Have you ever come across a grazing bear and pulled out your camera to get that once-in-a-lifetime shot only to realize the lens is jammed with fine, gritty sand from your campground? Have you ever experienced the helplessness of trying to use a waterlogged cell phone after wading through a backcountry stream? Maybe you’re intimately familiar with the frustration that accompanies persistently drained batteries during the most epic of adventures.
Whatever your personal experiences may be, chances are high that you’ve struggled with some type of avoidable technology malfunction while exploring the great outdoors. And while unplugging and “getting away from it all” is often the point of open-air adventures, you probably don’t leave home without a handful of tech gadgets or digital devices that aren’t compatible with your rough-and-rugged lifestyle.
Fortunately, with a little extra planning and preparation, you won’t have to worry about getting moisture in your camera lens, sand in your charge port, or water in your smartphone. With these three tips and tricks, you can keep valuable devices safe during action-packed adventures.
Before the Trip, Be Sure to Zip
Zippable and sealable bags provide the perfect solution for quick and easy tech protection. Not only are most sealable plastic bags highly affordable, but they are also compact and can easily fit in a backpack, tent bag, or back pocket. Whether you need to keep your cell phone safe at a sandy beach or want to ensure your expensive camera is protected from unexpected rain, plastic bags come in a wide variety of sizes and can easily accommodate virtually any type of electronic.
Pro tip: Keep a few zip-lock bags of varying sizes in your car or go-to gear bag for emergencies. They make quick device protection easy and you’ll thank yourself later.
Don’t Be a Goof, Always Waterproof
Even if you’re heading to the middle of the desert for a week-long excursion, it’s still smart to ensure all your valuable devices are adequately waterproofed. While zip-lock bags can add an extra layer of defense against moisture, sand, or other unwanted elements, specially designed waterproof cases and bags are the only truly reliable solution for keeping your things dry. Consider investing in a durable, water-resistant backpack to safely store your camera and other travel essentials and pick up a dry-bag at your local outdoor gear shop to keep things like keys, lighters, and flashlights water-free. In the great outdoors, there’s enough to think about with adding camera rain protection to the list.
Pro-tip: For the best phone protection, do your research when shopping for a waterproof cellphone case. From soft cases that feature things like waterproof headphone jacks and built-in floatation elements to hard cases that offer ultimate resistance, the wide variety of styles and designs give you plenty of options to choose from. Investing in a case that meets your exact wants and needs will ensure optimal satisfaction when you’re out and about.
For Adventures Large, Keep It Charged
Many of today’s cellphones are designed with an array of features useful for outdoor adventures. From music and photography to lighting and GPS, smartphones can be key elements when it comes to getting the most out of your explorations. As you probably know, though, the batteries on these devices don’t always last as long as you’d like.
Fortunately you no longer have to worry about interrupting your adventure in search of an outlet. Charge packs, solar charges, and charging cases all offer the extra juice your phone needs to make it through your adventure without running dry. Available in a variety of different styles, functions, and features, external battery chargers can be a true lifesaver in the backcountry.
Pro tip: When you’re not using your cellphone to make or receive calls, switch it into airplane mode. Airplane mode allows you to continue using the apps and features you like without wasting valuable battery searching for signal. As an added measure, consider dimming your backlight and closing all unused applications.
Don’t miss another photo opp or ruin another phone again. Keep these helpful tips in your arsenal of adventure knowledge and you can be sure that both you and your valuable technologies make it through each outdoor exploration unscathed.
A special thank you to our guest author Ryan Skidmore
Ryan Skidmore is an outdoor junkie who currently lives in Utah and is happy to be in proximity to so many national parks. He loves sharing his outdoor adventures with his wife and 2 boys. When he’s not hiking or photographing nature, Ryan works for WANDRD, a company dedicated to making the most innovative travel photography bags.