(a) If you are in the field and have a mobile laboratory such as the ES-82A, you can place the
equipment in the lab and use the air conditioner to remove moisture. If a building is available, turning on a heater
will help dry out equipment. If the temperature is raised 5F higher than the ambient (surrounding air)
temperature, moisture will be removed from the air. This will only work inside a building or other closed
structure. Of course, it gets difficult to work or operate in this higher temperature. This technique will work in a
tent, if the tent is relatively air tight. Make sure that the equipment can stand the higher heat.
(b) Dry storage boxes are another way to keep equipment dry when air conditioning or buildings
are not available. The box should have openings to allow air to circulate. A 100-watt lamp will provide the
necessary heat. A tightly sealed box with silica gel will also work.
(c) Most camera equipment has hermetically sealed metal cases. These cases should be used
whenever possible. If the camera is dry when packed in its case, there should be no problem with moisture.
Silica gel can also be placed in the case to reduce moisture.
(2) Silica gel can be dried and reactivated by placing it in an oven for about 3 hours at 300F (149
C). It is best to remove the gel from its packet to avoid scorching.
(3) A word of caution about heat. Most camera equipment cannot stand temperatures above 160F
(71C). Plastic elements and lenses should not be heated above 140F (60C).
(1) Wipe all camera cables and small openings with a mild solution of insect repellent. A mixture of
1 part repellent to 5 parts water works well. This will keep bugs out of your equipment. Make sure you wipe the
equipment dry after applying the repellent. Do NOT use repellent on lenses, filters, or other glass areas.
(2) You should also wipe your equipment with a weak solution of disinfectant and water. Again use
a mixture of 1 part disinfectant to 5 parts of water. Liquid bleach works well. Do NOT use on your lenses,
filters, or other glass areas.
d. After returning from a tropical environment, your equipment should be completely overhauled. This,
of course, is a job for your maintenance people. At the first sign of fungus growth turn equipment into the
Remember equipment failures in a tropical climate can best be reduced by proper preventive procedures.