I purchased a Nikon D5100 at Christmas and I've really enjoyed learning how to use it thus far. Admittedly I'm still a complete newbie at all of this but am trying to learn as much as I can.
I've been taking it to horse shows and clinics and out in the salt air conditions around the coast. I'm concerned about protecting the camera and the lenses from the elements and the wear & tear of such environments.
Suggestions for supplies or equipment that I should purchase or practices to follow to help protect my camera?
"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower
I would put uv lens filter on the lens. Otherwise make sure to get it cleaned regularly. Cameras are tough. My D60 has lasted through 4+ years of using it at the barn, leaving it in the car, occasionally getting dropped, taking it to the beach, etc. It's not built like a little point and shoot, it should last through normal wear and tear no problem.
I would say from the sun and salt, cleaning the camera after use would be best, also not ignoring the metal loops where you attach your camera strap (don't want those to rust or weaken).
When I got my dslr I was mostly using it for photographing dogs at the county animal control to put them online. I was banging it into the kennel doors when leashing up dogs and needed something to protect it from my rough handling. I got a camera armor for it (here's one, it might be a different brand but looks the same) http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0040QXFF2
Some people might not like all that casing on the camera as it does add bulk, but I'm so used to it now that I am surprised whenever I remove it to clean my camera, at how small my camera body is. I kind of like the grippy rubber.
As far as cleaning instructors, I'd just follow the manual instructions for that, but if anyone else has other tips, in interested too!
I use Delkin Camera Armor on my 5D Mark 3 to protect the camera body from dings and scratches. I use L-lenses and the camera is fully weather sealed so I don't have to worry about contamination or moisture, just physical bumps. It's not battery grip friendly but it does the job.
Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!