Woman Uses Laptop Online While Camping

HOW A DIGITAL NOMAD CAN STAY CONNECTED WHILE CAMPING

Camping used to be all about unplugging from modern living. However, it’s undeniable that technology has become an important part of our lives. Some campers have a strong desire to stay connected to the internet while they venture out into the great outdoors. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as there are advantages to remaining tethered. Read on to find out these benefits and how you can stay connected while camping.

REASONS TO STAY CONNECTED

On the road, you can research the different locations you plan a visit. It’s also important to keep up to date with weather and road conditions as these can affect how your camping trip will turn out. Apart from that, the internet provides us with the best entertainment during downtimes or lulls during camping trips. Some might want to post pictures on their social media accounts, provide updates to friends and family or check their work emails. For those who work remotely, remaining tethered is important in getting the job done. Yes, some people live this way. There are those who live on one long camping retirement trip and being connected is not just important, having a connection for Netflix is essential.

HOW TETHERED DO YOU NEED TO BE?

If you have decided that an internet connection is crucial, the next factor to consider is the kind of connection you’ll need. Will your data usage be light, medium or heavy? The answer to this will help you decide on what type of internet connection you will need.

CAMPSITES WITH FREE WI-FI

In recognising most campers’ need to stay connected while camping, a lot of campsites actually offer free Wi-Fi. If you require a constant internet connection, you might want to choose a campground that has this particular amenity. However, you need to consider that the connection might be slow due to a large number of campers using the same Wi-Fi connection. You’ll also have to stay in certain areas that have the strongest connection to the network.

MOBILE ROUTER

A wireless mobile router will be a better option if you’re camping with a group of people. The connection will only be shared amongst yourselves. Carriers offer prepaid or postpaid options so you can choose a data allowance that will be sufficient for the entire camping trip. The downside to this option is that depending on your usage, the mobile router’s battery may drain very quickly. You will lose your connection if you don’t have a way to recharge your device. If you are concerned with being connected, you should have your power supply prepared.

YOUR DEVICE AS A PERSONAL HOTSPOT

It’s indeed likely that everyone in your camping group has their smartphone anyway. Each member can use their mobile data and use it as a personal hotspot if they want to power up their tablet or other devices. However, the data you get to spend will depend mainly on your monthly allowance. Similar to the mobile router, you have to worry about running out of battery quickly. Your connection will also be restricted to areas that have cell coverage.

SATELLITE WI-FI

Satellite Internet is a serious solution if you want a fast connection, a large data allowance and a cell signal wherever you are. This solution is excellent for the serious long-term campers who want to get far off the beaten track and still be connected. Satellite Internet was quite popular a few years ago in Australia but more people are turning to standard wireless connections as coverage areas increase. Nevertheless, if you want to get away and be connected, satellite Internet is the only solution.

PROXIMITY TO TOWN

If you need to connect to the internet from time to time, consider camping in a location that’s nearby a town. There’ll be better signals and data service there. You can make quick trips to a nearby coffee shop or the library to fulfil all your internet needs and then head back to your campsite after you’re finished. Check your coverage area before deciding on where you are headed.

Advances in technology have afforded us various ways to connect to the internet even as we’re camping in the great outdoors. if you are driving on main roads and camping at popular destinations, there’s a good chance of being connected most of the time, either wirelessly or with Wi-Fi.

The biggest advantage of Wi-Fi, if you can get it, is the fact that you don’t have to pay for it in many cases. Watch out for bill shock if you are heading out and blasting loads of bandwidth on data. Make sure you’ve got a plan that makes sense – unlimited is the best way to go if you can get it because at least you have a flat rate you know you are going to pay.


 

Do you have any extra tips for staying connected when hitting the outdoors? Share your experience below.

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Jake Taylor
jake.taylor@dinga.com.au

Jake is a global traveller who has recently called Australia his home again. If he's not travelling, he is writing about it and his experience.