Camping & Survival

Gizmos and Gadgets: CR123A Batteries


Winter is finally behind us and the storm season has arrived with full force. If you have not already done so, now is the perfect time to tune up your emergency kit and make sure you have a well-stocked supply of batteries and or fresh batteries in your gear.

I’ll admit it; I am reluctant to change batteries until they are dead. I have several high-end flashlights I have collected over the years from various tests and articles, which is great. However, high dollar flashlights also tend to use the more expensive batteries. And top that off with the advantages of lithium over alkaline and the price can really skyrocket.

While updating the storm prep supplies in between severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings, I stopped by a national chain store with the intent to pick up new batteries. The CR123A batteries were between $6 and $9 each! With a half-dozen or so flashlights all using two to three batteries each, that puts a pinch on the ‘ol budget.

I had to do some serious thinking. A couple of lights are more for everyday chores, and I normally rotate the old batteries to those anyway and that cut down the cost, However, I needed to have spares around for an emergency and those I had to be sure were fresh.

Surefire 123 Lithium 12 pack
Unlike alkaline batteries, Surefire high-performance lithium batteries boast a 10-year shelf life, which means they will be ready when you need them, every time.

I decided to do a little surfing and came across Cheaper Than Dirt!’s dozen pack of Surefire CR123A also known as the SF123A batteries. The total package price for 12 was less than $2.00 per battery plus shipping. This allowed me freshen all of my batteries and ensure a couple dozen extra for emergencies.


One trick I learned years ago was to always keep a pair of shoes, socks and a back-up flashlight plus a chemical light stick under the bed for emergencies. I have shoelaces like the ones used by triathletes. This allows me to slip on the shoes quickly and secure them better than slip-ons. This is easy prep and ensures you can run through brush, rocks or water and that you’ll always have a handy light source. The chem light is great for signaling or low-light reading, and the flashlight is obvious.

Do you have a particular flashlight that you prefer or maybe a quick prep tip? Tell us in the comment section.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (3)

  1. I don’t normally keep or save batteries. Just like you, i only buy new ones when they are no longer working which is not good you will never know when you might be needing them and it is always best to be prepared. What i do now, is try to stock batteries, i try to buy them in bulk. It’s cheaper in the long run and more convenient.

  2. You can also try E Bay for bulk ordering of any size batteries, but be sure to check the use by date on them ..

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