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Protect Your Camera From Humidity

Updated on June 2, 2016
Blond Logic profile image

Living on a farm in Brazil, I've gained local in-depth knowledge of food, plants, and traditions, which I share through my articles.

Young Woman Using Camera
Young Woman Using Camera | Source

Protecting your camera from humidity and sand

If you plan to travel or live in a tropical area, there are precautions that you should take to protect your camera and accessories from the humidity. My husband is a professional photographer and we have been living in the tropics for seven years. We can tell you about the problems you may encounter and how to avoid some of these.

Often a trip to the tropics isn't only filled with humidity. If you are near the beach there will be other potential problems such as sand, dust and also salt in the air.The result may be dust inside the camera, a scratched lens or at worse an unrepairable camera. The humidity will cause mold to grow on the lenses and the salt air can lead to rust inside the camera.

With a little forward planning, you will return home with beautiful images of an ideal vacation and not a camera that will either need to be repaired or replaced.

Camera bags

If you are traveling with a camera, it should have its own bag. Putting your camera in your handbag or in your suitcase may be convenient but can lead to the scratches and other possible damage. Camera bags are specially designed to cushion your camera, lenses and other photographic accessories.

There is usually a designated place for you camera's memory cards as well. These too are sensitive to the damaging humidity.

What is silica gel

You already may have seen silica gel and didn't realize what it was. They often come in boxes along with other packing material. They are the little pouches that are usually tucked in a corner. If you keep your camera in a bag, it is always a good idea to have silica gel packets inside the bag. They are small enough to tuck in each compartment.

These will help keep the moisture away from your camera when you are traveling.

Using Diapers to protect camera equipment

If you think I am kidding, you are wrong. Have you ever seen a child with a wet disposable diaper? They are extremely absorbent, and are just what you need. Keeping a camera and lens wrapped in diapers, when not in use, will keep your camera almost free from moisture. These can be quite bulky so when you reach your destination, this is the place to use these. In a camera bag you should use the silica gel.

Relaxing on the beach
Relaxing on the beach | Source

Protect your camera from sand and dust

Protecting your camera from sand, is important if you don't wish to have a cleaning bill when you return home. The fine particles can blow into the smallest openings on your camera. These can be the openings where the dials move or between the camera and lens. Another place of great concern is the lens. As the sand blows past the lens, it is scratching the surface. If you have felt the sand whipping against you skin, you know how damaging it can be. Purchasing a protective filter will aid in the preservation of your lens.

Whether you are near the beach or in a desert location, blowing sand can prove a problem not just for the camera body but also the lens. A protective camera housing is your best bet but if you can't afford that there are things you can do. A rain sleeve or hood will offer protection not only against rain but also sand.

Recycle an old refrigerator

If you will be staying in one location for an extended time, consider using a refrigerator. Because of the rubber seals that are around a refrigerator they make wonderful storage units. Ensure the appliances is switched off and place your camera inside. We have found this to be an excellent storage not just for camera equipment but anything else that is sensitive to humidity. As extra protection, my husband wraps cameras and lenses in diapers and then places them in the refrigerator.

Travel insurance

If you are traveling with valuable camera equipment, travel insurance is a must. Not only is this necessary for medical reasons but also for theft. Check your policy to see if it covers your cameras and lenses. This should also be for damage to your camera not just coverage if stolen. You may pay a bit more for an extensive coverage but in the long run it will be worth the added expense.


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    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Christy,

      Thank you for the vote.

      Unfortunately, protecting the camera is often something that we think of after the fact. Pass this info on to your friend, and hopefully next time they will return with their camera in the same condition as when they left.

      Great to hear from you.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Good info here. A friend of mine went to Hawaii and had a problem with humidity in her camera. Well done, voting up.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Laura,

      The diapers may be easy to find but the old refrigerator could prove difficult. We too had to learn this the hard way.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • LauraVerderber profile image

      Power Ball Pythons 5 years ago from Mobile, AL

      Useful! I had to worry about sand when I was deployed out in the desert. Now that I'm in Mobile I have to worry about sand AND humidity. I barely take my best (also most expensive) camera anywhere for fear of damaging it. i had to repair 2 lenses because of humidity. I will certainly use your tips now.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Lipnancy,

      We didn't either until it was too late. We had to send them away for specialist cleaning and now are protecting them. The humidity and the salt combined have taken the paint off my 3 year old refrigerator. Plus, my friends who live at the beach, part of their roof collapsed two weeks ago. It wasn't rotten wood, the nails had rusted through!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Have a great day.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      What great suggestions. I honestly did not realize that camera's could be effected by humidity.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Teaches12345,

      Not only is it great for cameras, we use it for dried food storage. It keeps the bugs out as well. Plus we always thought it was a great if we get robbed again. Who is going to look in a broken refrigerator for camera equipment!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Here in South Florida humidity is a big problem. Good information to know on how to protect cameras, especially the refrigerator fact. Well done.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Idigwebsites,

      You're welcome. Living in the tropics definitely has its benefits but unfortunately many cameras aren't made for the climate.

      Enjoy your birthday and thanks for the comment.

    • idigwebsites profile image

      idigwebsites 5 years ago from United States

      I'm planning to gift myself a new camera for my birthday this month, and what a timely hub! We live in a tropical country so these tips are a must to remember and follow. Thanks very much. :)

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Flashmakeit,

      As they say, forewarned is forearmed. Unfortunately we learned the hard way. My husband has fungus growing on one of his camera lenses and it will have to be sent away to be cleaned by Canon. I wish we had realized the necessary precautions to take sooner.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 5 years ago from usa

      I am glad I stopped by to read your useful hub and if I get a new camera I will know how to protect it.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Bill,

      My husband had some odd looks from the ladies at the store when he purchased those diapers. He is over 60 and I am in my 50's. They kept saying, "No, no, those are for babies."

      Thanks for the comment.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What great ideas! We don't have much of a humidity problem here in Washington, but I will remember what you wrote. Love the idea of the diaper. Great info!