program in a tumble dryer on a ‘cool’ setting should restore the loft.

RAB down products can be home cleaned, however this is a difficult and time consuming job. Please give it careful consideration before starting.

  •  Carefully hand-wash the item in warm water (40°C) with a soap solution, NOT DETERGENT.
  • Rinse thoroughly, making sure there is no soap residue present within the product.
  • Squeeze out all excess water gently with your hands and transfer item with care to a washing machine. A delicate ‘spin’ programme is recommended.
  • If you are cleaning a box walled garment or sleeping bag, ensure that the weight of the item is supported by ‘cradling’ in a bath towel or similar. Failure to do so may result in damage to the down compartments
  • Immediate tumble drying should commence in a commercial dryer on a ‘cool’ setting. Check the item periodically and repeatedly turn inside out. The down contained within the baffling may require further manipulation in order to restore the loft.
  • Avoid the temptation to remove the item from the dryer too soon. Although the outer fabrics may feel dry and warm to the touch; down contained within the baffling can still be clumped because of moisture.
  • The drying process can take several hours. When finished it is advisable to store uncompressed in a dry, cool place. Airing should continue for two days before use.
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