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Storing camera in below freeszing temps
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Yuri R
(Yazon) - F

Storing camera in below freeszing temps on 10/09/2011 14:23:16 MDT Print View

hey all,
I'm going on a small trip in Northern Cali next week and I will be taking my DSLR+ 1 lens. The temps will be below freezing at night, so i'm looking for ideas on how to store the camera. It is a big and bulky one, so putting it into my sleeping bag is not really an option. I can try to wrap it into my clothes, but i really don't think that will do much.

I will be with my dad in a two person tent.

Edited by Yazon on 10/09/2011 18:14:45 MDT.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Storing camera in below freeszing temps" on 10/09/2011 14:37:14 MDT Print View

You should be more concerned with condensation and moisture management than freezing evening temps.

Your DSLR will be fine at night below freezing, just remove the batteries and keep them close to you in the evening.

I've left my cameras out into the 20's under my tarp or in my pack with no issues, camera starts up and fires in the morning when it's time to roll.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: "Storing camera in below freeszing temps" on 10/09/2011 15:04:24 MDT Print View

Agreed, keep it in a ziplock or dry bag overnight and it should be fine. When they get REALLY cold the lubrication can seize up, but I've only had that happen well below freezing.

Enjoy your trip,


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Storing camera in below freeszing temps on 10/09/2011 15:46:22 MDT Print View

You have 2 concerns:

The batteries should be kept warm, even if they are lithiums. Alkalines will die at 0 C.

Condensation can kill your camera. Either keep it very dry, like in a plastic bag overnight, or warm. Better still, plastic bag it and store in near you overnight so it also stays warm.

The biggest danger is when you pick the camera up in the morning with your warm hands: vapour from your hands (and your face) will condense on all parts of the camera, including the lens.

Mind you, if it is *really* cold, your hands may then freeze onto the camera ... Happens in the Antarctic.


Yuri R
(Yazon) - F

thanks all on 10/09/2011 18:19:36 MDT Print View

Alright, sounds like a plan - ziplock bag, extra battery that is kept warm.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Storing camera in below freezing temps on 10/09/2011 19:24:48 MDT Print View

As others have mentioned, your big problem is not the absolute cold temperatures, but rather the condensation from temperature fluctuations. So, figure out some moderate temperate, say 40 F, and keep the camera steady at that temperature. If it is moderately cold weather, I simply wrap my camera in my warm coat and then I use that as a pillow at night. If it is really cold weather, then I sometimes put the camera inside the sleeping bag. But then, when it comes out, I try not to let it go directly into the cold. Battery packs are easy to pop into your pocket.


Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Storing camera in below freeszing temps" on 10/09/2011 20:20:17 MDT Print View


I picked up the Seal Line Padded Storm Sack (medium) and find it useful for throwing my extra lens (35mm f1.8) and camera essentials (lens cleaner, spare battery, memory cards) in. It has a minimal amount of padding for bumps and accidental drops. It's not the lightest solution or cheapest but does give extra security when in my pack or when I'm unloading gear from my pack in the evening.

Ziplocks work, however be careful handling them with cold hands or gloves, one reason why I like a drybag sack with a roll top, there's a nice fat handle to carry your kit with.

Yuri R
(Yazon) - F

Thanks on 10/09/2011 20:57:13 MDT Print View

Thanks Bob and Eugene,
I do actually have a dry-bag with roll top that i can use for this. I'll try to be careful with the gradual temp rise, which should be easy as the day progresses.