Batteries: To Have & Not Need

For a (mostly) Type B personality I have certain over-preparation issues that some might say border on manic. Or at least chuckle worthy. A good example can be found in my first time camping and my first time to Death Valley, a solo trip in February of 2002. I bought a two-burner camping stove for the occasion, but not knowing how long the propane canisters might last, I ended up buying six of the tanks and bringing every single one with me. For a three-nighter.

Five years of camping trips later I’m pretty sure I  still have two or three full ones somewhere down in the basement.

The same goes for camera batteries. Whenever I travel with our Canon Digital Rebel, I have no less than four fully charged cells on hand — and I’m meticulous in keeping them all charged on a daily basis. Have I ever needed more than two on any given day be it out on a hike in the Angeles National Forest or abroad in Africa, the midwest, or most recently our European cruise? Nah, but that logic doesn’t stop me from believing that the day might come where I might fire off 600 shots in a six-hour period and need each of those four little powerplants.

So with my new Canon SD1000 and the measly one rechargeable battery included with it, you just know I went on the hunt for some spares, and frankly I was dumbstruck by the variation in price.  At one was going to cost me $39.29, marked down from a reported list price of $59.99 (cough!!) and they weren’t lying. showed me that $59.99 is what Circuit City wanted to charge me. But Circuit City was tame compared to the ripoff king. That dishonor went to some store called Tekby: $74.60 not including an extra six bucks in sales tax and $13.75 to ship it.


So I made a u-turn back to Google and got off those wide and gridlocked stretches of the information $uperhighway, prefering instead to make inroads down lesser traveled avenues. East Coast Photo, who I’ve used in the past provided much relief with its decidedly nicer $16.89 pricepoint (along with free ground shipping), but I opted to drive a little further and found salvation down an alley in the form of’s glorious and deeply discounted $6.99. Search over: I pulled up to their drive-thru and ordered. No, not two-dozen; I’m not that manic.

Just two. With no tax and $12 shipping the grand total came to $26; just two-thirds of what Amazon wanted me to cough up for one, and about $150 less than that gouger Tekby. Pffft.

For you third-party doubters out there the batteries arrived yesterday and no they weren’t manufactured in inner-Mongolia (at least not that I could tell).  They charged up fine and the camera didn’t explode when I tested them in it.