Best Survival Batteries


In a SHTF scenario when the electrical power grid is down, you will be reliant on batteries to power your flashlights, portable radio, and other electronic devices.

Even though rechargeable battery technology has made great advances, I rely on high-power Alkaline batteries for some of my critical electronics that require consumer size AA, AAA, etc.

Updated (2016)
Lithium Batteries Best Choice For Emergency Applications

Back to the original article:

Even the best Ni-MH (Nickel Metal Hydride) low-self-discharge (LSD) batteries will slowly lose their charge over time while sitting on the shelf. Having said that, the SANYO eneloop rechargeable battery is considered one of the best rechargeables.

Another reason that I choose to use a high quality Alkaline battery for critical preparedness electronics is their higher capacity (mAh). While the eneloop (AA) rechargeable battery has excellent capacity (1900 mAh), many AA Alkaline batteries carry a capacity of 2850 mAh with negligible drain over the same period as the rechargeable variety.

For some of my electronic devices that require consumer battery sizes, such as my pistol safes with fingerprint biometrics, dedicated emergency portable radios, some of my specific emergency flashlights, etc., I keep them filled with a powerful Alkaline battery so that I will be sure it will be ready to go…

Another battery type, the lithium battery, has nearly the same capacity as it’s equivalent Alkaline battery. For example most AA Alkaline cells offer a capacity of 2,850 mAh while the Energizer Lithium AA cells offer 3,000 mAh, basically the same. The only advantage with the lithium battery is that it will offer greater life only when you draw a lot of power as in a digital camera or flash. Otherwise you will be paying a lot more for the same thing.

Having said that, I do use rechargeable batteries for most of my day-to-day consumer battery needs in many of my devices. I like rechargeable batteries for their cost savings over time, and the ability to recharge them with alternative energy sources – which would keep much of my portable electronics operating after a grid-down situation.

For a portable solar battery charger system, combine the following products:
10 Watt Folding Solar Panel which comes with a 12 volt female cigarette lighter adapter for the ability to connect your various car charger devices.

You could also utilize this BC-2000 smart charger for AA/AAA/C/D batteries with it’s DC Car Adapter which will mate with the Solar Panel above.

The best survival battery is actually a false statement because it will depend on your use-case scenario. In some instances you will want a quality Alakaline or Lithium battery for 100% capacity, while you should also keep rechargeable batteries for their advantages such as cost savings over time and the ability to recharge them using solar power after TSHTF.

In either case, I recommend that you purchase extra batteries so that you always have what you need – when you need them.

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  1. Back in the 70’s, I worked drywall with a dude named Brad. He, had been working in Saudi Arabia doing contract drywall, the guy taught me a trick. “We”, Brad and I, when we were kicking out four drywall units/apartments a day, would listen to radio, but we loved the TAPES which sucked the batteries down and click no music–not even RADIO!! waaaaa. You know 8 Giant “D-Cell” ‘s !?

    So at the time I had a VW squareback — to store all the drywall tools — I be damned if I can’t remember if it was 6 VDC or 12 VDC anyway i think it was like 71/72 VW? He taught me to put jumper cables on the D cell (Only the COPPER TOPS!!!) They SPARK and GET HOT, and CAN EXPLODE… use gloves/goggles and sanity ;o) Anyway, they’ll recharge again. Not the best, but something to remember in a pinch.

    Personally here, I go with all rechargeable now, cause I have 200 Watts of ground based solar panels and about 70 -ish AH of battery. That will do EVERY rechargeable device I have or can throw at it. I like the eneloop batteries, but HATE their chargers! Same for Ray-O-Vac, the other batteries I buy are from Harbor Freight the Green with black striper’s. THe harbor Freight multi charger is cheap enough, but …. I recently picked up the TeNergy Advanced Universal Charger ” Item No, 01190 ” – long story short it is BY FAR the fastest battery charger I ever had. SO while I have a box of chargers that come with the eneloops, and other kits, all collecting dust now since the tenergy charger barged in. Nice has the external power 12VDC connector (For Survival options wall wart can be CUT and wire spliced directly to a battery — right right then)

    Unless your doing a Camera (which most non-garbage now have their own battery) I can’t see bothering with extra capacity by going with Alkalines. However, if I HAD to do them, I would choose COPPER TOP first— as you see in the story above with Brad–back in my drywall days.

    The OTHER thing I SEEN lately is AuroraTek introduces a Self-Sustainable Battery Charger (SSBC) called PowerUP 250 (using patent-pending SmartPAK / SFT technology).

    ( I ain’t a spammer so you goin to have to LOOK that up they make several products )

    Don’t know how it works or for how long, but my holy cow if it’s true! I got to say I got about $600 tied up in Panels, Inverters, wires and batteries. Which isn’t very much, but it’s still more than 100 houses around me have! And the ones that do have it either don’t own theirs, or still paying for it.

    To be able to clip the solar wires and bring the whole thing inside on a 21″ rack. That is apealing, question is does it work, and for how long, and if it dies, WHY? How do you fix em? I want one just to tear it apart now…. lol

    A combination of these products. And I dunno. My goal with the solar panels what to at least get a 3KW inverter going so I can run a SKILL saw, that is working. I ain’t at the “Run a Fridgerator 2.3 KW with spikes in current draw project” yet. Frankly I don’t HAVE room for 12 panels, and can’t afford High end SLA’s. I would have to sacrifice my garden — that ain’t happenin, or hit the lottery. If I was built of money, I would do things different.

  2. I think I mis-stated my Solar system’s battery capacity. 2 * 70 AH = 140 AH.. I have them in parallel — got a pair which replaced my Original single 35 AH /Harbor Freigh 3 Panel system, when I added the 150 Watt panel. I have mixed panel system currently 3 15 Watt Harbor Freights, and the 150 watter 45 + 150 .. rounded up is 200 Watts – so I say 200 watt system. MY system is semi portable, I just built it up on a Plywood drilled that to the wall–three screws and unhook panel/battery and your loading it into the jeep. The Homeowners Association is what STOPS me from having panels on the roof. Yeah stuck in loca local government glue… Still I am satisfied with the system, it’s fun to play with, and the parts feel TOUGH enough. Everything is out doors for more than a year now-ZERO problems. What’s best is I built it, and I Can FIX it down to the last Diode, Transistor and Capacitor — no hand holding — no .gov grid paperwork nonsense. When the lights go Out I like to plug in my Guitar and run 100 Watts cranked up. FUN.. walk away feelin like a million bucks, and with a light on it feels like home for the women. SAFE.. ya kno? anyway.. clarifications.. bye now.

  3. You neglected to mention two major and one possibly minor advantage of lithiums: they don’t leak, they maintain their charges over long periods of time just sitting around much better than alkaleaks… I mean alkalines, and they work much better in cold weather.

    Also, mah isn’t exactly EVERYTHING when it comes to batteries. That just measures capacity, but another thing to consider is how much of that capacity can actually be retrieved from the battery? Energizer Ultimate Lithiums supposedly have a better setup for extracting all of their juice into the devices they are put in. I ran a Maglite Solitaire LED for 2 hrs 45 mins off of one. With alkaleaks it is rated only at 1.5 hours.

    Any survival gear I have just sitting around indefinitely waiting to be used gets Energizer Ultimate Lithiums. 20 year shelf life before replacement is needed. Just drop ’em in and forget about ’em! Ditto for anything that might get used in the cold, like my EDC flashlights.

  4. I love lithium batteries and contacted Garmin about how long my GPS would work using them. They replied that I shouldn’t use them as the voltage was a bit to high.

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