25 January 2012

Spot Tracker Batteries & water carrying capacity

Just a wee note to let you all know that you'll need a couple of lithium AA or AAA batteries for the SPOT trackers. Anything less than a lithium battery will run flat before half-way (and possibly let you down when you need it most). We know from experience that a fresh pair of lithium batteries (like Energiser Lithiums) will last the full 8 days (if you turn the tracker off at night).

If you're not careful, lithium batteries can be bloody expensive. You still have time for a little shopping around. Your local hardware store or Warehouse might have a pair of Energiser Lithium AAs for $10-$20. See Pat's comment below for an indication of which type of battery you'll need.

Another query you might want to consider now is 'How much water will I need to carry?'. I think 4-5 litres is a good minimum. You'll need to drink a lot more before Hanmer if you plan to camp out on day one - purification tablets or a billy & cooker are required. There is some reasonably nice looking water at just one location that I'm aware of between Blenheim and Hanmer - here.

On day one there is a curfew between 7pm and 7am on the road between Molesworth Homestead (at about 130km) and the Acheron Cobb Cottage (about 185km). In order to observe this curfew, you'll need to get beyond Molesworth Homestead (130km) by at least 5pm. If you get there at 5:01pm, you'll need to wait there untill 7am - not the worst thing in the world (if you are prepared for a night out) because you'll start the next day with good legs and a lot of altitude on your side, ready to enjoy a late breakfast in Hanmer.

Good luck with the planning. If you have any questions, post a comment here or on the Vorb Kiwi Brevet thread.

Also, time is running out to get your profile information sent. Please send ASAP to jeff.lyall (at) gmail..com . See the existing profiles here. There is some very useful info in some of these. The original post regarding the details you need to send is here.


  1. Hey team,
    Further to Simons comments on batteries required for the Spots... As we are getting both gen1 and gen2 Spots, please note that there are differences.
    - Gen 1 - these Spots take 2 x AA Li Batteries. The batteries will last up to 10 days in tracking mode 24/7*
    -Gen 2 - these Spots take 3 x AAA Li Batteries. The batteries will last 3 to 5 days in tracking mode 24/7*
    *battery life can be shortened if the SPOTs spend extended period in thick cloud or canopy as it has toharder. Severe cold can also affect battery life.
    (The other difference is that the the gen1 is slightly heavier).

    As it stands, & to make it easy on me, I have allocated the first 27 entrants that have requested a Spot from me with gen1's and the remainder (ie. Jonty, Peter McK, Thomas L, and Brenda/Chris) with gen2's.)

    Note: This could be subject to change if we don't get the full shipment of Spots back from the Great Southern Brevet.

  2. I would agree that the spot 2 are hard on their 3 AAA batteries. For the Kiwi Brevet 2 years ago the 2 AAs on the spot 1s lasted fine for the 5 days or so I took. For the Great Southern Brevet the batteries on the spot 2s ran out around this time - in fact I am still somewhere in the middle of the Mackenzie country plain according to Track leaders.

    Take some spare batteries would be my suggestion and yes unfortunately they are expensive.

    Good luck to all Kiwi Brevet riders this year. Hope you have good weather and favorable winds (unlike us). I will be following closely.


    1. Thanks Jasper, enjoyed stalking you guys (and gals) on the GSB blog. A great effort by all.