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What Are the Best Batteries for Trail Cameras?

Power - by Joe Weber - updated on 12/4/2023

Trail cam attached to a tree

Winter hunting seasons are in full swing around the country. Make sure your trail cameras are ready and powered with the best batteries so you never miss a sighting.

What Kind of Batteries Do Most Trail Cameras Use?

Almost all trail cameras use a battery that is a common household item, the AA. AA batteries have been the choice for trail camera manufacturers for their reliability and low replacement cost.

There are several different types of AA batteries that you can use from quality brands like Duracell, Energizer, Nuon and more, all of which are available at Batteries Plus and come with the expert battery knowledge and service you expect from your local battery experts.

Not sure which ones to go with? Let's go into the details of each one to help you out.

Alkaline Batteries

You can find alkaline batteries almost anywhere, the corner convenience store, the big box retailers, and even the grocery store. They are great for everyday use in electronics and thrive in warmer temperatures.

Pros Cons
Inexpensive Freezing
Available everywhere Lifespan
Great in warmer weather Performance over time

While alkaline batteries are a great option, they do have lower performance in the colder months. When the temperature drops below freezing they can actually freeze, rendering them ineffective. Another drawback is that they lose power over time. They start out with 1.5V when you first install them but steadily drop as they age to the cutoff of .8V and need to be replaced.

Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries

Rechargeable batteries are always a good option for those not wanting to buy new batteries all the time. Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries are good in the cold and better for the environment by not requiring you to buy new batteries whenever they go dead.

Don't forget the charger! NiMH rechargeable batteries are a fantastic option but you must have a compatible charger to recharge the batteries.

Pros Cons
Cost savings Quicker discharge
Cold weather ready Recharging
Eco-friendly Cost

NiMH batteries are a little more expensive upfront but you will make up the difference by not buying as many batteries. Much like alkaline batteries, these will start to gradually lose power the minute you insert them into your camera.

Lithium Batteries

Lithium AA batteries may be a little harder to find than your traditional alkaline batteries but they are still readily available to the masses. Don't let the higher price tag on lithium batteries scare you, these batteries pack a punch with almost 7 times more runtime than alkaline batteries.

Pros Cons
Long life No low power indicator
Consistent power Expensive
Good cold weather performance -

If you want something that works well in the cold, lithium is your battery. It's rated for use all the way down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit.

The one thing you could say is a negative with these batteries is that because they put out the same level of power throughout the life of the battery, it's hard to tell if the batteries are getting low. While alkaline batteries will gradually lose power over time, it's pretty clear when they are getting low. That's not the case for lithium. Most of the time, you'll find out that your batteries are low when your device doesn't power on or function.

Which is the Best Battery for My Trail Camera?

Depending on where you are in the country, this answer may differ. If you are hunting Mule Deer in Texas during the winter, the temperature seldom drops below freezing. You could get greater results by using quality alkaline batteries like the Rayovac Fusion AAs or the Batteries Plus AA 36-pack.

If you aren't one of the lucky ones living and hunting in warmer climates, and you are Elk hunting in North Dakota in the winter, then you might want to consider the Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA. They are available in a convenient 8-pack to get your camera up and running with only one purchase. The Ultimate Lithium will provide you with better cold weather operation all while reliably keeping your camera powered for upwards of 30,000 photos taken during their lifetime (depending on the camera).

The Bottom Line

Chances are, if you are reading this now, you are probably in a colder climate during the winter months. Whether you are hunting year-round or just in the winter, the Energizer Ultimate Lithium is the best battery for your trail cameras. They work great in both the summer and the winter all while lasting much longer than the alkaline varieties.

Make sure you stop by your nearest Batteries Plus to pick up some today! Batteries make great stocking stuffers too, so grab a few packs for your loved ones while you're here.

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