"Smart" camping ideas

Discussion in 'Campsite Electronics' started by mrootes, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. mrootes

    mrootes 2009 Rockwood Freedom 1940LTD

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    I'm curious if there are any other geeks like me that want to find as many ways to use their technology when in the PUP. (sorry, you die hards, technology even goes camping).

    For example, many people wire up speakers and radios into their PUP's - I see no value in that - I would just install the speakers only and a connection jack for my tablet or smartphone. the only thing I give up is am radio.

    I use the digital compass on my phone to point my portable sat dish - takes 30 seconds and I have a signal!

    We use our tablets/phones for weather radar views and mapping directions and watching videos on the TV, but what else?
     
  2. Michoshisho

    Michoshisho Member

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    I'm with you. I have a set of wireless speakers and transmitter that can run or batteries or be plugged in. I plug in my iPod, iPad, or whatever gadget I'm using. That way if I'm dry camping, I'm not running my battery down.

    Instead of satellite TV, I have a slingbox at home. As long as I have cell signal at the campsite, I can plug my phone in to the portable TV I have in the PUP and watch my home TV as if I was sitting in my living room.

    As for radio.....there's an app for that too! I also like streaming from Pandora.
     
  3. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    I can look at the night sky and find north from the stars -- without an "ap."

    But, to be less flippant, I have never needed much technology for camping (unless one considers that the TV itself is a piece of technology). I carry a radio with a weather band so I can get info if things look nasty. Otherwise, I rarely listen to anything when camping because I like the sounds and silence of nature. If I do listen to something it is a CD (never bothered to get an mp3 player -- wouldn't use it enough to make it worth it) because I hate commercials and talk/blather radio. As for phones, I have a cell phone (not a smart phone) for emergencies but am often in places that are beyond cell service so depending on a phone for numerous applications would not work.

    I just got a laptop this year to bring on trips but that is primarily for photography. I'll download the day's shots from the cameras to the laptop so I can begin editing in the field and save time when I get home. Most of the time I'm not near a free wi-fi signal but when I am I'll be able to check the internet and my email. I'm not interested in watching TV or movies while camping because I can do that at home. I can't sit in the deep woods, the desert or a on deserted ocean beach enjoying the sky, land and animals when I'm home and that's why I go camping in the wilderness.
     
  4. Michoshisho

    Michoshisho Member

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    Well, there are many ways to camp. No method is right, wrong, or otherwise. It's just a matter of what you and your family find enjoyable. Some enjoy the offerings of a resort campground, while others would never even consider going to a 'campground' of any sort, believing that the only real camping is boondocking. To each his (or her) own. As long as you get out there an enjoy, it's all good.

    Counting down begins....52 days until my first camping trip of the 2012 season....
     
  5. mrootes

    mrootes 2009 Rockwood Freedom 1940LTD

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    I also use an FM Radio app that let's me listen to the radio stations from back home (sometimes the local radio stations stink). I also have satellite radio - I can run that app from my phone and play on external speakers as well.

    Unstable - I knew I would hear from you! [:D] I agree 100% with what you said - however, we still have 3 kids, all under 13. We actually use our camper as a "hotel" when we want to visit a place but avoid the hotel costs. As a result, camping for us is more like trying to make our place as much like the Hyatt as possible.

    I so look forward to the days when I can do what you do - seriously.
     
  6. papachaz

    papachaz New Member

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    we take the laptops with us. we have wireless broadband that goes along as well. i got a new droid smartphone for christmas. i've searched the threads on here similar to this one and downloaded some apps that look interesting.

    also take the garmin handheld GPS with us after a few years ago, getting lost hiking to a waterfall because someone thought it would be fun to turn all the trail marking signs and/or remove some of them. we plan to start doing some geocaching as well to make the hiking a little more interesting....
     
  7. mrootes

    mrootes 2009 Rockwood Freedom 1940LTD

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    I like the geocaching idea!

    Prior to booking a site, I also look athte sites with Google maps - moat of them are pretty good at getting nice close ups of the sites - helps us to get a sense of where we are going to be prior to reserving a site.

    There have been times when my family went hiking, etc while I stayed behind and worked in the camper using my laptop and the wifi created from my phone. I can make calls, etc from my own mobile office.

    I would like to try the google sky or something similar where I can point my phone to the sky and it will point out the constellations. I forgot which app that is.
     
  8. nancyanddan

    nancyanddan Active Member

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    U_T, I do agree with you for the most part. When I camp, I prefer to hear the birdsong, a running stream or creek, and the wind in the trees rather than listen to music or a podcast (sorry, DH!).

    That said, both DH and I are retired techno-nerds, having spent the great part of our working lives at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. So some vestiges of using technology on a daily basis seems to stick with us.

    Most times when we camp - if we're at a place that has WiFi - I will not bring my laptop. I'll maybe check email a couple of times a day from my iPod Touch. For a short weekend or even a 3-4 day trip that's all I need. However, during the summer and into the fall of 2010 we took an extended vacation up the California Coast, enjoying a combination of tent camping, staying with relatives and friends, and once motel-ing it for a wedding in Santa Cruz. I did take my laptop on that trip because I had to update one of my websites with new calendar events which needed to be added during the time we were away.

    And of course DH cannot start the day without checking to "see what's happening in the world." I don't need to do that because he'll let me know if anything noteworthy has/is happening. [;)]

    Next month when we camp at Anza Borrego and later at Cuyamaca there will be no WiFi at all.....so it will be a pleasant respite from technical stuff. And DH will deal with it; he's pretty darn flexible when it comes right down to it. :)
     
  9. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    We have some technology for communication and planning purposes, for calling parks for information or looking up information on sites while traveling. We also have a weather radio in case of dangerous storms.

    But we go camping to enjoy being in the outdoors, and all we want to hear at night is the sound of spring peepers or the wind in the trees. We can listen to music or watch TV (which we almost never do) at home. Doing that stuff isn't camping to us, but listening to music in a camper. Why even bother?
     
  10. papachaz

    papachaz New Member

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    yeah i love google earth and maps. you named it, it's google sky for star gazing. i may have to upgrade my data package with all these neat apps, LOL
     
  11. gkraps

    gkraps Member

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    I'm old school: AM-FM radio and cell phone, that's it. The radio is for some music, football game in the evening, maybe some news if I can find a station. The cell phone, well for emergencies as we are usually out of service high up in the Arizona mountains. We like to hear the wind in the trees, birds chirping, crackle of the fire and that sort of thing.

    The mountains get us away from all of the electronic technology that we must live with every day of the week.
     

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