Taking/storing SLR in the jungle/rainforest?

Started Aug 10, 2009 | Discussions
oceania Forum Member • Posts: 96
Taking/storing SLR in the jungle/rainforest?

Has anyone taken their SLR to a humid, wet environment that is has random torrential downpours like the jungle or rain forest? I'll be using a waterproof P&S for this leg of the trip and don't plan to take to use (or even take out) my SLR but I will have it with me nonetheless.

Even though it will be protected in my camera which will be in a backpack (most likely sheltered indoors, should I still be worried about moisture and humidity? What can I do/buy to protect it?

Before heading to this region, should I take my lens off or keep it on?

Stephen Tomasovic New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Taking/storing SLR in the jungle/rainforest?

I've been to both Borneo and the Amazon Basin with DSLRs and multiple lenses. I've had no trouble with the D100 and D300 in those areas regarding humidity, but my D70s was very prone to shutting down in humidity - it would recover in air conditioning but then quickly shut down again when back outdoors.

You can do the obvious protection of keeping the cameras out of direct rain as much as possible - especially heavy rain. Some cameras have pretty good weather sealing and can take some rain and the same is true of some lens - particularly those with the O-ring (see the manufacturer specs). However, you can get various rain covers that can be pretty cheap and enable you to run the camera in pretty good rain with little risk. I have a couple of types but am at work and can't remember - you can do a web search to find them.

For humidity, you can buy desicant packets with indicators and keep the cameras and lens in Z-lock bags with desicant when not in use. If you have some stops with good air conditioning this can also "dry out" the cameras and you can leave them out of the bags. I tend to keep the cameras and lens mounted as much as possible on the theory it helps to not change too much in humidity, but I did have to do some changing even with two cameras. Anyway, I used the desicant and Z-lock bags with no problems on the trips. Have a great trip!

PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 17,961
Re: Taking/storing SLR in the jungle/rainforest?

There was a thread in the D300 forum within the last 6 months I think about a guy that had issues after spending time in the jungle. If I recall correctly, one of the biggest problems he had was due to sweating on one of the cameras he had. The high salinity of sweat caused serious corrusion to occur. He showed some images of the damage and listed the repair costs. That was not the only problem, though it seemed the worst one.

If he had put some sort of waterproof cover/case on this camera, it would have been better.

Fungus in lenses would be something else I would be concerned with.

 PHXAZCRAIG's gear list:PHXAZCRAIG's gear list
Nikon D80 Nikon D200 Nikon D300 Nikon D700 Nikon 1 V1 +37 more
MikeInIndy Senior Member • Posts: 1,077
Re: Taking/storing SLR in the jungle/rainforest?

I haven't done it but I think if I was going to I'd cap everything (including the body) and then pack each item into a ziplock bag with a desicant pack and put the whole enchilada in a weather resistant pack. As long as the bags are relatively air tight humidity shouldn't be able to get in. You could go a step further and get one of those home vacuum sealers. Since you don't plan to use the camera at all while in that environment it shouldn't be too hard to protect it, the air exchange of taking it out all the time or having it out would be the biggest source of humidity, since the stuff will stay in a pack it shouldn't get exposed nearly as badly.

 MikeInIndy's gear list:MikeInIndy's gear list
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Rob_manchester Forum Member • Posts: 75
Re: Taking/storing SLR in the jungle/rainforest?

You don't mention duration which is going to be the major factor.

I spent a week or so with my D90 in the Sumatran jungle last year and it spent much of its time hanging around my neck as it was actively being used. Sweat was a problem, but more in usability (viewfinder, lcd screen etc) than damage. I kept desicant sachets in my camera bag when not using it, although these will of course saturate over time.

When hiking in the jungle during rain (or crossing rivers) I kept the camera inside my rucksac within two ziplock bags (Russian doll setup).

If your camera is more the D300/D3 sort of level you'll have the benefit of the weather sealing.

If you're spending weeks on end in the rainforest without having the opportunity to let the kit recover away from humidity, you might need to be a little more careful.


OP oceania Forum Member • Posts: 96
Re: Taking/storing SLR in the jungle/rainforest?

Thanks to everyone for their responses. I will be in the Amazon basin for about one week and I have a D80 and will only have one lens with me (18-200 VR).

The assurance I have is that both the body and lens are still under warranty and this will be the last leg of my trip.

I'll be sure to upload my pics in case I have a problem with the camera or memory card.

Shanghaid Regular Member • Posts: 356
Re: Taking/storing SLR in the jungle/rainforest?


Here is my jungle post someone else referred to previously. Take care!

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