You will struggle to find an activity as enjoyable yet easy to do as camping. Whether with the family and pets, your friends or even if you just want a bit of me time in the lovely outdoors, being away from hectic everyday life and reconnecting with the environment that surrounds us is a great way to maintain a healthy body and mind.
The one thing however that we can’t escape from in this digital age is the internet; it connects us with our loved ones and friends and keeps us up to date with any and all events going on around the world.
While you want to enjoy being in nature and the outdoors, the lack of any internet connection can be stressful especially if you still have a few loose ends you need to finish for work or if you want to check in on a friend or family member before roasting some marshmallows on the fire.
Luckily we have compiled a list of the 5 simplest ways you can get reliable internet access while camping, meaning even if you venture to the most remote areas, you will still be able to finish that last piece of work or send pictures back home from the comfort of your very own campsite!
Mobile Hotspot And Tethering
While this may seem obvious, a mobile hotspot is definitely the easiest way to get a stable connection that even supports several people, however there are a few points to consider.
Many different devices can use hotspots, so if you’re in a group check to see if anyone has a spare phone or iPad that they could set up a hotspot for and if they have unlimited data, even better!
Mobile tethering is similar but slightly different to hotspots, simply turn on tethering in the settings section of your mobile device and you will share out your network or signal via Bluetooth.
Unlike hotspots that require only a medium strength connection tethering does require a high strength, however its download speed is much faster so if you were planning on sending any documents or downloading a movie for the whole group to enjoy under the night sky, connecting devices to your phone through tethering may be the best option.
If you are at all worried about your phone lasting long enough then luckily this issue has been easier than ever to resolve with hand crank phone chargers.
These devices are becoming very popular on the camping market because of how easy to use they are, they function off kinetic and solar energy so as long as you’re willing to occasionally crank the device, it will charge your phone with many doubling as a flashlight or radio.
- Feature on most phones
- Easy to set up
- Supports multiple devices
- Reliable internet speed depending on area
- Requires decent network signal
- Not everyone has mobile data
Cafes And Restaurants
If data is not an option and you’re still choosing your destination, it is worth considering camping sites close to cafes, restaurants or bars with internet connections.
Increasingly more vendors, restaurants and even food vans are opening up near popular camping spots and state parks that stay far enough away so campers can really feel as if they’re in the wilderness, but close enough to only be a small trip away.
If you only want to use the internet occasionally while traveling to check up on friends or maybe google the best way to put up a pesky tent, picking a site near an establishment with Wi-Fi is now incredibly easy to do, often requiring no extra money to log in.
It’s also a great excuse to stock up on coffee or tea, or maybe even a breakfast to start your wilderness journey off right.
States such as California and Oregon with their state parks have started following this trend but if you want a better idea of where these locations are, ALLstays is a great site that can narrow down the sites surrounded by these establishments.
- Growing popular trend
- WI-FI is usually free to join
- Easy access to food and drink
- May need to travel for reliable connection
If you’re looking for something that can stay in the camp site and don’t mind spending some money, a travel router is an option that is easy to set up and use.
A primary internet router or modem at home needs to cover the entire house with a strong enough connection to support things like streaming and this can be very pricey.
A travel router is the portable version of this and is much cheaper, while all have different functions they all work to increase the range of any existing wireless networks, or even make networks appear that were unreachable.
The more expensive routers also come with useful built-in features like VPN support helping keep your connection safe from encryption with others having built in 4g, allowing you to easily send the pictures of exotic wildlife back home in seconds.
Others come with Ethernet ports which a TV or console can be plugged into to provide almost the same connection standard as at home.
When looking into buying a travel router, always check its bandwidth is preferably above 150mbps, whether the wireless frequencies are single or dual band, and as a bare minimum that the router supports Wireless Protected Access 2 (WPA2).
- Easy to set up and use
- Very portable
- many have built-in extra features
- Strongest way to extend internet networks
- Can be expensive depending on quality
- Requires a network connection in the area
- Requires a plug socket
Maybe you’re only going for a small trip and just want something quick and easy to help your device find a secure internet connection potentially quite far away, if this is the case a USB Dongle serves this purpose perfectly.
Simply plug it into either a 3.0 or 2.0 USB port and the device will connect to a 3g or 4g network just like a mobile phone.
The speed of a dongle is much faster than mobile data, so if you’re a big binge watcher or just don’t want to wait for constant loading on your favorite social media platforms, then the USB dongle is a cheap, easy and efficient workaround.
Keep in mind that because it uses USB, dongles are more centered towards laptops usage rather than phones or tablets and many dongle packages are either pay as you go or require monthly installments.
- Small and portable
- Easy to use
- Only needs USB port to function
- Fast network speed
- Cheap price
- Mainly used for laptops
- Only supports one device
- Packages required to be paid for
Satellite Internet Providers
Finally maybe you’re looking for a real getaway adventure, seeking to go to a remote area away from all the stresses and hustle and bustle of city life.
If this is your plan, it may seem impossible to get any internet without a network in reach, however this is not the case.
While more pricey, because they are based off satellite internet these remote satellite providers can essentially be used anywhere and still receive a reliable connection even if there are no cell phone towers nearby.
Most providers support up to 25mbps and since Netflix only requires 1.5mbps this is a great alternative if you’re looking to venture to a really remote area, but still want to enjoy your favorite digital activities.
The more premium providers are already set up and ready to go while more DIY versions require more configuration, however this does grant options for how far reaching you want the dish to go.
- No need for mobile networks and signals
- Variety of options
- Long lasting
- Great connection speeds
- Usually expensive
- Payed plan usually required
Even though venturing into the great outdoors is the best way to free yourself from the overwhelming modern world, it’s sometimes necessary to get internet access while camping.
Hopefully, this guide will help you connect to the internet with ease! Also with all that great technology in your tent, make sure you properly secure it. Check out different ways to lock your tent.
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