Quick Prepper Tip: Batteries, a Must-Have Item

By Lisa Metheny published on in Camping & Survival

Cheaper Than Dirt Quick Prepper TipA must have item for preppers is batteries. Batteries are vital for many of us who wish to maintain some sort of normalcy in the event of an emergency or for those who wish to live off the grid.

8 Things to Keep in Mind about Batteries

Battle Light Battery

  • Batteries are like bread, you want the freshest ones you can find. Learn how to read and understand labels and the date code on batteries.
  • Storing batteries in the hot sun can shorten their expected battery life.
  • The ideal recommended storage temperature for the most common types of batteries is 59°F.
  • Excessive moisture is not good for batteries as the moisture increases the rate of corrosion.
  • To help prolong the life of a battery, remove it from equipment or devices if you expect a delay in using them. For example a cell phone (even when turned off) will continue to suck power from the battery.
  • The five most common types of batteries are: Lead, Alkaline, Lithium, Non-Lithium and Nickel.
  • A great alternative to disposable batteries is rechargeable batteries.
  • Remember, many rechargeable batteries also have a shelf-life and are only good for certain number of recharges before replacement.

A comparrison of batteries including CR2, AAA, AA and Tact-Out's rechargeable
Make a list of the things you use on an everyday basis such as auto, garage door opener, cell phone or laptop and list the types ofbatteries these items require. Then make a list of other things you occasionally use such as boat, tractor or specific tools and the type of battery these items use. Think about future purchases of battery operated items. If it takes hard-to-find batteries you might want to rethink your purchase. Instead, opt for a similar item which operates off of run-of-the-mill types of batteries.

Share your battery stockpiling and storage tips with us in the comment section.

SLRule

Lisa Metheny is a published award-winning outdoor writer, photographer, speaker and outdoor skills instructor. Lisa holds several instructor certifications and conducts a number of women-focused outdoor seminars on topics such as archery and hunting throughout the year. She regularly teaches hunters education and archery classes and has become an advocate for promoting traditional outdoor recreation to families across the United States. Lisa is also an avid and accomplished hunter with many big game species to her credit. She is a member of POMA and former Board of Directors member as well as a member of the NRA, RMEF, MDF and DU.

View all articles by Lisa Metheny

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Comments (10)

  • Rootseeker

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    We go through Lawn tractor batteries every 2-3 years before they go bad. Should we buy extra batteries for future emergencies when they become hard to get? What is the shelf life of an unused new one? Do we have to charge it up, even if we do not use it right away?

    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Craig

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      If available try and see if you can find dry batteries that you have to fill with electrolyte yourself. Then stock both, but keep the acid in a safe place outside of your home.

      Reply

  • natron

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    Just my opinion of course, but avoid no-name mystery cheapo batteries; concentrate on name brands.
    Duracell coppertop batteries are good, will ideally store for 10 years…I would avoid their ‘quantum’ models personally because of some leakage problems I have had…

    Reply

  • BRASS

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    Living in rural hurricane country for a quarter of a century with all the trial and error that encompasses taught us that a stock of batteries is essential. It also taught us that alkaline batteries were the best, most convenient, most functional and least expensive alternative. We tried rechargeable and other more expensive types as well as alternatives to batteries altogether.
    In the end, the devices that use alkaline batteries were better choices rather than the more expensive alternatives. When the electricity goes out for extended periods of time, rechargeable batteries and devices that use them are of no value and can get you killed. Since then living in suburban/urban areas has confirmed the same. Batteries in bulk at big box stores are relatively cheap, store for years if done properly and aside from hand crank and solar recharageable radios and lights, are the ticket.

    Reply

    • Craig

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      You can solve the extended power outage / lack of rechargeability with a solar charger. I think it’s good to have a mix of both as once the alkalines go dead they are done.

      Reply

  • Hide Behind

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    Purchase a solar powered battery charger and top quality lithium batteries, and learn to walk in the dark.
    You can buy quite good solar powered trickle charger for 12V tautomotive
    battery for under $20 and small motorcycle or riding lawn mower batteries( almost all are deep cycle.)
    IN hippy days couple head lamps and taillight bulbs, all salvaged )were used to light up two story barn and its attached tool shed work room.
    Good to have for outside back up security lamps .
    Try to get solar, crank or ac radio and lamp with a built in battery cell phone at least adapter. SAVES on batteries and keeps the kids busy at night, and our removable lamps wires allow night lamp for catfishing.
    Learn how to make improvized munitions from el cheapo batteries; ; You know,just to keep pesky gophers out of flower beds.
    To gain lumens use mirrors not more lights; simple tin foil from your hat will do as a directional and refective.
    Oh ya, and go to dollar store and buya whole passel of solar yard lights.
    They are good perimeter warnings and you can use them all night in baths or night lights anywhere you want..
    You can stand or lay in house to save battrry and bulbs.
    Always use LED and buy a top quality flash with as much legal in your state lumens as possible.
    You want the strobe and multi color capable ones with jagged focal or end caps.

    Reply

  • Flick

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    Each trip to wally world(if u can stand to go there)throw a 12 pk og AAA or AA in the buggy.
    After 6 months, start buying 90 or 115 amp deep cycle batteries and a good charger to keep them topped off.
    Get a few sets of 12 volt LED light strings for the house(1for each room) and u wont need anymore Aa’s….

    Reply

  • OLD&GRUMPY

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    When you need new batteries buy them fresh. Mark the date on them then put them in the back of the storage using the ones in front of the line first.This keeps them fresh and the supply never shrinks. Use the same trick for caned food.Stalk the bunker with caned food you will use each week any way. Buy fresh each week,use from the storage. Also with food in a disaster the power will be out. No refrigerator ! You will need to eat the can before it rots.Buy the small cans not the gallon size.

    Reply

    • ray

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      The method is called FIFO. First in ,first out.

      Reply

  • Keith

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    I tend to use rechargeable batteries for all practical applications. I have a recharging schedule for the ones I use, AAAs & C cells recharge on Saturday and AA and D cells recharge on Sunday. I cycle through different batteries every other week to ensure they all get a chard and spread the use across the board. Of course before any hurricane, I charge all of them.

    Reply

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