How a Baked Potato Can Extend Your Cameras Battery Life on a Cold Day - Digital Photography School

How a Baked Potato Can Extend Your Cameras Battery Life on a Cold Day

Image by psd

Image by psd

Here’s a quick (and rather quirky/novel) tip for extending the life of your batteries in cold weather that we received via email this week:

“In cold temperatures batteries lose their power quickly so it’s a good idea to carry extra. In order to keep your spare[s] from draining in a cold camera bag, use an old trick for keeping warm in the cold. Put a hot foil-wrapped baked potato in your pocket. It will keep your spare batteries warm, give your trigger finger a place to warm up and after you’ve been out shooting in the cold for a while, you’ll have a nutritious snack.”

Thanks to Anne Williams for the tip!

Note: DPS will not be responsible for damage caused to the property of those introducing Baked Potatoes into their camera bags and advises against adding sour cream, butter or any other condiments to baked potatoes used in this way! :-)

A More Serious Note: another method that we know some DPS readers for warming their camera batteries is to keep a hand warmer in their pocket with their batteries.

Got a ‘quick tip’ to share? Stop by the Tutorials section of our Forum and leave your tip there. We’ll pick some of the best to feature here on the blog. Don’t forget to leave a link to your blog/flickr account/website etc so we can give you a little credit if we use it.

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • Bruce

    Safety note: Eating a baked potato after it has cooled in aluminum foil is dangerous because harmful bacteria typically grow on the potato and the skin once it has cooled. Botulism is the most common microorganism that will grow in a baked potato left to sit and cool.

    The stick on hand warmers are great for warming batteries, and hands.

  • Ramón

    Ha! DPS’ note was exactly what I was about to comment!

  • http://www.bogdanvalentin.com Bogdan Valentin

    Won’t that cause condense and ruin the batteries?
    Just saying.. don’t kill me!

    (my first post on DPS :D)

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/yeoldefart/ Dennis Newman

    This has to be the worst tip I’ve seen at this site. In the 1st place the potatoes would have to cool way down to carry in your pocket. After that how long will they stay viably warm in cold weather? By the time your batteries wear down in cold weather, the potatoes will have lost their warmth and I doubt we will have gained much. Besides, who wants to run around on a shoot with a baked potato in his pocket? For Pete’s sake, just buy a good battery operated handwarmer or a pair of electric socks.

    Dennis

  • http://www.lookedinto.com Scott

    I’d be cautious with a foil wrapped anything next to a battery. Make sure the terminals are covered to prevent a short.

  • http://martybugs.net/blog Martin

    …and shorting a lithium ion battery can result in a nasty fire/explosion….which would be very undesirable in your pocket!

  • http://www.allancarterphotography.com allan

    quote “which would be very undesirable in your pocket!” unquote.

    So would a hot potato. I’d prefer a hand warmer.

  • http://pixatography.com Ken

    Good to know cold weather has such an influence on a battery’s charge. I live where it’s hot almost year-round, but will soon be using this info for travel.

    Ken

  • http://www.ilanbresler.com Ilan

    I know when it’s cold out there, a baked potato sure can help extend MY Battery :)

  • http://www.smashandpeas.com/ Lee Milthorpe

    Great advice, but I’m sure there must be something better to use than a foiled baked potato. I’d feel much better using one of Dennis Newman’s ideas above.

  • http://www.pjzstudios.com Peter James Zielinski

    Big stretch there guys….use what I use…

    HANDWARMERS. Perfect for keeping your pockets a warm place. Great for your boots too.

    This is the amazon link for a box of 40 for 22 bucks…but if you’re really strapped for cash….go to a Menards or camping store and get one pack for 50 cents.

    Heh…Potatoes.

  • http://jasonkimball.org jay

    I think I will pass on the hand warmer and go straight for the twice baked potato stuffed in my pocket….huh! hahaha

  • http://www.classyshots.com Michael VanDeWalker

    Is that a potato in your pocket or did you want to take my photograph?

    Sorry… had to do it

  • http://www.lifegawker.com Ryan | Lifegawker

    Who knew that hot foil wrapped baked potatoes were the pre-cursor to the modern day hand warmer. Seems like a feasible idea, but I like my baked in my stomach and not in my pocket.

  • King Edward

    Oh dear,
    Looks like you opened a real “Hot Potato” with this topic.

  • rob

    I carry baked potatoes around with me, but not to warm my batts but rather to feed me.

  • Sparky

    Handwarmers are okay but then you have to throw chemical waste in the trash. I’ve had good luck just keeping batteries in an inside pocket, under a couple layers of coat, fleece and sweater, so they are close to the body. Body temperature is plenty warm enough but pants pockets are too exposed – not enough layers over. The trick is in dressing so you can get your hand into that inner pocket without having to strip off your outer layers while you’re out in the cold.

  • the other Adam

    Just put the batteries in an inside pocket.

  • Josh

    Or you can go into the sporting goods section of most larger stores (like Wal-mart, or Meijer) and pick up a few hand warmers. Through them on your bag and you have instant heat whenever you need it.

  • http://the-gift-idea-blog.com Billy

    Warming batteries will only help with alkaline batteries. Lithium and NiMH batteries operate better at low temperatures.

  • Anita

    … I can’t possibly be the only female photographer who’s put a battery in my bra to keep it warm… can I?

    Also: assuming the photographer also needs to be kept warm, don’t most winter jackets come with at least one inside pocket, these days? Body heat is a wonderful thing.

  • http://botulismyf.blogspot.com/ Ryland Dodson

    ? How toxic is it? A little over a pound of botulin is enough to kill every human on Earth.? That?s some pretty toxic stuff!!

  • http://www.puppymatrix.com Kelly Peet

    Okay….I’m going to be the strange one and say that it’s not realy a bad idea…except….I can just imagine mashed potatoes in my pocket after forgeting about it and laying on my stomach for a shot.

    Here is what I use when I don’t have Hot Pockets. I use plastic soft drink bottles and fill them with hot water. They stay warm forever and I don’t have to worry about them leaking as long as I put the top on really tight. I think it would be best to not store any electrical equipment near it just in case you forget to tighten the top really good.

  • http://www.puppymatrix.comandwww.kellypeet.com Kelly Peet

    Okay….I’m going to be the strange one and say that it’s not realy a bad idea…except….I can just imagine mashed potatoes in my pocket after forgeting about it and laying on my stomach for a shot. Here is what I use when I don’t have Hot Pockets. I use plastic soft drink bottles and fill them with hot water. They stay warm forever and I don’t have to worry about them leaking as long as I put the top on really tight. I think it would be best to not store any electrical equipment near it just in case you forget to tighten the top really good.

    Here is what I use when I don’t have Hot Pockets. I use plastic soft drink bottles and fill them with hot water. They stay warm forever and I don’t have to worry about them leaking as long as I put the top on really tight. I think it would be best to not store any electrical equipment near it just in case you forget to tighten the top really good.

  • Jacquie

    Great article and comments.

  • Krisn

    Has anyone just thought about making a battery warmer? Take some old socks or fabric and sew it together leaving an opening to add some uncooked rice, then add a pocket on the outside big enough for your batteries then and put some uncooked rice in it. then sew the opening shut. Throw it in the microwave for a min or so and it will keep warm. You could make it small enough to keep in your pocket for a pocket warmer too.

  • http://www.batterieschargerstore.co.uk/ qiyun

    This is a very special method, I am the first time see it.Too stimulated.

    panasonic lumix dmc-fz28 charger
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Some older comments

  • qiyun

    September 16, 2010 05:25 pm

    This is a very special method, I am the first time see it.Too stimulated.

    panasonic lumix dmc-fz28 charger
    panasonic dmc-tz4 charger

  • Krisn

    August 29, 2010 07:08 am

    Has anyone just thought about making a battery warmer? Take some old socks or fabric and sew it together leaving an opening to add some uncooked rice, then add a pocket on the outside big enough for your batteries then and put some uncooked rice in it. then sew the opening shut. Throw it in the microwave for a min or so and it will keep warm. You could make it small enough to keep in your pocket for a pocket warmer too.

  • Jacquie

    December 29, 2009 05:18 am

    Great article and comments.

  • Kelly Peet

    December 24, 2009 10:51 am

    Okay....I'm going to be the strange one and say that it's not realy a bad idea...except....I can just imagine mashed potatoes in my pocket after forgeting about it and laying on my stomach for a shot. Here is what I use when I don't have Hot Pockets. I use plastic soft drink bottles and fill them with hot water. They stay warm forever and I don't have to worry about them leaking as long as I put the top on really tight. I think it would be best to not store any electrical equipment near it just in case you forget to tighten the top really good.

    Here is what I use when I don't have Hot Pockets. I use plastic soft drink bottles and fill them with hot water. They stay warm forever and I don't have to worry about them leaking as long as I put the top on really tight. I think it would be best to not store any electrical equipment near it just in case you forget to tighten the top really good.

  • Kelly Peet

    December 24, 2009 10:45 am

    Okay....I'm going to be the strange one and say that it's not realy a bad idea...except....I can just imagine mashed potatoes in my pocket after forgeting about it and laying on my stomach for a shot.

    Here is what I use when I don't have Hot Pockets. I use plastic soft drink bottles and fill them with hot water. They stay warm forever and I don't have to worry about them leaking as long as I put the top on really tight. I think it would be best to not store any electrical equipment near it just in case you forget to tighten the top really good.

  • Ryland Dodson

    March 4, 2009 10:22 pm

    ? How toxic is it? A little over a pound of botulin is enough to kill every human on Earth.? That?s some pretty toxic stuff!!

  • Anita

    February 25, 2009 07:09 am

    ... I can't possibly be the only female photographer who's put a battery in my bra to keep it warm... can I?

    Also: assuming the photographer also needs to be kept warm, don't most winter jackets come with at least one inside pocket, these days? Body heat is a wonderful thing.

  • Billy

    February 16, 2009 10:57 pm

    Warming batteries will only help with alkaline batteries. Lithium and NiMH batteries operate better at low temperatures.

  • Josh

    February 15, 2009 01:51 pm

    Or you can go into the sporting goods section of most larger stores (like Wal-mart, or Meijer) and pick up a few hand warmers. Through them on your bag and you have instant heat whenever you need it.

  • the other Adam

    February 15, 2009 03:43 am

    Just put the batteries in an inside pocket.

  • Sparky

    February 14, 2009 03:37 pm

    Handwarmers are okay but then you have to throw chemical waste in the trash. I've had good luck just keeping batteries in an inside pocket, under a couple layers of coat, fleece and sweater, so they are close to the body. Body temperature is plenty warm enough but pants pockets are too exposed - not enough layers over. The trick is in dressing so you can get your hand into that inner pocket without having to strip off your outer layers while you're out in the cold.

  • rob

    February 14, 2009 04:30 am

    I carry baked potatoes around with me, but not to warm my batts but rather to feed me.

  • King Edward

    February 13, 2009 12:21 am

    Oh dear,
    Looks like you opened a real "Hot Potato" with this topic.

  • Ryan | Lifegawker

    February 13, 2009 12:08 am

    Who knew that hot foil wrapped baked potatoes were the pre-cursor to the modern day hand warmer. Seems like a feasible idea, but I like my baked in my stomach and not in my pocket.

  • Michael VanDeWalker

    February 12, 2009 11:45 pm

    Is that a potato in your pocket or did you want to take my photograph?

    Sorry... had to do it

  • jay

    February 12, 2009 10:11 pm

    I think I will pass on the hand warmer and go straight for the twice baked potato stuffed in my pocket....huh! hahaha

  • Peter James Zielinski

    February 12, 2009 09:32 pm

    Big stretch there guys....use what I use...

    HANDWARMERS. Perfect for keeping your pockets a warm place. Great for your boots too.

    This is the amazon link for a box of 40 for 22 bucks...but if you're really strapped for cash....go to a Menards or camping store and get one pack for 50 cents.

    Heh...Potatoes.

  • Lee Milthorpe

    February 12, 2009 08:06 pm

    Great advice, but I'm sure there must be something better to use than a foiled baked potato. I'd feel much better using one of Dennis Newman's ideas above.

  • Ilan

    February 12, 2009 05:07 pm

    I know when it's cold out there, a baked potato sure can help extend MY Battery :)

  • Ken

    February 12, 2009 12:49 pm

    Good to know cold weather has such an influence on a battery's charge. I live where it's hot almost year-round, but will soon be using this info for travel.

    Ken

  • allan

    February 12, 2009 09:55 am

    quote "which would be very undesirable in your pocket!" unquote.

    So would a hot potato. I'd prefer a hand warmer.

  • Martin

    February 12, 2009 09:44 am

    ...and shorting a lithium ion battery can result in a nasty fire/explosion....which would be very undesirable in your pocket!

  • Scott

    February 12, 2009 09:16 am

    I'd be cautious with a foil wrapped anything next to a battery. Make sure the terminals are covered to prevent a short.

  • Dennis Newman

    February 12, 2009 08:45 am

    This has to be the worst tip I've seen at this site. In the 1st place the potatoes would have to cool way down to carry in your pocket. After that how long will they stay viably warm in cold weather? By the time your batteries wear down in cold weather, the potatoes will have lost their warmth and I doubt we will have gained much. Besides, who wants to run around on a shoot with a baked potato in his pocket? For Pete's sake, just buy a good battery operated handwarmer or a pair of electric socks.

    Dennis

  • Bogdan Valentin

    February 12, 2009 08:09 am

    Won't that cause condense and ruin the batteries?
    Just saying.. don't kill me!

    (my first post on DPS :D)

  • Ramón

    February 12, 2009 07:39 am

    Ha! DPS' note was exactly what I was about to comment!

  • Bruce

    February 12, 2009 07:25 am

    Safety note: Eating a baked potato after it has cooled in aluminum foil is dangerous because harmful bacteria typically grow on the potato and the skin once it has cooled. Botulism is the most common microorganism that will grow in a baked potato left to sit and cool.

    The stick on hand warmers are great for warming batteries, and hands.

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