One handy and important accessory I've insisted on carrying in my backpack for many years has been a flashlight. For the past several years, I've been using nickel-metal-hydride rechargeable batteries (NiMHs) in flashlights. NiMHs are great, because you do not have to worry about having to constantly buy new batteries to replace dying ones. I have a charger, so I just take the drained NiMHs and recharge them. No waste, no fuss, no rush to buy more batteries all the time.
One weakness is that not all NiMHs are equally reliable. Some wear out and won't hold a charge. When I first started buying NiMHs in 2002, I bought AA-sized batieries for digital cameras and flashlights branded from Radio Shack and Rayovac. I subsequently bought more batteries for more devices from Thomas Distributing under the Powerex label, as well as more store-bought batteries under the Energizer label. To this day, I find the Rayovacs and Energizers to be the most reliable, although the Powerexs are supposed to hold the most charge.
Recently, I was given a gift: a new LED flashlight. It's a compact little cylinder, just a couple inches long. It holds three AAAs. It is made in Red China, of course. (Ugh.) I have a couple of questions:
Does anyone know of any USA-made high-quality flashlights and/or flashlight-lanterns?
Are any of these USA-made lights using LEDs to conserve energy?
Where do you buy your AA and AAA rechargable batteries? What brand do you use?