Survival Buzz: Oops! A Drawer Full of Batteries and None of Them Charged

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Do you use rechargeable batteries?  Although I have a large inventory of traditional Alkaline batteries, my go-to batteries are rechargeable Panasonic eneloops or those from Amazon Basics (which I have heard are Eneloops in disguise).  I must have three dozen of these batteries, separated into two sections of my drawer, charged and not charged.

A few nights ago, my favorite flashlight was getting dim so I went to my trusty drawer and oh my goodness, not a charged battery in sight.

Drawer Full of Batteries and None of Them Charged | Backdoor Survival

Since I own lots of flashlights as well as Alkaline batteries, this was not a big deal.  On the other hand, note to self: keep the stash of rechargeable batteries charged!  Although I do have a solar battery charger (this one from Goal Zero), in normal times it is much quicker to plug a charger into the wall socket and charge them up the old fashioned way.

The nice thing about the Panasonic eneloops or the Amazon clone, is that once charged, there is hardly a smidgen of power loss, even if they sit in a drawer for a year.  So really, there is no excuse for my failure to have my rechargeables prepped.

With that being said, the Survival Buzz tip of the week is to charge your batteries and keep them that way!  Don’t get caught with a bunch of dead batteries!

And, by the way, you can also recharge alkaline batteries with the right type of charger.  I wrote about this years ago, and if anything, the Maximal Power charger has gotten better, delivering very few leakers or other failures.  Read How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries.

Dealing with a Winter Cold, Cough, and Congestion

In other news, Shelly picked up a very bad cold last week along with a lingering cough and nasty congestion.  Other than using my DIY Cold and Flu Bomb as a preventative for myself, I did a bit of research on which essential oils to use to mitigate his annoying cough.

Much my surprise, one of the recommended oils was Cedarwood, something I had a bottle in my kit.  What I did is mix 1/2 ounce of Simple Salve (although you could use any carrier oil, even plain coconut oil) with 30 drops of Cedarwood essential oil.  For those of you that care about such things, 1/2 ounce of carrier is approximately equal to 3 teaspoons.  This makes up a 10% dilution.

Long story short, I rubbed the diluted Cedarwood oil over his neck and upper chest and within minutes the cough subsided.  I was and am amazed.  My recommendation is that the next time you shop for essential oils, pick up some Cedarwood.   It is a very inexpensive oil and can also be used for other purposes such as dandruff control and as an insect repellant.

You know the drill; I get mine from Spark Naturals with 10% off using coupon code “BackdoorSurvival” but Amazon has some choices too.

Prepare Your Family for Survival: Tip #5

Here are this week’s prep tips from Linda Loosli’s recently published a book, Prepare Your Family For Survival

Chapter 5 – First Aid: Medical Preparedness

Tip: Regularly check the expiration dates on all first-aid ointments and over-the-counter products that will lose their potency after a period of time and replace them as needed.

Tip: Aim to have on hand at least an extra month’s supply of contact lenses and cleaning solution (or an extra pair of glasses), sunscreen, birth control, whatever personal items you use on a regular basis.

For more about the book, visit the article 11 Ways to Prepare Your Family for Survival.

Current Backdoor Survival Giveaways

Read the review and enter to win a fantastic LifeStraw Steel!

Review: LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter + Giveaway

With all giveaways, winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected.  Once selected, the names of winners are also displayed in the Rafflecopter on the original giveaway article.  This usually happens on the Thursday or Friday following the end of the giveaway. 

2016 Home Grown Food Summit – Coming Soon

Some of you may remember that last Spring, Marjory Wildcraft organized a free, online Home Grown Food Summit.  This year she is back with an all new, 2016 Home Grown Food Summit.   The summit will be an online gathering of over 30 experts in backyard food production, homesteading, and off-grid living.  Highlights this year include amazing presenters on composting, beekeeping, and herbal medicine.

The dates for this event are March 7 to March 13 and registration is now open.  I will be providing you with more details in the next week or two but in the meantime, here is a link for additional information or to register.

Coming Soon – 100% Free! – REGISTER NOW

The Final Word

It has been quite some time since I have heard about your preps. I just know in my heart of hearts that you have been doing more than sitting around the fire this winter sipping hot chocolate (although that sounds pretty darn good right now).

Tell me: what did you do to prep this week?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to email updates.  When you do, you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-Book, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

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Bargain Bin: Here are the items mentioned in today’s article.

Panasonic eneloop AA New 2100 Cycle Ni-MH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries:  These days, I try to use eneloops as much as possible.  They hold a charge forever – or so it seems – and work well in flashlights and small electronics.   Note:  I also use the Amazon Basics brand and will purchase those if the price is less.  I have done a lot of reading and to the best of my knowledge, they are an eneloop twin, branded by Amazon.  They charge up fine in my Maximal Power battery charger (see below).

Cedarwood Essential Oil:  I get mine from Spark Naturals because I believe in the company and the quality of their oils.  You get 10% off with discount code “BackdoorSurvival”.  I have also been dabbling with essential oils from Plant Therapy and while not as fresh smelling as Spark Naturals, they are a good value for the budget minded.

Coast HP1 Focusing LED Flashlight: This flashlight is more expensive than some of the MiniCrees out there.  On the other hand, it is a bit slimmer and lighter.  Where it really excels though is in brightness and range.  I actually prefer it and carry it with me when venturing out at night.

Preppers Holiday Gift Guide | Backdoor Survival

Amprobe BAT-250 Battery Tester:  I do not know anyone that is sorry they purchased or gifted an inexpensive battery tester.  Mine sits in my desk drawer and is used 3 or 4 times a week.  This newer version is an upgrade from the BAT-200 and well worth the additional dollar in cost.  I  especially like the redesigned side cradle that holds batteries securely in place during testing – no more erratic battery readings from movement off contacts.

Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger: This nicely built charger will charge charge AA, AAA, C, D, N, 9V, Ni-MH, Ni-CD, and Alkaline batteries. It has an LED display so that when you first put a battery in the charging bay, you know whether it is viable for charging or simply bad and ready to go back to the recycle box.

Maximal Power battery charger from Amazon

Yes it really works, even under solar power.  Read about in this article: How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries.

Sunferno Flintstone Portable Solar Panel with Rechargeable Battery Pack:  This sturdy solar power pack is lightweight and small enough to be used in an EDC kit.  I especially like that it has 2 USB ports.


Shop Emergency Essentials Sales for Fantastic Deals!

For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices.  Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic.  This month note the great sale prices two of my favorites, the Mobile Washer (Hand Operated Washing Machine) now only $14.95 and the Tote-able Toilet Seat and Lid, now only $11.79.



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Survival Buzz: Oops! A Drawer Full of Batteries and None of Them Charged — 21 Comments

  1. I actually just spent a week rotating everything! Now I know what I have and what I need to replace or add more of. It was kind of exhausting. I think I will take a week off of prepping! My kids think I am a slavedriver, and my husband is amazed at what I have managed to accumulate over the last year with the little money we had. Also just put in my order for my garden seeds and plants. Waiting eagerly for spring!

  2. Just this week I saw piece on the local news where you could make an appointment with the local Red Cross to come to your home and check your smoke detectors. A lot of people dont know that smoke detectors are just good for 10 years, then even with good batteries, they wont work. The Red Cross with replace (for free) up to 10 detectors.
    If your smoke detectors are less than 10 years old, remember to change the batteries twice a year. When you turn your clocks forward and back is a good reminder.

  3. I have been using the standard rechargeable batteries for decades and when you had the article on the Alkaline rechargers some time back I bought one and now keep the Alkaline batteries recharged for many, many more hours of use. I found that the Copper Top Alkaline last the longest and recharge the best, The Bunny not so much. I adapted my Alkaline charger to run off the solar battery system so will be able to charge even in power outages.

    The Eneloops are the best rechargeable ones and well worth the price.

  4. I am active in a coalition against Human Trafficking and this week I donated many boxes of kitchen supplies and food items to 4 young men who had been relocated and were victims of trafficking. I had been concentrating on organizing my storage area so it was quite easy to see exactly what I had stored and could provide to them. It had also given me the push I needed to tame remaining chaos in my basement so I can provide help when needed.

    It has been very cold and snowy in my neck of the woods so I’ve had extra time to hunker down and organize supplies. I’ve also organized articles and clippings on preparedness, survival guides, essential oils and shelf ready cooking into binders so I can actually find things when needed – what a concept!

    Looking forward to Spring!

  5. I just did an inventory of all my preps and listed where everything is stored. Typed up these pages for quick reference. Decided to do this when I was looking for something and searched multiple places till I found it, hate being disorganized! My daughter thinks I’m obsessed 🙂

    • I took it one step further–with 6 BOBs in a room off the garage, it was impossible to get quickly an item if needed, even with the tags identifying what is defense, lighting, etc.
      So I spent a couple hours listing alphabetically the items in all 6 bags.
      Now, easy to find a-z.

  6. Why would anyone remove a drained battery and not recharge-put in recharer, plug in outlet.
    This is pure laziness on steroids.

    • I am sorry you think that is being lazy but so be it. That said, I work 12 to 14 hour days and I am old and exhausted. Your comment was quit hurtful. Gosh, I need my thick skin back!

      Anyway, the whole point was to remind others to keep those batteries topped off and not to brow beat.

    • Q. Why would anyone remove a drained battery and not recharge-put in recharer, plug in outlet?

      A. I seem to recall reading there’s a possibility they can explode if left unattended in a charger. You might not plan be around to pull it out when it’s fully charged back up? You might have other things to do, more important things to do?

      Not everyone follows the ‘one is none’ mantra all the time.

      If you’ve got a solar charger packed away in an EMP-proof container (I don’t)IMHO it’s not really a big deal to put off recharging a battery. A few hours in the dark prolly won’t kill ya. Besides, everyone’s got matches or a lighter if you *really* need to see in the dark.

      The moon often makes for a pretty decent “flashlight”.

      You own a car with working headlights.

      You know your way around your house in the dark.

      Those were just a couple of reasons I could think of off the top of my head. There are probably others besides pure laziness.

      And, sometimes, it’s important to be lazy. To avoid prepper burnout, and all that.

      Anyway, what did I do to prep this week?

      I tested out various wool socks to see which I liked best, there were more differences than I thought.
      Tested some of my extreme Winter gear in sub-zero temps, too.
      Negative -20 degree temps this week, mid 50’s by next week.
      Sounds like next week I get to test some more biking gear.

      • Well said, helot.
        Also, for those of us concerned about EMP, it’s probably best not to have your batteries recharging at the time of an event, so not leaving your batteries in even a fancy trickle charge capable unit is a smart move. NiCd and NiMH batteries are pretty much EMP proof, but not sure what would happen at the time of an event to the charger and what it might do to your rechargeables.
        For non electric light I keep a few container candles around the living room and have matches handy as well. And recently I got another set of UV Paqlites which are really useful as night lights, but can be handy if the power goes out…you just leave them in the sun, or even just under a lamp and when the lights go down (or out) the UV Paqlites start glowing. Not enough to read a book by, but enough to see obstacles in the dark of night.
        Or for Mythbuster fans, try a pirate’s eye patch. 😛 No, seriously, it seems that pirates wore the eye patches for boarding actions…Ever walk into a dark room from bright sunshine? Can’t see much for a while, and that would have been deadly for the pirates, so they kept one eye in the dark (under the patch) so they would be able to see as they went down into the hold and took off the patch, or moved it to the light adjusted eye. Great tip for post SHTF mercenaries. 😉
        In personal prepping news, I bought an AeroGarden Bounty off the ads here and loved it so much when I got an ad for a discounted second unit, I ordered that too! That took care of the last of my Christmas money, but what the heck…fresh salad fixings all winter long is a big morale booster, and not all disasters will involve the loss of the grid (pandemic comes to mind immediately.) Best feature of the new units: LED lights. The old AeroGarden units had fluorescent grow lights that had to be replaced every 4 to 6 months. The LED panels are good for 5 years on these new units! 🙂

  7. On your tip: Prepare Your Family for Survival: Tip #5 If you purchase from They will send you an email when your purchases may be expiring. I purchased from them for one time use for the grandchildren’s first aid kits.

  8. What preps did I do this week? I found you of course!

    I’m generally squared away on most areas (other than being in the ‘wrong’ country – The UK – I’ve tried to emigrate but The INS just ‘giggles’ when they see my application. Sigh!). I have the basics, backups in most areas, and even backups for my backups (I’m ex-forces/ex-nurse so “one is none …” and “Murphy” are rules I’m always aware of, and being single makes things easier, and remains my one major ‘weakness’). But knowledge? I have questions, concerns, clarifications (How do I? Is there a better way? What are all the options?) galore so I spend (probably way too much) time on the web ‘picking other peoples minds’.

    Well, I’ve read Survivalblog (and others for years) and followed a link here, and ….

    I just wish to Thank You for answering questions I had, and even some I hadn’t even thought to ask (and incidentally losing two or three hours of my day when I first found your blog). So keep up the good work! (I now have a file of copied ‘knowledge’, ‘research’ and ‘hard-won experience’ entitled “Gayes Tips” near the front of my library. A ‘go-to guide’ I hope will continue to be expanded for years to come!).

    Oh, and I (guiltily) ‘found’ that I too (despite having three chargers – and a wish, after reading here, for yet another) have a sizeable collection of drained batteries. Sigh! I reassure (excuse?) myself with the thought that “If all your batteries are charged – you probably haven’t got enough batteries” though.

      • Helot

        Hey, laughing is OK, I’m used to it (although generally it’s ladies, and they usually wait until after I ask them for a dance/date first. Sigh!).

        I’m renowned for my sense of humour too. Hardly a day goes by without someone (often complete strangers) approaching to tell me how full of wit I am (at least I ‘think’ it was ‘wit’ they said!).

    • No idea how well these will work, but a quick Google search turned up this link:
      Power One Accu Plus rechargeable hearing aid batteries are the only nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH) rechargeable batteries on the market. These quality-made batteries are designed to replace zinc air batteries and must be used with a Power One Accu Plus charger, an exclusive Power One design. The portable Pen Charger charges one NiMH button battery from 2 AAA alkaline batteries for around five hours. The new portable Pocket Card Charger can fully charge two batteries in only two hours. Batteries can be charged more than 600 times on these chargers. Complete instruction manuals accompany all charger models.

  9. i found a product…called mighty Charger you can get it on amazon…it charges regular batteries and it works i have bought 3 of them and i plan to buy a couple more it allows me to use regualr batteries and regarge them…its great for the kids wii i get multiple uses from regualr batties they dont have to be recharables it does aaa aa and 9 volt the thing is great, the first one i had lasted about a year before a couple of the prongs broke, but that was more due to my under 12 children using it than the product it self. i was so happy i bought 2 more and i plan to buy another 6 of them and build a charger box connected to a solar panel the great thing is i can stock up on regular batteries at a fraction of the cost of rechargables…do they last forever no, but an i havent done a hard test but like i said the kids use these in their wii remotes, which suck the power out of them, i also use them for my led flashlights…anyway i get mine on amazon, it think the last time i bought them they were like 15 bucks….was hesitant to pass this along as it might drive up the price and limit availability to my self

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