Getting gear through a wet landing.

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by lew_carver, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. I have to make a wet landing on the Pacific Coast of the Osa Peninsula with D7200, three lenses, and a tripod. Any tried and true techniques would be most appreciated.
  2. If you're not going in the water, a coated nylon bag for camera and lenses, another for the tripod, should do it. If you're in for a swim, oversize sealing plastic bags, taped at the opening. Once, with a canvas camera bag on an open boat at Iguazu Falls, I took off my poncho and wrapped it around the bag when I realized we were going under the falls. I got soaked, but the cameras stayed dry.
  3. I would want the camera and lenses in a Pelican case. The tripod could be a little less protected I think, like a dry bag or some plastic bag concoction.
    You are talking about a sea plane?
  4. I'd try an Ortlieb bag with stuffings to make it float for the tripod and tow it while swimming / wading ashore.
    For the camera kit an ordinary ammo box might work. They are pretty sturdy and not overly expensive - $25? You should of course test it at home before you trust it. Stuff it with something soakable and rice for the worst case.
    If you want something posh & civilian try Volker Lapp's "hermetic carrier" It seems to be a pretty decent baggage system and is very convenient to carry around ashore. - I got an pre-owned one for irresitably little money and am quite happy to have it although I don't know exactly why I believe to need such a thing. - I haven't tried swimming with it yet. - Maybe one will need a snorkel?
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Lew, could you tell us a little more about the nature of your "wet landing"? Is it a one-time thing or you will be making those wet landings over and over?
    I have done a lot of wet landings in the Galapagos, which is probably similar to your (tropical) settings in Costa Rica. In the Galapagos I use no more than a regular camera backpack.
    I have also made a number of wet landings in the Antarctic where the ocean can be rough and the gear can get wet. In that case using a dry bag maybe a good idea. You can put your camera backpack inside a dry bag so that once you land, you can use the backpack normally. There are also waterproof camera backpacks, but a few people who have used them told me some negative comments.
  6. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    I would look at dry bags for kayaking, likely (because of Murphy) with a Tundra or Pelican waterproof hard case inside. You apparently live an interesting life. Best of luck on your adventure.
  7. In reply to the questions: Small boat landing on a (mostly) sand beach. The only trick is the weather. It's supposedly a walk in the park when weather is good. If the weather is not nice some people can get knocked down by waves. During the landing I will wear my camera backpack filled with clothes and boots. I have to use forearm crutches so I will have to rely on others, who will be available for that purpose, to transport the gear from boat to land.
    This is done only once each way with all gear as there is a dock at one end of the trek. There is a night hike that requires a beach to beach boat ride each way. I would only want the D7200 and the 17-55mm on that trek. Chance of bad weather higher on that one and no official help with gear.
    I very much appreciate the help given, thank you all.
  8. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Pelican cases are great but they are bulky. In your case I think you are better off with a waterproof bag, large enough to put your camera bag inside. (Your clothes, etc. probably don't need to go into the waterproof bag to keep it smaller.) It sounds like you will be handing the camera bag to other people during landing and re-boarding. It is much safer that it is inside a waterproof bag such that in case someone accidentally drops it into water, it will survive. Make sure that there is sufficient padding inside such that a minor bump won't damage the camera. A Pelican case may work if your gear can fit into a small one.
    During my last Galapagos trip in November 2015, in the day before the last in a two-week trip, a woman was getting onto the Zodiac from a beach. It was very routine since we had all been doing that for 12 days or so, usually twice a day. Suddenly the tide came in as she was getting onto the boat. The Zodiac moved; she slipped and briefly dipped into the water. Her backpack touched the water and her new Canon 5D Mark III immediately started misfiring randomly. For the last day, other passengers loaned her some camera and lenses.
    That lady lives in Colorado. After the trip, she told me via e-mail that her camera recovered after drying in the dry climate at home. However, her 16-35mm lens needed a $500 repair for the sea water damage.
  9. The tripod is probably not a problem if you can rinse it in fresh water after making it to the beach. A thorough (about three times more than you think) in fresh water -- even an immersion, should be fine if you dry it well afterward. The water is not the problem, but the salt is.
  10. I was there 2 months ago making wet landings with a D750, 80-400 f4-5.6 and 20 1.8. No tripod. I used a camera back pack but the
    camera body and each lens were protected inside by zip lock 1 or 2 gallon bags. This worked well because of the added advantage of
    equilibrating for the humidity while we travelled from our ship to the shore in small landing craft. My backpack straps occasionally dipped
    but not the rest of it or me. If you land inside he peninsula the water is quite calm. More likely to be rough on the Pacific west side.
  11. Pelican cases are the best for gear that you don't want to get wet and might get banged around. I use them on rafting trips on the Grand Canyon and other rivers regularly. I've never had an issue with either wet, or damaged gear, even in a flip in a major rapid. Less damage proof, but also very waterproof are dry bags. My most recent favorites are the zippered bags by Ortlieb, because they offer the easiest access, far easier than a roll down type dry bag. Just make sure you pull the zipper all the way to the stops. You may want to use a few clothes to pad your gear inside the bag. You can find a great selection of them through either Cascade Outfitters, or NRS River Supply, or any of a number of whitewater outfitters. They even make some that convert into backpacks, sort of. If you have the time, it takes about 6 weeks for some of their products, this company in Alaska makes great waterproof backpacks and other waterproof products. Good luck with your trip.
  12. ...or you can try this :
  13. Go to a shop that sells outdoor stuff for camping, trekking etc. They have waterproof bags that you can roll up and seal and that is used to protect clothes and valuables. They are called dry bags and comes in all different sizes. Just buy one of those and put your camera bag inside.
    When you don't need the bag anymore you just roll it up and put it in your pocket, backpack or bag. They come in different materials. Some take no room at all when not in use while others are thicker. This is how people keep their stuff dry on boats, kajaks etc.
  14. +1 on using dry bags. I'm a kayaker and the rigid Pelican cases are a non-starter for stowage. Small boats, kayaks, and rafts always have a bit of water in the bilge where the gear bags are sitting and getting into and out of boats invites full immersion. I put a towel in the bags to cushion the gear and absorb any leaks. From bad experience, I do not rely on plastic Ziplok bags to protect gear from water ... they are OK for spray or condensation protection, but water always gets in if immersed.
  15. Tupperware and bubble wrap would appear to offer a cheap and simple solution.
  16. it


    I have done a bunch of two to four week kayak trips in the Indian Ocean with various kits. Dry bags are OK but there is little or no padding in case of contact with hard surfaces. And if any moisture at all gets in the bag and the bag is hit with direct sun, the humidity inside goes to 100% and can destroy or damage everything.

    Pelican is the way to go for 100% safety IMO.
  17. Thanks to all; I have decided to go with a Pelican case. We will be landing on the Pacific west side more likely to get dunked. And other folks will be tossing my gear around at several places.
    I really do appreciate all the input.
    Thanks again,
  18. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Lew, there is little doubt that a Pelican case will give your gear great protection against water as as well bumping. The only issue is that those are hard cases and the bulk will be with you the whole time, at sea and on land. I have seen professional photo and especially video people use large Pelican cases as checked luggage as well. (The downside there is that they scream expensive cameras gear at airports and may invite theft.) If the bulk is not a concern, Pelican should be an excellent solution.
    I prefer a regular camera bag inside a waterproof bag because on land, the waterproof bag can be rolled up and the regular camera bag is more useful on land. But I am sure you know your situation and preference much better than I do.
    Have a great trip.
  19. Lew, Pelican just announced a new line of lighter cases. They say just as tough (hmm). I haven't seen prices, but I am guessing they will charge a premium for the new Air line. LINK
  20. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Chip beat me to it. Just read about the lighter Pelican cases on DPReview:
    There are some prices listed on DPReview.
  21. Chip, thanks for the link to the lighter Pelican cases. The originals are great products, but they are too bulky and heavy. The new ones look pretty darn good.
    OP, I agree with the others, put the camera and lenses in a Pelican. The water shouldn't hurt the tripod.
  22. Thanks yes, I have seen the adds for the 'air' series. Not yet on shelves AFAICT. I'll keep an eye out. At ~12lbs/5.4kg for the 1550, lighter would be better. But given that we have few such trips left in us it may be hard to justify the extra cost. The gitzo wont fit so it's a candidate for a marine bag. Though a bit costly and a bit of a pain in the butt, I think the Pelican 1550 will justify itself through reduced fretting about either impact or water damage.

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