As the near-frozen rain comes down in the strong stormy, blowing air here in Tzfat, Israel, I am reminded to share an important tip about keeping your electronics dry.
I never told you about a moisture episode I had back in Croatia. It rained the day I arrived in Croatia and parts of many days to follow.
Happily, on that first wet evening, I’d met these two nice guys who had rented a car and let me join them so I got to enjoy a warm, dry car, good company, and the flexibility of seeing much more than trains and buses permit.
An oddly acting Android
As we enjoyed the drive to Plitvice National Park, my travel companion was not enjoying trying to navigate. His Android tablet was acting oddly. As my go-to dry-out solution, my Bheestie (bee stee) Bag, is just iPhone-sized, I created the next best solution for him.
I placed some of the packets of silica gel I’m in the habit of keeping in a bag that seals to protect it from water — and passed it to him, asking him to seal his tablet inside. He resisted, saying it wasn’t wet and hadn’t gotten wet. But I explained about humidity and the rain all around us so he agreed to try my experiment. He was happily using the tablet again the next day. Over the next wet days, he kept returning his tablet to this bag and it kept functioning.
Moisture can stop electronics from working.
Yep, electronics don’t need to get wet to be adversely affected.
Just the moisture in the air can stop electronics from working properly.
It’s actually a good idea to put your electronics into a moisture absorbing bag every night or so to get the moisture out. This will prevent long-term damage.
Another water story: fully drenched iPod Touch
I had another water story earlier in my travels — before I knew about or had a Bheestie Bag. A friend took an iPod Touch on a river tubing trip out of Santa Fe, Panama and although, in a water tight bag, she hadn’t sealed the bag properly. That bag and iPod Touch dragged behind her tube for a couple of hours. When she told me about it after the trip, I found a plastic bag or tub and some uncooked rice. (It was a fresh water river, not salt.) The next day I turned it on but it still wasn’t working. As I moved on the next day, I felt horrible. (It was my water tight bag and I should have sealed it for her.)
I planned to send her some money to cover a new iPod Touch as soon as I was back in the states and could do so. But to my surprise, before I had that opportunity, I received an email from her — and it contained photos of us from the tubing trip. But how? Those photos were on the iPod. It turns out that she did as I said and kept that iPod in rice until it worked again. Three weeks! Three weeks is a pretty long time, but the rice did the job.
NOTE: before putting your device into rice, wrap it in something so the rice won’t get stuck in its ports. A coffee filter can do the job.
The best solution for water-logged electronics
I actually carry a Bheestie (bee stee) Bag (in 2017 website now seems gone) for serious drying out and highly recommend everyone travel with one. Always looking to keep my backpack’s weight down, I elected to bring only a smartphone-sized Bheestie Bag. After the experiences, being able to help friends, and there have been others, I am rethinking that size issue.
About the Bheestie (bee stee) Bag
As you learn here, the packets of silica did the trick and so did uncooked rice. So why do I want a Bheestie Bag?
- I choose a Bheestie Bag because it is 7x faster than rice. I haven’t tossed my iPhone into water to test that, but I trust them on this.
- Bheestie Bags come with small sealed packets of blue beads that do the drying out. Those beads change to a gray color to indicate that it is time to replace them.
- It’s easy to keep a flat foil Bheestie Bag, beads sealed within, in my backpack. There may happen to be rice at a hostel, or in a local supermarket if one is open at the time, or I may talk a hotel restaurant chef into giving you some rice, and may find a sealable plastic bag or hard container — but that’s a lot more work than pulling out my Bheestie Bag.
There is an entire line of sizes and products to choose from, but the important thing is that all of them will dry out your electronics.
I encourage you to have a look at this excellent product at bheestie.com. And to bear in mind that it’s handy for travelers — but excellent for everyone.
Truth is, at the time I met Bheestie, their largest bag was for a tablet. If one had fit my laptop, I’d have selected that size to carry on my trip. They now have one for laptops! Look for the 56g product if you want it for larger sized items.
Spring 2017 Update:
For a month or two, their website has not loaded. I am unsure whether they are still in business.