silica gel

How to Protect Photography Gear From Moisture

How does one protect their gear from moisture, mainly in humid and moist environments like Alaska, Louisiana, and Florida? What about if you plan on taking a vacation to a tropical paradise?

I saw a question on the forums concerning a listener that found mold in their lens. True, it was a cheaper kit lens, but this is not an uncommon thing for lenses that are not environmentally sealed. It is even found in lenses that are environmentally sealed. Perform a search on the internet. It happens. Since this can also be found to occur in the most expensive and well-made lenses, what do you do?

Well, the answer is super simple. When you store your equipment, make sure that you do so in a bag that seals up pretty good. Most camera bags have a zippered lid. If you do not, the first thing you need to do is consider getting one that seals up better.

The second thing you need to do is start saving all of those Silica gel packs that come packed in your boxes when you order something online. Every once and a while, you get some big ones like these.

These stay good for a long time and be reactivated and brought back to like-new condition so that you can reuse them over and over and over again.

How do you do that? Simple…

Once a year – sometime in the winter, preferably – place them on a wire rack in your oven. A preheated oven. Why preheated? Because when you preheat your oven, your oven will blast until it gets the entire oven to that desired temp. It can be harmful as the melting point on these things are at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. So preheat first.

Set your temp for 220 degrees. When you have preheated your oven, place your silica packs on a wire rack to allow for even circulation of air. It is important. Don’t use a pan.

Leave them this way for at least 12 hours. That is correct. I said 12 hours. It takes this long to dry out the packs completely. Especially if they are the larger ones. Now you know why I said to do this in the winter. Try it in the summertime, and your wife may divorce you for this reason alone.

What if I want to buy some Silica packs to start me off, like the big ones you show here? No problem. Try these links to order a set. They are pretty affordable.