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May 31, 2014
Camping While Connected

Let’s face it -- the modern working man or woman can’t live without access to the Internet. While many outdoorsy types advise you to unplug and unwind while you’re camping with your loved ones, sometimes you just can’t pull away from the harsh realities of work.

 Or maybe your excuse is that you’re going paperless and want to navigate your way around with GPS and not maps. That’s so 2013.

 Or maybe you just can’t wait to catch up on the latest episode of your favorite show.

 Staying connected to the outside world while you’re on a campground can be a bit difficult, but not impossible. Most campsites actually offer WiFi. Here are 3 items you’ll absolutely need (aside from your mobile phone and laptop, of course) to help you plug in while camping outdoors:

 Portable chargers

What good is technology without electricity? Power sockets are few and far in between in the great outdoors, but if you bring a portable charger, getting juice for your devices will be easy. There are many options out there, and it depends on the kinds of devices you need to charge, but we like the SolarGorilla/PowerGorilla option. Solid enough to power a laptop, and can recharge with the sunlight.

 Wireless broadband or mobile hotspots

Your mobile phone, if it’s a recent iPhone or newer Android, probably comes with the capability to be a mobile hotspot -- that is, able to provide Internet access to other devices, like a laptop. This service is usually an upgrade, so be sure to talk to your mobile phone service provider for details. But, Internet access via your phone may not be fast enough for decent usage, so consider wireless broadband, sometimes referred to as WiMax. Services like Clear (now a part of Sprint) offer 4G access to your device via specific hardware that’s more expensive than having a mobile hotspot, however faster and more reliable.

 Google Earth

Think of this free app as the Google Maps of the off road territory. Navigate in 3D to find hiking trails or even fishing holes, and also explore photos of places unknown to you so you don’t feel completely lost. Furthermore, the app includes a feature to help you locate campgrounds equipped with WiFi, in the event you don’t have the aforementioned tool above.

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