Camping in the Great Outdoors: Fresh Air, Nature, S’mores and…WiFi???

Posted on August 30, 2010. Filed under: News, Questions | Tags: , , , , , |

WiFi is now blanketing the nation in more remote areas than ever… parks and campgrounds. Campground owners feel almost obligated to include internet accessibility to their list of basic amenities simply because their customers are demanding it.

Many believe that encouraging technology use while camping is in direct conflict with the principle of fully experiencing the great outdoors. Hiking and camping are usually activities people enjoy because one can “get away from it all”. Being disconnected from the modern world and the hectic activity of the daily grind is often part of the beauty of spending time in remote locations. The inability to communicate with anyone other than those you are with and with nature itself is considered part of the experience. Could suddenly offering that tempting ability to stay in constant contact with the world diminish the value of the outdoor experience?

 On the other hand, grounds managers with internet connections can use the added communication ability to boost the marketing of their facilities. Some have installed webcams in strategic locations to feature amazing views on their websites. This may entice more people to come visit the parks. Hikers are encouraged to take photos on trails, share them on their personal blogs, and tweet about their adventures. If the best marketing tool is word of mouth, then taking advantage of technology could simply promote that phenomenon in today’s world.

 For better of for worse, the internet is now accessible, as are you, in areas that were once quite isolated. As outdoor aficionados debate the pros and cons of this, you can now decide if you want to bring that iPad for late night video watching in the tent, or if you’d rather leave the tech-gadgets at home and just “rough-it” on your next outdoors experience.

Rustic Camping


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2 Responses to “Camping in the Great Outdoors: Fresh Air, Nature, S’mores and…WiFi???”

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Have to say that I’m for wi-fi in some campgrounds. Went to Acadia last year. Our campground had wi-fi at the main office/camp store, and it made making reservations for sunset kayaking around the Porcupine Islands SO MUCH EASIER. And let’s not exaggerate it either – there’s still no wi-fi available in the Flattops Wilderness Area in Colorado, and there probably never will be. There are hardly any people up there and there isn’t any infrastructure. It’s still quite possible to go places to get unplugged if you want to.

We just camped our way cross country, and found there’s camping and then there’s camping. If you are going to some sort of RV or camp park (like KOA or something), that’s not really getting away from “it all”, its more getting away from “it some”. So if those places want to have WiFi for the convenience of their customers, have at it. For those going for the really rustic experience, they are probably already going to more remote places. I know we did some of both. Sometimes you just need a place to sleep, and sometimes you want to wake up to a remote alpine meadow.

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