Protecting dslr while canoeing

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by heron88, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. heron88 macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2008
    I'm going on a 3 day canoe trip down the Colorado in June. We wont be hitting any really rough water as we will be canoeing down a calmer stretch of the river. I would love to bring my D-80 as we will be going on day hikes with some beautiful scenery. What would you guys recommend for protecting it from the water? There are definitely possibilities of tip-overs, so something that can float and is easily visible in the water is preferable.

    I'm currently looking at a dry bag similar to this one:

    Alot of people have suggested it and a friend of mine has said he has used a dry bag to protect his dslr without any problems. I wont be taking it out while on the river, so I dont need an underwater housing, just something that will keep it dry in case of a tip-over. I would also have it inside a lowepro protective carrying bag, in addition to having it inside the dry bag.

    I'm really not looking to spend more then $30. I've also heard that pelican cases work well, but they are out of my price range.

    So would you guys recommend dry bags, or is there something else relatively close to my budget that would work better?

  2. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
    Don't short yourself.

    Buy a pelican or storm case for storing your gear while on the canoe, they're not terribly expensive.

    Dry bags, while they're OK for keeping your clothes "dry", they do leak, and while it isn't that big of a deal when it's your tee shirts, it can ruin your camera gear.

    A hard case will also protect your gear much better than an unpadded dry bag.

    The case I usually go to grab for rafting is a Storm iM2075, I picked it up from a outdoor store for $45, and it does a great job storing a 40D + 10-22 + 50mm + batteries.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I used to do a lot of white water canoeing here in California mostly in the Sierra foothills. Pelican cases are the way to go. Just be religous about keeping the o-rings clean and sand free. I always buy the cases without the foam and put the entire camera bag inside the case but you can also pack the case with other soft objects like fleece jacket.

    Don't worry about shooting from the boat. Some of my best photos where taken from the boat. As long as you are just floating on flat water, the water will not jump up and get your camera. It will stay in the river. So DO shoot from the boat when you can. Then after taking the shots put the camera back in the case. Keep the case tethered to a twart with a short line. (Long tethers are a safety hazard.)

    More then once I've had to swim a pelican case to shore. They are indestructible even in class four water.

    The bags are not so good. They might work if you take good care of them but there are best used for clothing and food. Keep the cameras in a hard case.
  4. Woodrow72 macrumors member


    Nov 16, 2008
    I would recommend the pelican case over anything else. I went for a 10 mile hike in Zions National Park here in Utah 2 years ago and bought a small pelican case for my D40. I originally wasn't going to take my camera but at the last second decided to buy a case and take it with. It was the best decision I ever made. They are worth the money and if you look online you should be able to find one for a reasonable price.

    The problem with those dry bags is there is a chance that water can get in if it is not sealed properly every time. I would air on the side of caution and pay a little bit more. You will not regret it.
  5. heron88 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2008
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I have decided to go with either the pelican 1200 or 1400, I just need to go look at them first as far as size goes. I'll probably end up getting the 1200 as I only have 1 lens, and will only need the extra space for cards/extra battery and maybe an ipod that I'll throw in there as well.
  6. TenPoundMonkey macrumors member

    Aug 23, 2007
    like everyone else said, the hard case is the way to go....

    I've gotten a couple pelican cases from :

    they have much better than retail prices.
  7. jons macrumors 6502

    Apr 24, 2008

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