Woman Holds Phone Out While Camping


A smartphone might not seem like the best item to bring along during a camping trip. After all, one of the main reasons for heading to the great outdoors is to be able to unplug from society and technology. Well, in this case, you can choose to ignore the addictive features of your device and instead view it as a useful and multi-functional tool that can enhance your camping experience. That’s my opinion and I wouldn’t go camping without my phone.

Here are just some of the reasons why I consider my phone an essential part of my camping gear.


Staying safe while camping right out there means knowing where you are. Before, this would’ve meant bringing several maps, campsite brochures, a GPS device, radio, compass and many more. Now, instead of having to pack all these items, you can bring your smartphone. You can have all these resources and essential items packed into a single device that can fit in your pocket.


A smartphone can help you remain organised throughout your camping trip. You can create a checklist, so you won’t forget to pack certain camping gear and equipment. At the end of the trip, you can again refer to the checklist to ensure that you won’t leave anything behind. You can also keep track of all the activities you want to do by having a to-do list on your smartphone. I don’t have to worry about a scrappy bit of paper that gets wet, torn or lost.


Smartphones double as flashlights or room lights whenever you need. You won’t even need to download additional apps as devices readily have a flashlight or torch feature. There are just so many times the torch app comes in handy, and different settings allow for different lighting depending on what is required.


Changes in the weather can be enough to bring your camping trip to a halt. In case of extreme weather, it can be dangerous to be out in the middle of nowhere. As long as you have connectivity, you can check for weather updates. You can adjust your itinerary depending on the results.


Typically, you’ll need a heavy DSLR if you wanted to take high-quality photos during your camping trip. These cameras are costly and may not fare well in rugged terrain. Thankfully, you can bring your smartphone as they’re also capable of producing high-quality photos and aren’t too cumbersome to bring along with you. You can easily record every memorable moment — even those that happen quickly and unexpectedly. It’s pretty hard to take a bad photo with a smartphone and even the most basic apps.


For campers who like to keep track of their health, today’s mobile devices are now capable of recording your physical activity. Either with just a smartphone or with compatible applications, you can keep track of your heart rate, the number of steps you take, your calorie intake and many other details. I love checking out how many steps I made that day.


In case there’s an emergency, and there are no medical professionals or services near you, your smartphone can be a handy tool. A first aid app can provide you with all the resources you need for addressing burns, bites, allergic reactions or even how to do CPR. There are step-by-step instructions to guide you. A smartphone’s GPS features can also allow people to track you in case you get lost. You can also contact the authorities if you need help and are in a dangerous situation. Again, a lot of this will depend on your connectivity. And I like being connected.


You can use your smartphone to enhance your camping experience. If you need help navigating during your trip, you can use Google Maps or Google Earth as your resource. They have an offline mode, so you can still access downloaded information even if there is no cell coverage.

Apps like Wikicamps and Australia Bushwalking can also provide you with useful information about different campsites and hiking trails. You can also use your smartphone to search for information about animal tracks, poisonous plants, campfire recipes and constellations.


Of course, your smartphone can also be used for entertainment. After a long day filled with different activities, you may want to wind down by playing some music or watching some videos. Stargazing apps are great too.

Having your smartphone with you during your camping trip doesn’t have to be counterproductive as many think. I use my phone to enhance my overall experience. Having all that a connected phone has to offer has changed the way I think about where I am going so much that now I plan my camping trips around network coverage! I consider my phone a part of my camping gear.


What else is a phone good for when camping? Share your experience below.

Jake Taylor
Jake Taylor

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.