If you love your tech as much as we do, odds are you want to take your gadgets everywhere. Unfortunately, while you may love the pool and the beach, your cellphone does not. Protect your tech by showing it a little summer lovin’ and keep it safe with these tips.
1. Watch the Temperature
Extremely warm or cold temperatures can have noticeable effects on your phone’s battery, display and synthetic housing components. There’s even a possibility of the ominously named “heat-related death,” which is exactly as horrible as it sounds. Like your skin, the best way to protect your tech is to keep it in the shade. If you do find that your phone has overheated in the sun, let it cool gradually. Do not put it in the refrigerator or freezer.
Image courtesy of Flickr, oobwoodman
If your summer vacay involves a parka and snow boots, make sure you keep your phone in an inside pocket, close to your body, to prevent it from freezing or going through frequent temperature changes, which can cause visual distortions in the display. Since cold temperatures are notoriously bad for battery life, you may want to carry a spare battery with you. Just like in the sun, it’s best to let your phone return to room temperature gradually to prevent condensation from building up inside.
Use a cooling pad when you’re working on a laptop outdoors, even if you don’t use one at home. Increased temperatures mean even new laptops could easily overheat in the summer sun. Also, cleaning your laptop fan will ensure it’s running properly and keeping your laptop cooler. Again, the best protection is to keep it in the shade.
2. Use Protection
Another concern is water damage. While your current cellphone case protects against damage from dropping your phone, it will do little to protect your phone from damage caused by liquid, dust or sand. If you want to tote your cell to the shore, you’ll need a little something extra … like phone condoms.
While the concept sounds ridiculous, Smartskin Condoms for Smartphones are thermoplastic sheaths that prevent rain, dust, sand and other debris from getting into the small crevices in your phone and wreaking havoc. Small enough to slip into a wallet and so thin you won’t even know it’s there, your phone is still completely functional through the condom.
Image courtesy of Smartskin Condoms For Phones
There is no laptop-shaped condom, but laptop skins will prevent dust and sand from ruining your keyboard or screen and can be ordered for about $10. This protection is fairly minimal, however, and won’t prevent all damage.
3. Keep It Dry
If you’re looking for a little more protection, say, for boating or swimming, try a waterproof case like one from DryCASE. The “case” is more like a heavy duty Ziploc bag with a few added features, including a buoyant arm band (so it will float if you happen to drop it in the water) and a waterproof headphone jack. The bag is big enough to fit any cellphone, regardless of size, and can be vacuum sealed to conserve space. Bonus: You can still use your phone underwater so you’ll have some awesome Instagrams. Tablet options are also available.
Image courtesy of DryCASE
For laptops, cameras and other large items, there is a DryCASE backpack option available, which will keep your tech dry in the event of a thunderstorm, or if you plan to take your SLR on your kayaking trip. If you actually do use your laptop poolside, our best advice is to be very careful.
If you happen to drop your unprotected phone in the water: Don’t panic. Take out the battery and SIM card, then dry the device in a bag or bowl of white rice overnight to remove excess moisture. You may also want to take your phone to a technician before you completely lose hope.
4. Case by Case
Hikers and backpackers planning to take laptops out into the great outdoors should have a padded bag or case that will support computers over rough terrain. Plastic laptop skins will protect your tech against scratches and other physical damage, but won’t be much help when it comes to small debris and jolting car rides. Either buy a padded sleeve, or opt for a bag or case that has padding all around your computer, not just up against your back, so that the other contents of your bag won’t damage your laptop.
Like always, you should have a case and screen protector on your cellphone or tablet to prevent damage and scratches. If you’re serious about keeping your tech safe, consider getting an Otterbox or other heavy-duty case, as opposed to the more fashionable (but ultimately less effective) hard plastic cases.
Image courtesy of Otterbox
Got any tips for traveling with technology? Let us know in the comments.
Image courtesy of Flickr, [visual media]