Summer! Time for adventuring in the great outdoors. The warm weather may have you thinking of heading out for some camping, biking, swimming or even kayaking. The good news is that with a little care, you won’t have to leave your tech behind when enjoying some off-road adventure.
The sun, surf and sand of the beach may be good for your spirits, but not so good for your smartphone. Fortunately, just like you can protect your skin with a little sunscreen (and we do recommend sunscreen) you can protect your devices with a protective case.
The type of case to look for will depend on your specific needs. A wide variety of water resistant bags and boxes are available to protect your cell phone, MP3 player or camera, like this DiCAPac camera case or H2O Amphibx Arm Band. There are even waterproof headphones designed to let you listen to music while swimming(!) While the size and shape of these protective containers may make them bulky and prevent the use of some features, they have the advantage of working with a wide range of devices.
On the other hand, you can find cases designed exactly for your device, such as the Otterbox Defender series, the Lifeproof smartphone cases, or a Canon waterproof camera case. You won’t be able to use the case if you upgrade to a different device, but they do often allow you to make more use of your current device’s buttons and functionality while out on your adventure.
If a case won’t do, you may want to consider looking into tech that comes with protection right out of the box. For taking video on the go, the Kodak ZX5 HD flash memory camcorder is waterproof, shockproof, dustproof and even fits in your pocket. The GoPro HD HERO2 wearable camera is designed to be taken along with your mountain bike, kayaking, surfboard or motorcycle ride with head and helmet straps. For photos, the Fuji FinePix XP50 and the Olympus Stylus Tough 8010 will let you get all the shots of your action.
What to Do When Protection… Doesn’t
With all that protection, it is still possible that you might get some surf or sand inside your device. Dust, sand and dirt can often cause serious problems, so make sure to clear any out before you use it. A bulb syringe and brush will help free the trapped particles. Avoid using compressed air when possible because the higher pressure could damage smaller electronic devices.
If you drop your device in water, immediately turn off the device and remove the battery if possible. Dry the device with a clean cloth, wiping every surface you can reach. Put the item into an airtight container with uncooked rice or a silica packet (often found in beef jerky packages) and let the item sit overnight.
The Geek Squad Agents at your local Best Buy can give you more tips about protecting your technology (and maybe even share some of their own adventure stories).
Agent Derek has been removing techno-stress from the lives of his Geek Squad clients since 2005. When not providing remote help as an Online Support Agent, he likes to take to the road on a vintage motorcycle for adventures through Ohio country highways.For more tips on protecting your tech from liquid spills, check out Agent Laura G’s post here.