Tips & Tactics

Battery Shock

Battery Shock

By Ken Piper

That jolt you feel when looking at the price of lithium batteries could cost you real money.

Look, I get it. The price of lithium batteries seems crazy when compared to the same number of alkaline batteries. When you're standing in the store holding the two packages in your hand, why on earth would you select the one that costs twice as much?

Actually, there are several good reasons to choose lithium batteries, especially for trail cameras and hunting flashlights.

Let's start with that nasty cost topic. While lithiums average twice the price of comparable alkalines, they last up to three times as long. In other words, you'll go through two or three sets of alkalines in your camera for each set of lithiums you use. At worst, you'll get about equal cost per hour of run time, and at best you'll get about 30% more run time per dollar spent.

In addition to the cost benefits, lithiums offer a strong list of other advantages for your trail cameras and gear.

First off, lithiums are less likely to leak and damage your equipment than alkalines. I've lost several trail cameras to leaking alkalines, and it still makes me grind my teeth when I think about it.

Next, lithiums run at a strong, constant current pretty much right up until they die. That's important for high-end cameras that rely on a steady current to function correctly. Alkalines, on the other hand, weaken over time. Think about a tape player that slows down (if you're old enough to remember tape players) or a flashlight that gets dimmer as the batteries get used up. You don't want to be trailing a buck in the dark only to have your flashlight get dimmer and dimmer as you track.

In addition, lithiums handle storage well, meaning if you don't use your light for a long period of time, you can count on it working when you need it, even if you haven't turned it on for several years.

Finally, lithium batteries handle temperature extremes better than alkalines. Lithiums continue to function well between -40 and 140 degrees, while alkalines function between 0 and 130 degrees.

Because they store so well, start buying lithiums now. Purchase a set each payday up until hunting season so you don't have to shell out all that cash at one time when get ready to place your cameras.

If it makes you feel better to know you're spending your money wisely, run identical cameras on the two types of batteries to see which costs more per day to use.

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Tip Update:

In response to last week's tip about getting deer pee scent out of a vehicle, Buckmasters life member Domenic Basile said he uses an ozone machine to remove odors and keep his truck smelling fresh.

Domenic said, "They can be rented or borrowed. Just place the machine in the vehicle for an hour or two. This should eliminate the odor."

If you use an ozone unit in your vehicle, please follow the instructions carefully. Also, don't sit in the vehicle while the ozone unit is running. There are low-level ozone units on the market that are designed to be used while people are in the vehicle, but that is not the type of unit Domenic recommended for stink removal.

Further, the effectiveness of any ozone treatment would be increased by removing as much of the offending spill as possible prior to treatment.

Copyright 2021 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2020 by Buckmasters, Ltd