RRS BH-55 on the way!
I've had my Gitzo 1348 Carbonfiber tripod and Arca Swiss ballhead for a few years. Through mountains, plenty of desert areas and sandstorms, and a few swamps. Never covered the ballhead and it still looks as new as the day I bought it. I just make sure I wipe down the legs of the tripod before I retract them if they have anything on them. Mine was also an expensive purchase that I assume will last me decades but believe me when I say that when your hiking 10 or so miles in somewhere and setting up over and over, you won't be covering your ballhead each time. They are made to take a reasonable amount of abuse.
|New York Sunset From Staten Island Ferry by wam7|
from Sunrise/Sunset in the City
|Criss Crossing Alice Tully Hall by Michael L NYC 99|
from Light Trails