Sometimes it can rain here for days, non-stop; everything in the house gets damp and our electronic gear starts to go on the blink. My computer is usually the first to go and I have to borrow the hair dryer to get it going in the morning.

In the jungle environment water ingress is the major problem that can cause electronic failure: humidity, condensation, heavy rain or an unexpected slip while crossing a river can all play havoc with your expensive electronic equipment (which may then let you down just when you needed it most).

One option is to store all your electronic equipment in dry bags (and you can now buy small, 1 or 2l dry sacks) or in a dry box, however these aren’t ideal solutions as often you want that piece of equipment close to hand (e.g. your camera and gps) or you may need to use it in an emergency whether it’s raining or not (e.g. your phone).  Also, if you’re like me, you may sometimes forget to store your electronic equipment in its dry bag and it only takes one such over-sight (and some heavy rain) to ruin it forever.

Waterproof equipment is a better way to go.  These days, electronics manufacturers are producing mass-market waterproof versions that aren’t over-the-top expensive and, in this video, I look at some of the waterproof equipment that I use regularly in the jungle.

When shopping around for waterproof equipment it is a good idea to pay attention to the specifications of the items you are looking at, particularly the IP Code.  IP stands for ingress protection and lets you know how waterproof/dust proof that piece of equipment actually is. For example, my Samsung B2100 phone has an IP 57 certification and the ‘5’ refers to dust ingress protection (in this case meaning protected from dust but not completely dust-tight) and the ‘7’ refers to the waterproofing standard (in this case meaning that it can be immersed in 1m depth of water for 30 mins). A lot of other ‘waterproof’ phones are only IP 54 (which means they can handle getting splashed with water but that’s about all).

If you want to know more about IP codes you can find a full explanation here from wikipedia.

Another option is to buy waterproof skins for your electronic equipment.  Skins for most mobile phones can be found on Amazon or you could use cling film or a condom to protect your phone.  There are waterproof shells available for a lot of cameras as well, although these do make them more bulky to carry around.

It can be extremely aggravating when electronic equipment fails on you – it happened to me once with my video camera when I was camping near a dried-up river bed – I was lying in my hammock and taking an aftermoon nap as there was some light rain however, further up stream the rain must have been much heavier as, when I woke up an hour later, the water level had risen about 15 feet and the ground beneath my hammock was completely submerged….I reached for my camera to film this and it chose that moment to go completely on the blink.  Aggravating.

After that incident I bought the point-and-shoot Olympus TG 610 waterproof camera – it is not as good as my standard video camera (it continually hunts for focus in video mode which is infuriating) but at least I don’t have to worry about it in the rain.

One other electronic item I take into the jungle (but forgot to mention in the video) is a small Ipod which I store in a waterproof box.  Before I go on a trip I download an audio book onto the ipod and it saves me having to carry a bulky/heavier book around.