Trail cameras are water resistant, not waterproof. They can withstand snow and rain but they cannot be submerged in water for more than a few seconds. However, game cameras are constructed to be robust. They are manufactured to absorb Mother Nature’s lashings of fog, heat, rain, snow, dust and other forms of debris.
They manage this while undertaking intricate functions at a high performance level.
Water Resistant v Waterproof
Technically, waterproof means impermeable to water. Trail cameras are not among waterproof items, because they are instead water resistant.
They resist water ingress to a certain level, but are not fully water-impervious.
How much water a game camera can resist depends on its design and its maker.
There is a tool that measures water penetration, called the Ingress Protection Rating (IP), which aims to answer that very question.
IP rating is a quick way to establish water resistance
An IP rating is measuring tool aims to illuminate how resistant to water a piece of equipment really is. It is internationally recognized when measuring electronic devices. It was created to provide end users with weather proof measurements, over and above a manufacturer’s claims.
IR ratings are presented as two numbers, like IR54 or IR66. The initial number suggests dust resistance while the second one highlights liquid resistance.
The highest resistance is represented by the highest number.
The Importance of Trail Camera Housing Seals
To maximize the chances of procuring as water resistant a trail camera as possible, there are several areas we can look at.
First is the rubber used in making the housing seal. There are two main caskets used in making trail camera housing, round gaskets and c gaskets.
The c gasket is more common, whereby it is affixed to the camera body. This is done to allow for the contraction and expansion of the rubber according to weather conditions.
While very reliable, they are affixed permanently to the camera body, meaning replacing one when faulty is difficult. It almost always means shipping it back to the trail camera maker.
The round gasket is easier to replace at home. Unfortunately, its effectiveness at housing sealing is not as good. It does not offer the space for the rubber to adjust itself to weather conditions.
Can Trail Cameras Get Wet?
Trail cameras are expected to withstand everything the wilderness can throw at it, all while working flawlessly.
Waterproof sometimes means weatherproof, water resistant, water repellent or watertight. Most people wondering whether their trail camera can get wet mean is their game camera waterproof.
Most trail cameras that publish their IP ratings claim their devices are waterproof. For most people, this means they are built to withstand dust and rain.
Trail cameras will suffer water ingress when submerged. They will however, survive being out in the rain and the snow. So while they can get wet, with careful maintenance, they should be back to taking animal pictures in no time.
Keep Those Latches Tight
Gaskets are crucial in preventing water ingress. The housing latches are just as important because they apply the pressure that maintains a tight seal.
Most game cameras employ one or two latches, so ensure that they not only close, but apply tight pressure for complete tightness and reliability.
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