How To Protect Your Electronics From Water While Camping

It doesn't take a lot of moisture to ruin electronics. Even the best weather forecaster can't guarantee a dry camping trip. You need a wet-weather contingency plan to protect your high-tech gear.

How To Protect Electronics in Wet Weather
Photo Credit: rhoftonphoto

Here are some suggestions for protecting your electronics from rain and moisture while camping.

First, Stop Further Damage

If electronics get wet:

  1. Get them out of the water or wet conditions and into the driest, warmest space available. Dry off the device as best you can.
  2. Next, make sure the device is off.
  3. If possible, remove the battery and battery cover, and open any compartments to try and let air circulate through the device.
  4. Let your device air dry for at least a day, and perhaps a week. As you're letting it dry, be sure to rotate it around so that water can drain and air can circulate in different ways.
  5. If you're comfortable, you can disassemble and inspect the inside of your device for signs of damage.
  6. If you want to be really careful, bring your devices to a certified electronics technician for inspection before you turn it on.

The faster you can get the device dried off and shut off, the less the risk for damage. The more time you give your device to dry out, the more likely it will turn back on.

Secondly, Stock Up on Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are wonderful things, and they come in all sizes! From sandwich and freezer bags, to full sized industrial trash bags. There's virtually no electronic device that can't be completely covered by a plastic bag. If you can create a seal with these bags, they are essentially waterproof.

Always keep a pack of sandwich bags and trash bags in your backpack when you go on hikes and seal any electronics you leave behind, just in case. This is especially important if you plan on going swimming, fishing, or do anything around a body of water. It doesn't take rain at this point to submerge your electronics, just poor footing!

Thirdly, Pack Some Rice

Rice can be used to dry out electronics
Obviously, you don't want to turn your phone on (and you want to submerge it in the rice). Photo Credit: stevendepolo

Most people who own cell phones already know this trick but a container of rice can sometimes bring a submerged device back to life. Rice is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs any moisture in the surrounding air. If you place a phone, camera, etc. that is wet into a bag of rice, the rice grains will "soak up" the moisture in the device...even drawing out moisture that's inside the device's nooks and crannies.

The trick is to be patient as it can take at least a day (and sometimes two or three) for the rice to do its thing.

Finally, Don't Forget About Humidity

When most people think about moisture, they think about a rainstorm, a pond, etc. However, high levels of humidity can also do considerable damage to electronics. Cameras are particularly susceptible to this damage, as they're often stored in sealed cases after being used in moist conditions.

The solution? Desiccants. Tiny packets of silica gel can be placed inside your electronics cases, protecting them from humidity. Most electronics come with small desiccant packs from the factory, but if your electronics don't have them (or if you lose them), you can buy replacements online.

Back to blog