Technology has revolutionised the way we approach a beach day. Keep it that way by keeping your gadgetry safe and sound while you soak up the sun.
There was a time when lounging on the beach involved a good old-fashioned paperback novel and perhaps a Frisbee, beach ball or racquetball set if you were feeling particularly energetic. Nowadays, you can read any number of books, articles and blogs at the touch of a button on your e-reader (for inspiration on your next book, check out this list of great beach reads). You can listen to your favourite artists from a huge database with your mp3 player. You can even surf the web and stay connected with your Smartphone or laptop, if you’re so inclined.
However, there are two components of a beach which are vital to the experience, but which don’t play nice with technology – sand and water. Minimise the risk of upsetting the Apple cart (sorry) by following these simple tips on how to safeguard your gadgetry at the beach.
Take only what you need
Prioritise exactly which gadgets you’ll need when travelling and don’t take anything you won’t. For example, many Smartphones offer the advantages of mp3, camera and web capability all in one… as well as the potential to double up as an e-reader. However, remember that the backlit display of most Smartphones are sometimes difficult to view in bright sunlight.
Don’t underestimate the umbrella
The humble umbrella is excellent for blocking glare from the sun, allowing you to see the screen of your device more clearly. More importantly, it also protects the hardware from exposure to direct sunlight, which can easily lead to overheating and the burning out of that vital circuitry.
Stock up on plastic bags
The cheap and cheerful method of keeping your gadgets dry and sand-free is simply by locking them away in a watertight zippered sandwich bag. The touchscreen can still be used through the plastic and although you may have to leave a small opening for a headphone socket, the vast majority of sand won’t make it through.
Duct tape your ports
If you don’t want the hassle of pressing the screen through plastic (which usually works but not always), you might want to just tape up any open ports to prevent sand or water entering. A centimetre or two of duct tape can do wonders to minimise damage.
Consider going Lifeproof
If you really want to make sure your gadgetry is as safe as can be, Lifeproof offer protective cases that are waterproof, sandproof, shockproof and idiot-proof. It doesn’t get any safer than that!
Keep an eye on your belongings
You wouldn’t want to go to all the trouble of making sure your gadgets are safe from the elements with an expensive case, only to have them swiped by an opportunistic thief! Hide gadgets in a sealed bag underneath your towel and always keep one eye on the shoreline. Better yet, go to the beach in a group and make sure one person is always guarding the valuables.
IF DISASTER STRIKES…
Don’t panic. Even if calamity occurs and sand (or even worse, water) infiltrates your gadget’s nooks and crannies, there is no immediate cause for concern. Here is some advice for what to do when things don’t go to plan:
If sand gets in your cracks:
The best way to expel unwanted sand (or other dirt, for that matter) from your device’s circuitry is with a can of compressed air. Simply point it at the affected area and squeeze – you’ll be amazed at how easily most sand is easily gotten rid of.
If water dampens your spirits:
The old rice trick is a tried and tested method of absorbing unwanted moisture from your gadgetry. Simply disassemble it as much as possible (removing the battery and so forth) and then bung the whole lot in a bowl of rice. Leave it there for as long as possible (even up to a few days) to get rid of all of the water and you stand a good chance of saving its life.
Unsure where to go?
So now you’re prepared for nature to do its worst… but where? If you’re in need some ideas for where to take your next break, check out our list of our five favourite beach destinations. Don’t forget to pack plenty of sunscreen – but pack it separately to your gadgets!