BATTERY LIFE!!!
By Montana Grant

Posted: March 19, 2022

Campers and outdoorsmen get a charge at using batteries. These power cells add light, comfort, and energy when well off grid. Having a small battery to illuminate your path, recharge a cell phone, supply energy to a tool, or… means convenience and opportunity.

So, what happens when the batteries lose their power? This means that they are no longer useful and need to be disposed of. We have all seen batteries chucked into campfires, creeks, lakes, and just tossed out. Sadly, each battery contains toxins that pollute and damage the environment, Batteries, especially rechargeable batteries, contain cadmium, mercury, and lead. These toxins will leach into the water and soil and contaminates the environment.

Recycling batteries is very important. Many home centers and office supply stores offer free battery drop-offs for recycling batteries. We do not need these toxins in our landfills or environment. To find a battery recycle center near you, search call2recycle.org.

Some batteries that you think are dead may offer a second life. Before dumping your old slide in tool battery, try to jump start the questionable battery. In many cases the rechargeable battery is lower than the recharger will recognize. You simply need to add enough charge to allow the recharger to sense the power. Once it does, the recharger will do its job. 

To recharge a dead battery, connect it to a fully charged battery. This can be done with simple batteries by connecting a small wire between the new and old battery. A piece of electric tape will connect the 2 batteries at their +/- terminals. After a few minutes of charge sharing, disconnect the batteries and then place the old, jumped battery, into the recharger. It should have enough power to be recognized by the charger to be recharged normally. If this does not work, then the battery is truly dead and needs to be recycled. 

The same trick can be done with tool batteries. The power connections can be made using contacts at the 2 furthest contacts, marked +/-. Use a charged battery to boost the dead one. You can often bring the old, weak battery back to life.

You are in charge!

Montana Grant