In the circle I grew up with, we had a particular upbringing.
Meaning, if you get yourself in a mess, you better figure out how to get yourself out of it, too.
Not that we never lent, or accepted, a helping hand at times.
But ultimately it was up to us to figure out life’s curveballs.
A legacy of that upbringing is perhaps a strong, self-reliant streak. Previous partners would argue that perhaps there is TOO much of an independent streak. But that’s another story. 🙂
And part of that independent streak is making sure I can get myself back from a trailhead.
One item I purchased more about five years ago is a jump starter pack.
Simply put: If you travel to remote trailheads you should have one of these items.
AAA is not going to come out to some place that needs an atlas to find. There is a good chance there will be no one at the trailhead with some jumper cables to give you a boost.
The weather gets cold? Is your battery a little older? It is now 6 p.m., it is -10F, and you can’t start the car up?
I hope you enjoy sleeping in the car until the morning comes and it warms up a bit.
The particular model I bought is the Booster PAC ES5000.
It has been a workhorse for myself and others.
My battery died in the parking lot at work after-hours during a cold snap last year. What could have been a hassle turned into a minor inconvenience instead.
But I’ve helped out others at trailheads twice now as well. I’ve given jumps in town a few times, too.
The pack is robust and with 400 cranking amps, plenty of juice to start up my 2005 Kia Sorento built on a truck frame even when cold. It holds a charge rather well. I spot check it all winter, and it is never low. Obviously, if you have a larger vehicle, you may need a larger capacity pack. Likewise, if you have a diesel vehicle.
There is a 12v outlet so that I can power or charge other devices in a pinch, too.
Other jump starter packs have built-in compressors, longer cables, and other features.
But the Booster Pac 5000 is both compact and reliable.
Not to say other jump starters won’t work.
I just know this jump starter works.
And works well.
If you want to spend $125 on a new pack, rain jacket, shelter or stove, consider purchasing a jump starter instead.
I should also add that there are less expensive ones in the $50 or so range, but for cold weather you’ll want something with higher cranking amps total. Spend a little more money for something with more oomph overall and you are less likely to get stuck when it counts!
A good jumper is an investment for outdoor trips every person should have in their auto kit.
And it will be far more useful in the long run as well.
Caution: Obviously, use care when dealing with anything electrical. RTFM first before you are at a trailhead where it is -10F and you are stuck!
Disclosure: I purchased this with my funds.
Timely post. I was thinking of getting one of these for when I go hiking and just for my daily job where I drive around all day. I’ve needed 3 jump starts over a past 2 months and the problem doesnt seem like a simple fix. Glad you like yours. I will probably look into getting this one too. Thanks.
The jumpstart helps and is obviously something I think we all should have for an emergency. But sounds like you have some other mechanical issues as well?
Yeah but I am not sure the cause of my cars sickness so for now treating the symptom is good enough to keep me rolling on four wheels 🙂
Dude I have been eyeing these for years! No more excuses, its time
Saved my rear end twice..and others too! I think every outdoor person should have it in their kit esp if they off the beaten path.
Well I kid you not I left my lights on at the trail head today, came back to discover my dead battery. Guy in the parking lot didnt have cables, but brought out one of these. I drove off 2 minutes later. I’m sold!
Wow. Talk about timing. I swear I did not plan for you to kill the battery. 🙂