Pitch Your Tent: Batteries

The Power of Batteries

Don't let this happen to you!

Don’t you hate it when you get to where you’re going and when you turn on your flashlight you discover that the batteries are dead? And, doesn’t it always happen when you REALLY need to use that flashlight to get somewhere? And, it never fails, you don’t have the right size battery to fit the flashlight!

My dad, ESP Boss, was a volunteer for the K-9 unit of Yavapai County Search and Rescue for many years. He quickly got tired of having the exact same thing happen to him. So, here’s dad’s solution:

  • Standardize all the equipment to take just one battery size. He uses AA (double A) because it fits his GPS, flashlight, walkie talkie, you name it!
  • If your equipment doesn’t take AA, replace it. He had a great flashlight that took 4 D-cell batteries. Not only was it heavy, he also had to remember to bring extras!
  • Bring several replacement packages of batteries so you have them on hand to replace ones that are dead.
  • After every trip, replace the batteries that you used. So, if you keep 8 extra batteries with you when you’re camping and you just used 4, be sure to replace them so you have them the next time you go out.

If you will be keeping the batteries in the flashlight between trips, you can flip one of the batteries so the ends are opposite of where they are supposed to be. This keeps the flashlight from turning on accidentally! Just remember to flip it back!

Another related tip: be sure to turn on all your battery powered equipment and flashlights before leaving home. It’s a lot easier to test them and make adjustments when you are at home rather than in camp, hours away from the nearest store!

Cabelas flashlight

Just remember, your flashlight might turn on, but that doesn’t mean that it is bright enough. Take it to a dark room to test the brightness of the bulb and then replace the batteries or bulb as needed.

And please, dispose of your batteries properly! Make sure they make it into the trash and are not left in the forest or at the campground.

I’m a big fan of Cabela’s Outdoor Outfitters and I get a lot of my outdoor equipment through them. So, here’s a link to all the excellent flashlights that are available through the website. Test them out and let me know what is your favorite!

What do you do to make sure all your battery powered equipment is ready to work?

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2 Responses to “Pitch Your Tent: Batteries”

  • Ed:

    What your dad does by standardizing the size is a great idea. The only thing I would add is that switching to rechargeable batteries has saved me some money. The compact camera, flashlight, GPS, etc… use these AA rechargeable batteries. Just buy enough to keep some loose ones ready to go.

  • james.bednar:

    Like this article. I, too, had some items of various battery sizes. Decided to standardize them a long time ago as you described because you can always remember to purchase 1 size of battery but you can not remember various sizes. Then you forget why you bought the various sizes once you get home.

    As for re-chargeable batteries, I am not a big fan of them. this is mostly because I went and wasted alot of money on those camping items (lights and such) that have the rechargeable batteries built in and they always lose power when you need them, or they do not hold a charge for long, or you do not have the re-charger adapter with you to plug into your cars cigarette lighter, etc. To each their own.

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