Thursday, 12 July 2007

Keep Your Towel as Dry as Your Humor

The Underwater Photographer

Keep Your Towel as Dry as Your Humor

You've hauled your camera housing out of the ocean and into the dunk tank to carefully desalinate it, now you've got it on a bench and you pop the back off. Oops! Where did that water on the camera come from?

It's important to wipe off water from a housing and -- for that matter -- your face and hair before you open a housing so loose water doesn't drip into the delicate electronics inside the housing. And although some dive operations offer towels to do so, many don't, so it's worth bringing your own towel for drying off your housing.

Towels are heavy and bulky, though, and when you're trying to squeeze every last ounce out of an airline's stingy baggage allowance, most people would rather pack more dive or photo gear than towels. That's why traveling dive photographers and videographers should consider a backpacker towel.

These towels are made of viscose rayon, which is extremely lightweight and low bulk. They're also very absorbent, and they dry very quickly so you won't have to to dry off a housing with a dripping towel. If a backpacker towel gets really wet, you can simply wring out the towel and it's ready to dry again. Backpacker towels also typically come with a snap loop on one corner, so if you're using it on the windy deck of a dive boat, you can snap it to your housing or a convenient pole so it doesn't blow away.

One source where you can buy backpacker towels is at Amazon, where they're sold under the name "PackTowl."









They come in a variety of sizes from hand towels to bath towels. I take two on a trip so one will always be dry, and I use them when packing to wrap up delicate equipment. I'm glad to have them on hand because I like my housings -- like humor and martinis -- dry.

Mike Boom

The Underwater Photographer

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