Standard Batteries

Taking batteries on a trip to power devices such as cameras and flashlights requires some guesswork as to how many will be needed. In the case of both cameras and flashlights, the cells needed are often expensive, and harder to find.

My suggestion (And I am working on this myself): Let’s all attempt to give preference to products that run on AA batteries only. They are easy to find, and the least expensive. Also, if all devices run on the same size of cell, fewer spares need to be carried, and a luxury item’s batteries may be sacrificed to provide power to other items in an emergency (VHF Radio or laser flare, for example).

I have been using NiMh rechargables with great results.

Also, does anyone have a good headlamp that is LED, water resistant, and AA battery powered?


AA batteries
They are the way to go. I have a few dozen NIMH of these. The headlamp I bought uses AA’s also. It only uses 2 of them vs 3 AAA’s on others. It does not last as long as many, but it is bright, has 8 modes and is IPX 4 waterproof. My ICOM VHF uses a Lithum Ion battery and last a long time. However I do believe a AA pack is available. My GPS and flashlights are all water proof and use AA’s also. The best flashlight I have ever owned is a streamlight 4-AA Luxeon LED. It is so bright is HURTS. I also has the same light with 7 regular LEDs and the batteries will last a week if left on. Both are waterproof and built for the tough environment of firefighting. I always bring spares on overnight trips but I can always canibalize as priorities require. I have saved hundreds of $$$ from buying alkaline’s.

Here is a link to the ZenixIQ headlamp from REI:

Thanks for the tip. I never understood why three AAA were necessary (they don’t sell packages of three!)


– Last Updated: Jan-30-06 1:49 PM EST –

So my "AA Theory" is NOT a crackpot idea!

Princeton-Tec Yukon (XL?) 3xAA
Shakespear VHF 5xAA or NIMH pack
Garmin E-Trex Legend GPS 2xAA
Suction-cup attached white running light 2xAA

You can't go wrong with AA gear.

How could I have forgotten my digital camera? I wouldn't buy one that was not AA-powered.

Princeton Tec H20 3watt LED

– Last Updated: Jan-30-06 10:25 AM EST –

I thought the 4AA cell battery pack would be a problem but it's not for most uses,,I've used it bike riding and it provides a lot of light with the spot. It also has four LEDs for flood, two settings on spot and flood/hi/lo.
It's also waterproof/submersible to 1meter. I'm going to get some 2700mah AA NiMh batteries for it.
Unless you need very small or a handheld flash light this is the best all around unit.
I'd pick this over a xenon lamp anytime.

now it's called Apex

I recharge as well
saves a fortune, and they don’t go into the landfills as often. If you think how expensive batteries are, the toxic chemicals they contain, and how short-lasting they are, it’s sick how wasteful using non-rechargables is.

"I have been using NiMh rechargables with great results."

NiMh batteries are great and can quickly pay for themselves if you use them a lot. However, they will lose power in storage, so don’t charge them up until right before you need them. The older 2100mah cells I have probably last 2-3 times longer than alkalines. Newer cells are 2500mah or more, so they’ll last even longer.

Standardizing on AA’s is a great idea - been doing it for a few years for camera stuff too just to make life a little easier.

Hooray for double AA
I’ve noticed that with the advent of LED’s, there is an ability to place less demand on batteries, and a marketing push for lighter weight headlamps, flashlights, GPS’s and FRS radios etc.

I have an old Petzl Duo that I refitted with the 5 LED module. It is years old,uses 4 AA’s and is solid and dependable. More so since I switched to the LED module. The LED’s don’t burn out like the old little bulb used to. The LED’s will give off usable light when the batteries are so weak they can only elicit a faint glow from an incandescent filament. One set of batteries will last for a week of camping, if I don’t use the halogen option alot.

I am able to salvage gently used AA’s from one-time-use equipment in the OR where I work. I get more than I can use for free. I make a special effort to buy equipment that uses them instead of the AAA’s.

My wife, however, is very fond of her Petzl Zipka, which is like the old Tikka, but with a retractable cord for a headband. It uses AAA’s.