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Beyond the Basics:

Protect Your Devices During Outdoor Activities

Your skin isn't the only thing exposed to the elements

Since our devices are so portable and useful, we tend to take them with us everywhere, including on outdoor adventures. But keep in mind that those devices can be vulnerable to the elements in ways you might not expect. Luckily, there are precautions you can take to protect your devices from Mother Nature's challenges.

Technology in the Great Outdoors
Whether it's hiking, canoeing, or just a day relaxing at the beach, spending time outdoors is good for the soul. To enhance the experience, you probably take technology along — a digital camera to capture the moments, a GPS device to keep you on track, and a smartphone to connect with friends and family. But as sophisticated as these devices are, they're not infallible. Exposure to heat, sand, or moisture can cause significiant damage. Follow these tips to ensure your devices stay in good working order when you're out enjoying the great outdoors.

Keep Your Devices Cool
The warmth of the summer sun may feel good on your skin, but prolonged heat can damage many electronic devices. If you leave your smartphone out in the hot sun for too long, the heat might eventually crack the screen or drain the battery. Or in extreme cases, it might even explode. It's much better to keep your devices out of direct sunlight and off the ground. If you're on the beach, try folding a corner of your towel over the phone to protect it or keep it tucked away in a bag until needed.

Keep Your Devices Clean
As sturdy as most modern devices are, they can still be damaged by the smallest things. Not only can tiny grains of sand get into any open ports on your device, they can also scratch the screen and get stuck around the edges of buttons. You can usually get rid of any sand or dirt by wiping it off or gently shaking it out. But you're better off keeping your devices in a protective case to be safe. If you don't have one, you can use a good old-fashioned zip-lock bag to keep your devices free of dirt.

Keep Your Devices Dry
By far the greatest danger to your devices in the outdoors is water. Anyone who's ever accidentally dropped their phone into a sink knows how catastrophic the damage can be. Imagine how easily it could happen while trying to take a selfie on a beach, next to a pool, or in a canoe. Even if you're not going to be near a large body of water, there's always a chance you'll get caught in a sudden rainstorm, so it's a good idea to have a plan for keeping your devices dry.

Take Your Tech With You, Wherever You Go
For many of us, smartphones and other devices are indispensable, even when we're outdoors. With a little planning and preparation, you can make sure your devices are protected from the elements and are there when you need them — rain or shine!

FAST FACT: According to the Outdoor Foundation's latest Outdoor Recreation Participation report, in 2016 nearly half of all Americans reported participating in at least one outdoor activity. Source: https://outdoorindustry.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2017-Topline-Report_FINAL.pdf

 

Carry Portable Power for Outdoor Adventures

Your devices won't be any good to you if they run out of power. A dying phone or a camera that's running out of juice can put a damper on any outdoor expedition. Make sure you have a portable energy source on hand to keep your devices charged up and ready to go when you are!

If you're traveling for less than a week, an external battery pack is likely the more logical option.