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Old April 17th, 2004, 01:17 PM   #1
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Moisture and heat in woods mini DV concerns

I'm considering storing my tapes/boxes (unused plus after shooting) in a small firesafe that I will then pack with a couple moisture packets (large versions of the minis that come packed with cameras, etc.). The safe would be kept in an office that gets pretty hot at 7,000' during the day, but not so hot that their computers malfunction, so I'm thinking that should do the trick to protect my mini-DV's from the daytime heat and evening cold of the mountains. Any thoughts/feedback? Anybody have any better ideas? "Media safes" that run over $300 are too small, whereas a Sentry firesafe at Costco ($99) has plenty of room, as long as I can keep them cool enough and moisture free. (I'm not worried about "fire" per se, just general CA summer mnt. weather where temperatures can range from 90's to 30's.)

Am also wondering if I should also place the tapes inside plastic baggies and/or containers inside the safe. And how much moisture protection (ie how big and how many packets) do I need? It typically rains or drizzles a lot in the Sierra in the summer, albiet never for long or very hard.

I'll be shooting for 8 weeks and am taking 60-70 mini DV's. Keeping them safe is obviously critical.

Any and all comments welcomed!
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Old April 17th, 2004, 04:31 PM   #2
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Perhaps store your tapes in a dry cool corner somewhere.
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The safe would be kept in an office that gets pretty hot at 7,000' during the day, but not so hot that their computers malfunction, so I'm thinking that should do the trick to protect my mini-DV's from the daytime heat and evening cold of the mountains.
In the field, just keep them in your cam bag. Should be okay.
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Old April 17th, 2004, 04:39 PM   #3
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Hi Marcia, I live at 6000 ft. at the southern tip of the sierra nevada's right know it is white with snow. It is typically dry, I mean not very humid, and the only time I have had any concerns is when we bring our equipment in from the cold and the house is warm and usually more humid(from cooking, showers, etc.). I think if you kept the tapes in zip lock baggies, out of the heat or sun, they would be fine. Have fun TL
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Old April 17th, 2004, 06:58 PM   #4
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Terry, so a gradual change, like going from a warm camera bag in the day to the temp. drop at night, shouldn't cause moisture troubles if they're in containers, or baggies, or such, only sudden changes like you mention? I had visions of the kind of moisture that settles on your tent appearing inside the small safe... it can seem pretty wet in the mountains in the morning. But they'll be inside the building (not heated or cooled, but still).

And Frank, if it's hot inside the office but the tapes are inside a small safe in the shade, they should still be fine? You mention a dry "cool" corner... would that be cool enough? With no air conditioning, "cool" is relative! :-)
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Old April 17th, 2004, 07:07 PM   #5
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The safe doesn't get hot too?

A Zip-Lock baggie is a good idea. I keep all my gear inside my cam bag in these Zip-Locks. I wouldn't worry so much about the tapes, though, as long as you keep them in their plastic cases and inside your cam bag. I've never had a problem yet, except with shooting in 100% humidity (Vancouver's misty rain).
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Old April 17th, 2004, 09:07 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback, Frank. One less thing to worry about. Much appreciated.

Got any tips for bears? ;-)
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Old April 17th, 2004, 11:41 PM   #7
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Yes, you should be fine with the zip loc's. The moisture on the inside of the tent is from the humidity in your breath condensing on the cooler outer shell of the tent.
And as far as bears go, we have walked up on them while they are sleeping and when they notice you they are startled and they run very fast. They just want to get away from you, but the safest thing would be not to startle them. So try not to be too quiet, and keep your eyes open. TL
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Old April 18th, 2004, 01:21 AM   #8
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Got any tips for bears?
Yes.[list=1][*]keep all your food sealed and hung high from a tree[*]BearGuard TM[*]an air blow horn[/list=1]
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Old May 18th, 2004, 07:44 AM   #9
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Eugene, Oregon is about as moist a place as any (it's been raining all night) and often has rapid temperature changes to accompany the weather fronts. But, only a couple of times have I had a camcorder stall due to the dew warning shutting it down. Only once have I had a lens fog up internally when bringing it inside on a cold, rainy day. So, I wouldn't think you'd have as many moisture problems as you suggest, outside of the tropics.

If you're going to go head-to-head with bears, I'd arm yourself with a small "flash-bang" gun. These produce a smaller version of the effect that the grenades of the same name deliver, when police or soldiers use them to "soften-up" the occupants of a dwelling, before storming it. Few bears will keep on charging when one of these goes off in their faces. At least there have been no first-hand reports that one has failed to stop a bear. You can get them at some outdoor supply stores, although they may be illegal to use inside cities, or all over in some parts of the world. An alternative might be using the kind of ear-splitting freon air horns that I carry in my Kayaks in busy waterways to ward off drunks in motorboats.

Steve McDonald
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