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Placing fresh batteries in geocache


Guest gnbrotz
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Guest gnbrotz

I am getting ready to hide my first cache and plan to put some fresh batteries in as one of the cache items. I have taken them from other caches in the past, and they seem like a popular practical item. My ? is this: I can buy the batteries alot cheaper in an 8 or 12 pk vs. the 2 or 4 count size. Am I just being to much of a tightwad or is it practical to buy the larger packs, then split them into groups of 2 or 4 in a "snack size" ziploc along with the relavant freshness date? I plan on placing batteries in every cache I hide, and may even start carrying them to everyone I hunt. It seems to me this would be a good item to find in any given stash. Your thoughts are appreciated.

 

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Greg

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Guest emrldjetta

Yes, AA batteries are a good item to include in your cache. Batteries are much less expensive in the multi and bulk packages, especially from the big retailers like KMart, Ames Walliemart, Sams Club, Target, ect. It is a reassuring to find some nice fresh batteries in a cache. Good luck hiding your cache...............Kyle

 

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It's always something.............

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Guest JasonW

quote:
Originally posted by gnbrotz:

My ? is this: I can buy the batteries alot cheaper in an 8 or 12 pk vs. the 2 or 4 count size. Am I just being to much of a tightwad or is it practical to buy the larger packs, then split them into groups of 2 or 4 in a "snack size" ziploc along with the relavant freshness date?


 

For my 2p/2c worth as long as the 'use by' date is over 12 months away I'd not bother with the note of freshness date either batteries are usually still good long after the use by date anyway.

 

Leaving 2 or 4 seems about right to me - 8 or 12 definitely overkill - then again I buy boxes of 48 icon_smile.gif

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Guest JasonW

quote:
Originally posted by gnbrotz:

My ? is this: I can buy the batteries alot cheaper in an 8 or 12 pk vs. the 2 or 4 count size. Am I just being to much of a tightwad or is it practical to buy the larger packs, then split them into groups of 2 or 4 in a "snack size" ziploc along with the relavant freshness date?


 

For my 2p/2c worth as long as the 'use by' date is over 12 months away I'd not bother with the note of freshness date either batteries are usually still good long after the use by date anyway.

 

Leaving 2 or 4 seems about right to me - 8 or 12 definitely overkill - then again I buy boxes of 48 icon_smile.gif

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Guest DParesh

I almost got nervouse there for a second icon_smile.gif I went on my first expedition today, and in one of the stashes, I left a shiney pair of Duracell "AA's". Seems like a lot of people appreciate them. I noted in the log book that someone else had taken batteries before, so I thought leaving another set would be fine. Just think of the next person that forgets to pack extras and their GPS is slowly dieing... They'll be soooo happy to find fresh batteries in the stash!

 

icon_smile.gif

 

Ron

 

[This message has been edited by DParesh (edited 01 July 2001).]

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Guest DParesh

I almost got nervouse there for a second icon_smile.gif I went on my first expedition today, and in one of the stashes, I left a shiney pair of Duracell "AA's". Seems like a lot of people appreciate them. I noted in the log book that someone else had taken batteries before, so I thought leaving another set would be fine. Just think of the next person that forgets to pack extras and their GPS is slowly dieing... They'll be soooo happy to find fresh batteries in the stash!

 

icon_smile.gif

 

Ron

 

[This message has been edited by DParesh (edited 01 July 2001).]

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Guest ClayJar

I've seen a lot of "four AA's in a ziplock" sets in caches I've visited. Seems to be that four is the "right" number, since some receivers need four. Those of us who only use two at a time can just pocket the surplus two until we need them, but if there are only two in the cache and a 4-AA person goes dead, they have a problem (and we all ought to know of people who have mixed batteries and leaked battery juice all over the inside of things).

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All you need is one of those Rayovac rapid chargers that can charge up 8-12 AA batteries in an hour. icon_smile.gif AA batteries have been a lifesaver in caches. I came across a set in a cache (actually 2 batteries but my GPS III required 4), and those batteries gave me just enough juice to find my way out of where I had gotten to.

 

Brian

Team A.I.

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quote:
Originally posted by nincehelser:

Forgot to say...

 

A lot of those batteries are used in caving and for communications in remote areas...I just don't trust rechargables for those tasks. Rapid charges especially.

 

George


 

Rechargable for my normal junk. Real for the backup set. In a cave..hell it don't matter. I'm not going that far in!

 

==============================

Wherever you go there you are.

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Well, when it comes to batteries in general, a little something on power consumption curves....

 

Carbon-zinc: icon_eek.gif zinc, originally the greek word for "rock".....and for anything more than a cheap flashlight, that's all they are good for!

 

Alkalines: icon_redface.gif a little better, the consumption curve starts good, then plummets rapidly.....

 

Nickle-Cadium: icon_rolleyes.gif (AKA: NI-CADS) The original consumer rechargeable......consumption curve even better, rechargeable, HOWEVER, constant "short charging" cycles can give these batteries a "memory effect" although some manufacturers claim that the new formulations don't have that problem (yea.....righttttt)

 

Nickle-Metal-Hydride: icon_smile.gif (AKA Ni-MH's) still better consumption curve, a BETTER rechargeable (its what ol Vex uses himself)- Does not have that nasty "memory" problem that plagues Ni-Cads! (psst, Radio Shack has a great deal for $19.99, go check it out)

 

Lithium Ion: icon_biggrin.gif (AKA Li-Ion) -THE BEST...EXPENSIVE AND WORTH IT.....POWER CURVE STAYS FLAT UNTIL JUST ABOUT THE END OF THE CAPACITY, THEN PLUMMENTS. IT WHATS IN YER LAPTOP, PALM PILOTS, CAMCORDERS, SOME CELLPHONES. AND THEY ARE RECHARGABLE!

 

Not gonna go into lead-acid (messy), mercury (no longer made - kids swallowin to many of em accidentially) or fuel cells (experiemental), or even solar cells (hard to use in the dark and fragile!)

 

My own reasons for using rechargables is that durcells and energizers are too darn expensive for continuous use...and rechargables are GOOD for the environment!

 

Nuff said, off my soapbox fer now......

 

Strip Mining PREVENTS Forest Fires!

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From what I've read (and some experience)

Alkalines last longer than either Nickel Cadmium (NiCd), or Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), but only last one cycle.

 

Nickel Metal Hydride do have some "memory effect" but not noticable with regular use.

 

In my eTrex I use Lithum (not Lithium Ion) "Photo" batteries. They do cost more than alkalines per hour of use, but not much more, and I only have to change the batteries every 80 hours or so of use (estimated, I am still on my first set of batteries in my eTrex, my experience with my digital cameras is lithiums last almost 5 times longer than alkalines). I always have a spare set of lithiums too, so I would leave the batteries if I found them in a cache, so far I haven't taken anything from a cache though.

 

A Link to some info.

 

_________________________________________________________

If trees could scream, would we still cut them down?

Well, maybe if they screamed all the time, for no reason.

Click here for my Geocaching pictures

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The Walmart Housebrand is an excellent bet for quality, inexpensive 'AA' bats. I buy four packs of "EverActive" batteries, and get a good solid 14+ hours in my eTrex Legend. These are actually made by Energizer, and are the same battery, just wrapped in a different label. At 4/$2.29 (In Canada; probably cheaper in the US, and even cheaper when you buy the larger packages) it's hard to justify the expense and annoyance of rechargables in my opinion.

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according to my understanding some folks don't like batteries in the caches because of the possibility of leakage. good ziplocs ought to cure that.

 

i just like to know that the batteries i find are fresh, but since some people leave old barbecue sauce and used golf balls, what's to stop them from leaving dead batteries?

 

on the whole, i'm for it, though. ad it appears that the 4-pak is the best option. i hadn't thought of that.

 

it doesn't matter if you get to camp at one or at six. dinner is still at six.

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I usually won't take batteries from a cache. The one time I did was because I checked them and they were DEAD! I try to stay as prepared as possible so I won't need them.

Have you ever seen what battery acid does to a cache? Even good Ziplocks can't contain that stuff! icon_eek.gif

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More often than not (in my limited experience thus far), I've seen batteries loose & banging around in the cache. I'd say wrap them together with a rubberband & then put in a freezer-type ziplock. It bothers me to see exposed batteries laying against the edge of a metal cache... and damp, too! Just a matter of time before they leak!

 

Joel in B'ham (joefrog)

 

"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for ye are crunchy and taste good with ketchup!"

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I used to use regular batteries but between the gps, backups for the gps, my daughters toys, and her gameboy (which eats the most batteries by far) I was spending a fortune. I got 4 NiMH batteries for the gps (2 as backup) and about 10 for my daughters stuff and I haven't had to buy a set of batteries for at least a year. If you are using batteries in large quantities, do the math. Figure how many you will have to use and then figure what NiMH batteries will cost times the number of times you can recharge them. It will make you a believer.

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Here's my analysis (someone check my math...the results suprised me):

 

I average one cache find per hour. In the last 5-6 months, I've found around 300 caches. That equals 300 hours of caching time.

 

I've found, on average, a set of alkalines lasts me 16 hours.

 

Therefore, I've changed batteries 18.75 times...let's round up to 19 times.

 

My cost for AA batteries is at most 35 cents per when purchased on sale at my local grocery store. (When a good sale occurs, I can buy 2 brand-name 8-packs for $5). This means a set of two costs me 70 cents.

 

.70 * 19 = $13.30

 

So for nearly half a year of geocaching I've spent less than $14. Let's round up for a full year at $30. The same as a full year of premium membership on geocaching.com.

 

Now, at the rate I'm going, this means I'll have done around 600 caches in a year's time. There are less than 500 caches in a 100 mile radius of my home. Looks like I could easily cache out my area in the near future, and then my rate of cache finds is going to take a huge drop.

 

So, assuming I could find 4 good rechargables and recharger for $30, it would take a year for me to break even, and by that point I won't have many nearby caches to find.

 

Given the hassle of recharging and battery management, I just can't seem to justify the time and cost.

 

Now, I use a TON of AAs for other things. The problem is the same equations come into play...it seems to take forever to reach the break-even point, and I have a huge battery recharging hassle. Not to mention I require a very high level of reliability because I use AAs in caving lights. I just don't trust the rechargables.

 

Like I said, I'm suprised at my results...does anyone see a flaw in my reasoning?

 

George

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Alkalines

 

Sometimes I will place these. I use the 4-packs that you get at the 99Cent Store. These are name brands and one called Varta (made in Germany; 2007 dates; work as well as any.)

 

Regarding alks vs rechargeables, it is a personal decision. I use alks, because I get them for 25 cents. The breakeven cost point is about 2 years for alks vs rechargebles(4 NiMHs, charger), and it is a lot less hassle to use alks.

 

[This message was edited by EScout on April 05, 2003 at 05:45 PM.]

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quote:
Originally posted by TEAM 360:

Hey Renegade Knight, how did you get to 666 posts? I thought everyone got reset when they changed the forums...666? Uh, oh....


 

Simple. I had 1666 and they chopped off a thousand of my posts.

 

Can't remember ever having that much to say.

 

==============================

Wherever you go there you are.

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quote:
Originally posted by tirediron:

The Walmart Housebrand is an excellent bet for quality, inexpensive 'AA' bats. I buy four packs of "EverActive" batteries, and get a good solid 14+ hours in my eTrex Legend. These are actually made by Energizer, and are the same battery, just wrapped in a different label. At 4/$2.29 (In Canada; probably cheaper in the US, and even cheaper when you buy the larger packages) it's hard to justify the expense and annoyance of rechargables in my opinion.


 

I actually had a finder log that he left 4 Dead AAA's! icon_eek.gif That was real nice! I hiked my butt down there and got them out of there -- cache maintainance. Otherwise, I put AA's in caches. Forgive me, but I buy cheapee Walgreens alkalines. I figure there OK in an emergency!

 

Bluespreacher

 

"We've got the hardware and the software, the plans and the maps ..." -- Citizen Wayne Kramer

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I wouldn't do!

 

Batteries are hazardous waste, you get sued if you depose them in the normal trash bin (at least here in the EUC). So deposing them into nature (and that is a cache in the outer worlds eyes) would be worse!

A leaking battery in cache in a water protection area is really something which can create harm! All that knifes, lighters are toys compared to that.

Also dont forget, that many McToys contain little batteries, which contain mercury, which is a poison. Electrified McToy shoudn't be placed into caches by the same motivation.

 

There is also another motivation not to use primary cells but use rechargebles: There is more than the simple price of the battery, its also a matter of ecological thinking: batteries consume much, much more energy for production and recycling than its electrical energy. This you can tremendously reduce by using quality rechargables. As outdoor and nature addicted we should think a little bit on this!

Take care! Wulf

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Perhaps we should think on things a little bit before we post, and not spread misinformation.

 

All batteries are NOT considered hazardous waste. In the US, mercury has been phased out of standard alkaline and button battery production. Major producers haven't used mercury for almost a decade.

 

Here in the US, these batteries are considered safe for disposal in household waste.

 

George

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quote:
Originally posted by nincehelser:

Perhaps we should think on things a little bit before we post, and not spread misinformation.

 

All batteries are NOT considered hazardous waste.


That is not the case in europe (EC). Batteries are all considered hazardous waste which is not allowed in household waste, but must be put back into recycling. Recycling containers are available everywhere. You can be fined pretty stiffly if you put batteries (or rechargebles) into your normal trash can. Disposing a few batteries in household waste is around 100 Euros, disposing them into the environment is 1000 Euros and up. If done for profit or commercially the fines go upto 50.000 Euros (general fines for inappropriate disposal of hazardous waste).

 

quote:
In the US, mercury has been phased out of standard alkaline and button battery production.

That is also the case here in Europe. Otherwise batteries would have to be stored in specialized sealed safety containers, which are pretty expensive icon_biggrin.gif

 

Patrick

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Thinks are different in the different parts of the world:

It is strictly prohibited in the whole european community to dispose batteries in household trash. You can get sued by this, same for disposing them into nature!

Here battery manufacturer are responsible for their batteries after the usage, they must take them back and recycle them (This is law since 1.10.1998). So the battery price reflects the complete life cycle of primary cells, not only the production: so they are more expensive!

You pay an Euro per AA ($=€), if a standard NimH costs 3 bucks, then you see the balance different.

For recycling they want to use them into steal production and they want to get the zinc out of it, but there are still too much old Zinc-coal and Alkali Mangan batteries around, which contains up to 100ppm mercury. To use them without problem, they must contain less then 5 ppm mercury! (Since 2001 a law)

The only batteries, which are without any problem in recycling are zinc-air, silver oxyde and NimMH!

If the economical laws in the US are less strong then EU, then things for the US are different in the law perspective but that doesn't make the environment cleaner!

Wulf

 

[This message was edited by DocW on April 13, 2003 at 11:45 AM.]

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And just be the EU has different laws doesn't make them any cleaner, either. Just unecessarily regulated.

 

The main components of carbon and alkaline batteries are steel, zinc, and manganese. I think we know steel is not a major health problem. Zinc and manganese are considered non-toxic, and are vital to the health of all living things.

 

Further, international studies have shown (Japan, Canada, and Belgium, for example) that these sorts of batteries in a landfill pose no signifcant risk.

 

In fact, other studies even suggest that the collection, transport and recycling of such carbon and alkaline batteries is counterproductive as far as the environment is concerned. Too much energy is wasted cleaning up a non-problem.

 

To sum up, the batteries in question here (the kind someone wants to leave in a cache) aren't an environmental risk. The science just doesn't support it.

 

The EU may think differently, but that's a different manner entirely.

 

George

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OK, I think we can agree on the following points:

1) Batteries are not as "hazardous" as they were, due to the fact that the really dangerous materials have been abandoned (especially mercury)

2) Keep the environment clean. Take yout trash with you, do not leave it behind.

3) Laws are pretty different in different parts of the world. Inform yourself, before you act. What is acceptable in one country may very well be forbidden in another.

 

On the original subject of putting batteries in a cache, I think one take cares that the batteries don't contain poisonous materials, and that they are properly packed (waterproof), it should not pose a problem.

 

Patrick

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quote:

We took batteries for the first time from a cache recently and they were dead. Someone said the cold and freezing weather makes them loose their charge. so we won't be taking them from caches any more and I wouldn't bother leaving them unless it was warm weather.


 

Someone told you wrong. Many people freeze alkaline batteries to extend their shelf life The benefits of this practice are debatable. Everyeady says that freezing extends shelf life by less than 5 percent.

 

Alkaline batteries do suffer from reduced performance when cold, but once they are warmed up, they regain full strength.

 

On the other hand, extended exposure to high temps will cause an alkaline battery to lose its charge more quickly.

 

"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues" -Abraham Lincoln

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I've left AA batteries in a geocache. I've also had to use a set left in a cache. Never had any problems with either.

 

Things to keep in mind about battery types though:

 

1) ALL battery type lose power when cold, and regain it when they warm up. rechargable types are particularly prone to problems like this, to the point where I won't use rechargables in my GPS if the temperature is below freezing.

 

2)Batteries will leak if allowed to discharge to the point where they're completely dead. Dampness will speed this up, so sealing them in a ziplock baggie is a good idea.

 

3) Rechargable batteries work well right up until they are almost dead, then die with little or no warning. I've had NiCd batteries go from working perfectly to nothing at all in under 30 seconds. For that reason, I don't use rechargables for lights while caving.

 

4) For a given size, the non rechargable alkaline batteries hold far more power than rechargables. In any given piece of equipment, I find alkaline batteries last 2-3 times longer than rechargables.

 

5) Alkaline batteries have a much longer shelf life than rechargables. NiMH rechargables can self discharge in as little as a couple of weeks, so I always make sure to charge them just before use. Alkaline batteries will last a couple of years at least without any problems.

 

6) By the time any battery is ready to leak because of overheating, they're also hot enough to leave burns when you touch them. Unless you're leaving a cache in direct sunlight in the desert, this isn't very likely to happen.

 

The bottom line is that batteries need to be chosen for the use they're going to be put. For some uses, Alkalines are best, and for others, rechargables of one sort or another.

 

<o_o>

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quote:
Originally posted by chris-mouse:

 

4) For a given size, the non rechargable alkaline batteries hold far more power than rechargables. In any given piece of equipment, I find alkaline batteries last 2-3 times longer than rechargables.

 


 

Which capacity of rechargeables do you use? I have seen

varieties ranging from 750 to 2000 mAh (I think this is

the correct unit, but I am probably wrong). Does anyone

know which capacity alkalines usually have, btw?

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Since this is kind of like a poll here is my 2 cents. You should carry your own spare batteries, especially Escout ("be prepared"). Batteries take up space for something that would actually be cool to find. When is the last time that I have found something cool? I like the EC's sense of corporate responsibility.

 

stealyourcachelogo.web.small

It's just a box of rain, I don't know who put it there. Believe it if you need it, or leave it if you dare.

It's just a box of rain, or a ribbon for your hair; Such a long time to be gone, and a short time to be there.

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here is an idea...

 

first and formost, EVERYBODY should carry spare batteries

 

when you go to a cache that has batteries in it, take them and leave your fresh spares.... this is assuming the ones in the cache are not dead, leaking or exploded.

 

Doing this leves fresh batteries in the cache for somebody who might need them in an emergency

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