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Camping
How Technology can Help

Leave Your Technology At Home While You Camp? No Way!
by Matt Geer

You see, hardcore campers will give you a mouthful if you mention anything about using technology while camping. Things like using the internet, watching TV or talking on your phone. They tell you that you're not supposed to do that stuff, that you're supposed to be enjoying everything that nature has to offer, such as trees, woodsy creatures, rock formations and stuff like that.

I see what they're saying. You should take a break from being connected and enjoy your surroundings. I get it.

But I still disagree. I think there are plenty of reasons why you should bring technology such as your phone and tablet camping. And after you read my 7 reasons below, I'm sure you'll agree.

7 Reasons to Bring Technology Camping With You

Here are my 7 reasons why you should never leave your technology at home, even when you go camping. These reasons are in no particular order.

1. Access to Recipes

If you're going to go fishing or hunting while you camp, it might be helpful to know how to cook that fish, deer or turkey.

There's an app for that.

Seriously, there is. Coleman has an app that gives you recipes based on how you want to cook, with what or the type of meal you want.

Don't get me wrong, hot dogs, burgers and filets are good and everything. But the longer I'm away from civilization, the more I want some variety. An app can help with that.

Note: I'm sure someone might mention bring a cookbook or something with them. That would make sense too. But I think using the app on your phone or tablet is more convenient, especially if you're cooking in the dark.

2. Games for the Kids

If you take your kids camping, they can obviously run through the woods, swim in the lake and hike when the sun is out. However, when it's dark they can't really do these things. But you still need to keep the little buggers occupied.

There's an app for that.

I wish I was joking, but I'm not. Using your phone or tablet, you can keep your kids busy with games until they go to bed. You can even do the parental thing and make sure the game is educational in some way.

3. Maps / Navigation

I know what some of you are probably going to say here. You don't need your phone or tablet for navigation, because that's what maps are for.

And I agree. However, I think using your tablet or phone for a map has some benefits:

  • A backlit screen for when you're walking in the dark.
  • Your tablet or phone isn't going to blow away because it's windy.
  • They won't tear because they got wet either.

Lots of map/navigation apps have tracking and route management functions too.

4. Emergencies

If anything, you should take your gadgets with you so if something bad happens, you can call for help. Granted, you might not get coverage everywhere, but I'd rather have my phone and tablet with me just incase I run into a small area that can connect.

What's more is that with many of these GPS/tracking type apps, they can pinpoint your location too. So assuming you can get coverage and your tracking can pinpoint you, your help will be able to find you faster than if you didn't have it.

5. Entertainment - TV/Movies

Campfires are great and all, but they're not the same as a little bit of TV or a movie. Especially night after night after night.

Not only that, but camping should be about bringing your family together so you can enjoy each other's company. You can achieve this by watching a movie together too.

I'm sure some of you aren't going to like this suggestion at all, but it's not like I'm asking you to watch TV in the middle of the day or something. Just a little bit before you go to bed.

And if you really didn't want to watch TV, you can always use your tablet to read together.

6. Pictures / Videos

Tablets and phones are convenient, if nothing else. You can talk to people, use them for maps, play games...

.... and take pictures and videos too.

Why lug around 2, 3 or 4 different pieces of electronics for capturing those Kodak moments when you can do the same thing with your iPad?

Not only that, but taking all of these pictures and videos on your iPad or phone makes it convenient for sending them to friends and family, or uploading them to your computer and Facebook page.

7. Camping Know How

Thanks to technology, you don't have to have a background in the boy/girl scouts in order to go camping successfully.

In other words, there's an app that will teach you what plants to avoid sitting on and what berries not to eat, assuming you prefer not to become a giant rash -- or die.

There are also apps that will teach you how to do things, such as start a fire, survive in an emergency and how to tie ropes in one of hundreds of different knots.

Are You Convinced Yet?

I'm sure that I won't manage to convince everyone that bringing your tablet or phone camping with you is ok, much less a good idea. But it's not as if I'm saying that you need to use them all day and miss out on all that camping has to offer. Just that technology can enhance the experience, that's all.

What do you think? Is technology a big 'no way' while camping, or do you think using your tablet or phone is ok, so long as it's in moderation and makes the trip better? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

About the author: Hi, my name is Matt. I'm the co-owner behind www.PlugThingsIn.com, a site that answers your questions about internet access. If you have any questions about accessing the internet while camping, I'd like to help you out. Just let me know in the comments below and I'll answer ASAP!

Backroads of Utah
by Theresa A. Husarik

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