I opted to take a "Nugget Day" after the post-Christmas chores were finally done and a pleasant weather window was forecast in between SoCal's series of incoming storm systems. So I charged my Walmart made in China battery booster the night before, went through my mental checklist of survival things to take (just in case) and then merrily rejoiced as I departed early to a place at some elevation that I hadn't visited for a long time. Somehow in my reverie I managed not to actually put the Walmart booster into my truck (stupid, stupid old man brain f___). As the sun was preparing for it's evening rest I finally nailed the attached .91g "cornflake nugget." I hustled down the mountain to insure that I would get back to my truck before total darkness fell. As I approached the tailgate my heart sank. There in the crepuscular dimness I spied a slight glow emanating from the F150's tailgate light. HOLY MOLY!! I must have forgotten to switch my headlights off!! Sure enough, battery totally unresponsive and I am quite a distance into the woods. Not a single Cro Magnon anywhere in evidence. Immediately I climbed to a high point and tried to text a message -- undeliverable said the iPhone. With temps dropping rapidly and my water bottles already freezing I quickly set about preparing for a miserable night alone in bear country. Try sleeping from 1800 to 0600 especially after not having with me the evening prostate med I usually take (in other words dragging myself out of the sleeping bag every hour or so, i.e., around 10 times that night into very cold, bone chilling weather). I began hiking out at 0700 after repacking and securing my truck and leaving a note in case I could not get back to it (or worse) until after the coming storm event. Finally got to a place 4 miles down were my cell got a text off. An hour and a couple of miles later my honey came driving up the crude mountain road in her Chrysler T & C, then vented a hissy fit about getting stuck on the way up. Triple A refused to send a truck into 4WD territory, but a local acquaintance took pity and we took with us 2 brand new compact lithium ion battery chargers claimed to be capable of starting a vehicle, plus the Walmart standard battery booster that I had left on my garage work bench fully charged. The lithium ion wonders of latest technology only made my F150 perform a clicking noise. Next, the Walmart. More clicking noise following some turnovers. The turnovers weren't supplying sufficient juice to ignite the engine in the thin, high altitude air. Next, the jumper cables. The F150 roared back to its former lion-self and the sun once more settled into the west.
Lessons learned. No more cheap Walmart booster batteries or tiny compact but boastful lithium ion designs. I'm getting the heavy duty Interstate brand booster battery that AAA uses to restart dead batteries. They cost three times more, but I would gladly have paid the extra bucks not to have had to suffer through that bone chilling night. Also on my purchase list: the SPOT X that enables text messages to be sent and received via satellite from anywhere on planet Earth. Finally, a WRITTEN CHECK OFF LIST to insure my stupid brain ACTUALLY confirms the entire list is loaded aboard before my next trip out, not just assumes that everything is packed. I hope this is a wakeup call for others on this forum. It is for me.