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Protecting Gear in the Winter Months

Here in Indiana, the temperatures have plunged below freezing — it’s the time of year when you break out the coats, hats, gloves, and boots for yourself. You’ve got to keep yourself warm! But don’t forget: you should take no less care with your gear when the weather shifts into winter mode!

Temperature extremes are one of the enemies of equipment. Certainly high temps are the primary problem where electronic components are concerned, and frigid temps aren’t that great for your equipment either. However, the biggest problem facing your gear is rapidly changing temperatures; going from cold temperatures to warm temperatures in a small amount of time.

For the sake of your gear, allow it plenty of time to slowly warm up and acclimate when you bring it in from the cold. Let the equipment come to room temperature before you power it up. If there is any indication of “fog” or condensation on the equipment, let it acclimate longer. The condensation indicates that the item is still cool enough to condense the moisture out of the surrounding air.

With guitars, basses, drums, and other musical instruments, be very careful of rapid cold-to-hot changes. The instrument finish and wood can crack (sometimes called “checking“) as the material expands and contracts in response to varying temperatures. Leave the instrument in its closed case until you are certain it is completely warm before you take it out, which can sometimes take an hour or even much longer, depending on how cold it was and how long it was exposed to the low temperatures.

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