Reader Dwig left a good thought in the Comments the other day: "[I] NEVER EVER close the card door on a camera when there is no card. I also do this with the battery compartment."
I assume he means being prepared to put a fresh card or battery in whenever you take the old one out.
Great idea. I'm big on habits, especially with camera procedures, because they save your posterior from time to time. Never closing the door on a cardless card compartment or a batteryless battery compartment would be a very good habit for me to get into. I'm going to adopt this. (It's been a disadvantage to my habits that I didn't take digital imaging very seriously when I first got into it twelve years ago.)
"Process hygiene" always needs maintenance and vigilance. Thanks to Dwig for the smart suggestion.
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KeithB: "The problem with this habit is that it directly conflicts with my habit of keeping everything closed up tight as possible to prevent dust."
Mike replies: Oh, I didn't even see it that way at all. What I assumed Dwig meant was that whenever you take out a full card, you put an empty one in at the same time, and whenever you remove a spent battery, you put a fresh one in at the same time. It didn't occur to me that anyone would leave the camera empty with the doors open.
I added a sentence in the post to clarify this—thanks.
FK: "What's a fail-safe routine that ensures I never leave for a trip without the camera? I did that once, left the camera on the bed and consequently have fading memories of Glasgow."