I’m not going to brag (okay, so really, I kinda am) for you East Coasters that love your seasons. I’m currently sitting in 80-degree weather, listening to the ocean waves crashing on the shore. There’s a slight breeze in the salty ocean air…well, you get the point. My point is, this article won’t apply to those who don’t experience or shoot cold weather. For those that do, though, learn how to keep your camera battery warm in cold weather with the following tips.
Note: This article was originally written in 2016 and updated in 2022 by our editorial staff
Watch the Full Video
In this following quick tip video from AdoramaTV, photographer David Bergman talks about how he protects his batteries and keep them functioning at optimal levels when he is out shooting.
Tips for keeping your camera battery warm in cold weather
- Understand How Cold Weather Affects Your Battery Life – When you shoot in the cold, the battery life deteriorates much faster than in temperate weather. And nothing is worse than braving the bitter cold only to find your batteries refuse to cooperate. Bring extra batteries if you know you’re going to be shooting in cold weather. Also, consider bringing a portable charger or a power bank that can act as a power source for your camera (if you’re shooting mirrorless).
- Use Hand warmers – David uses little inexpensive hand warmers you can keep in your pocket (I didn’t even know that was a thing). For all of his batteries, David just puts the mini heating pad right on them. He also advises to keep your batteries and the hand warmer in your pocket and not in your camera bag/backpack. They will stay warm and cozy that way. If you only have one battery (or want to keep the battery that is currently in your camera warm), you can tape the hand warmer right onto the side of your camera.
- Keep Them Close to Your Body – Another option, not mentioned in the video, is to keep your camera batteries close to your body. Our recommended location is the inside coat pocket.
- Do not warm up your batteries too quickly – If your batteries are freezing cold, be sure to warm them up slowly with body temperature or with time inside of a warm room. Do not try to put them too close to a heat source like a fire or heater, as you can damage the battery permanently.
If it’s too late and you’ve already frozen your camera and gear, check out Matt’s article on how to save and defrost your frozen camera. Otherwise, grab a few of these hand warmers and watch the video in this article. For more inspiration, see our article on Winter Landscape Photography Tips.