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Thread: Deet Ate My GPS!!!

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    Senior Member Little Rickie's Avatar
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    Deet Ate My GPS!!!

    The bottle top came off my 100% deet bottle in my day pack.
    The stuff ate and cracked the yellow part of my Garmin Etrex GPS!

    Has anyone ever have something like this happen?
    Peace

    "How one parses a question tells you as much about the person as how they answer the question."

    Oldee Won Balogeena

  2. #2
    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    Never had it happen, but DEET is well-known to dissolve plastics and other synthetic materials.

    So we put it directly on our skin instead of on our gear or clothing.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

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    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    As Michael noted, dissolving some plastics is a well-known hazard of DEET.

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deet
    DEET is an effective solvent, and may dissolve some plastics, rayon, spandex, other synthetic fabrics, leather, and painted or varnished surfaces including nailpolish.

    From http://www.rei.com/expertadvice/arti...repellent.html
    DEET is a "plasticizer." It can have adverse affects on many synthetic fabrics (such as rayon or spandex), auto paint, watch crystals, varnished surfaces, golf-club grips, leather and plastic. It will not damage cotton, wool or nylon.

    Watch crystals and plastic glasses lenses (polycarbonate?) and frames are often reported to be damaged.

    I found reports both ways for polyester.

    Doug
    Last edited by DougPaul; 06-28-2010 at 02:08 PM.

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    Senior Member rhihn's Avatar
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    There is a warning label on our newest BearVault that says "no DEET on or inside!" Though I've always put DEET inside, I've never had a problem, though barrel has never been disturbed. I'm not sure where else it could go...
    Dick

  5. #5
    Member PeterM's Avatar
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    Deet eats Plastic

    So how do they bottle the stuff - can or glass ??

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    Senior Member rhihn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterM View Post
    So how do they bottle the stuff - can or glass ??
    Most often I've seen it in a c. 3-oz plastic bottle - obviously a type of plastic that is not affected by DEET. I currently have a metal spray can of DEET.
    Dick

  7. #7
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    An ex-surveyor friend quit using repellent after she saw it was eating the survey rod or something - she didn't care about the equipment but her hands!

  8. #8
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhihn View Post
    Most often I've seen it in a c. 3-oz plastic bottle - obviously a type of plastic that is not affected by DEET. I currently have a metal spray can of DEET.
    I think it is polyethylene, but that is only a guess.

    Spray has the risk that the DEET can get anywhere--I've been hit by a spray cloud when I was 50 feet downwind. (It is rather uncomfortable when it get in your eyes...)

    Doug

  9. #9
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoySwkr View Post
    An ex-surveyor friend quit using repellent after she saw it was eating the survey rod or something - she didn't care about the equipment but her hands!
    ?

    Considering that one normally puts DEET on one's skin, why would one's hands be more at risk unless one is worried about the survey rod getting on one's hands. (Some people have certainly been scared by the logic "if it damages plastic, it probably damages me".)


    20-30% formulations are certainly pleasanter to deal with than 100%.

    Doug

  10. #10
    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Rickie View Post
    The bottle top came off my 100% deet bottle in my day pack.
    The stuff ate and cracked the yellow part of my Garmin Etrex GPS!

    Has anyone ever have something like this happen?
    Yes, and it was an eye-opening experience.

    Depending on the strength/concentration of the DEET, it can eat through plastic bags and disfigure plastic surfaces.

    After finding this out the hard way a couple of years ago, I don't get it anywhere near my hands/face when doing photography and make sure I completely wipe it off my legs before getting in the car.

  11. #11
    Banned Kevin Rooney's Avatar
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    I carry my DEET (comes in a metal can) inside a HD ziplock bag. Even so - one year some leaked thru the ziplock and drilled some holes in my Precip jacket. Fortunately the holes were near the waist, so it didn't impair it's functionality.

  12. #12
    Senior Member cbcbd's Avatar
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    Sheesh!

    From what I recall, the 100% deet (which I think is actually 98% DEET) says on the spray to only use on clothing or objects, not directly on skin. The skin "safe" ones are generally <30% DEET.
    Doug

  13. #13
    Senior Member Little Rickie's Avatar
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    I only spray it on clothing or my chair. I rarely put bug spray on my skin now a days. I cover up if I can or build a smokie fire at camp.

    I sent an e-mail to Garman to see what they say?
    Peace

    "How one parses a question tells you as much about the person as how they answer the question."

    Oldee Won Balogeena

  14. #14
    Senior Member rhihn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhihn View Post
    Most often I've seen it in a c. 3-oz plastic bottle - obviously a type of plastic that is not affected by DEET. I currently have a metal spray can of DEET.
    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul View Post
    I think it is polyethylene, but that is only a guess.

    Spray has the risk that the DEET can get anywhere--I've been hit by a spray cloud when I was 50 feet downwind. (It is rather uncomfortable when it get in your eyes...)

    Doug
    I should have said that the "spray" I have is a pump spray but not a "mist". So there's no "spray cloud" involved.
    Dick

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    Senior Member smitty77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbcbd View Post
    From what I recall, the 100% deet (which I think is actually 98% DEET) says on the spray to only use on clothing or objects, not directly on skin. The skin "safe" ones are generally <30% DEET.
    I've gone through 2 bottles of Bens 100 in the last ten years, most of it sprayed, on my skin and I'm still walking. Something's going to "get" me anyway and I would rather it not be Lyme disease. FWIW, it lasts all day long for me when used in that concentration. While doing roadwork in Cartunk, ME in the heart of blackfly season it was the only dosage that would keep the buggers at bay. I use Bens 30 whenever I can, but I'll bust out the high-test for those days when the skeeters just won't quit.

    And the 100% WILL eat plastics. I keep my little bottle wrapped in 2 Ziploc bags and try not to put it near anything that could be damaged like sunglasses or electronics.

    Quote Originally Posted by DougPaul
    Considering that one normally puts DEET on one's skin, why would one's hands be more at risk unless one is worried about the survey rod getting on one's hands.
    This is how I know it "eats" plastics - I had the remnants of a black Duracell flashlight on my hands for a day or two. So yes, my guess is she didn't want white hands with red lines across them.
    East bound and down, loaded up and truckin', we gonna do what 'They' say can't be done.
    We gotta long way to go, and a short time to get there, I'm east bound just watch ole' Bandit run. - Jerry Reed

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