A DIY Guide to Camping With Technology

There are lots of great reasons to bring tech gadgets with you on a camping trip. Your smartphone alone can be used for photography, lighting, entertainment and of course emergency communications. But before you start carrying around all your expensive gear, there are some important things to consider.

Below, we’ve got a bunch of tips and projects that will help you bring technology into your next adventure, with a focus on some of the coolest DIY solutions you can afford.

Power

First thing first: solve the power problem. Carrying a power source will help keep your devices powered throughout the trip. If you’re relying on phone signals for emergency communications, it’s a necessary safety precaution.

The easiest solution is to bring a spare if you already own one or ask someone around to borrow one for your trip as owning has become quite common. Calculate how much charge the power bank will give you and only carry devices that you can reliably power while away to avoid carrying heavy loads.

If you’re a camper looking for a dedicated power source that you can build yourself, there are several options available to use solar, water, and heat power. An amazing example of this is a small thermoelectric charger that can charge a phone using a fire source like a campfire, gas stove or candle. This is just one of the few ingenious DIY chargers you can craft as part of our awesome DIY projects to beat weekend boredom.

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Waterproofing

Carrying electronic devices with you on a trip to the wilderness will always be risky, but there are some things you can do to reduce the risk of damaging your devices. Phones, tablets, and cameras are all valuable items that are waterproof, even if the device is already water resistant. You also won’t need to buy expensive waterproof cases.

One of the best solutions we’ve found is a DIY YouTube dry bag that’s super easy to make as it doesn’t require any sewing. It comes together quite quickly using duct tape, cable ties and waterproof materials like Tyvek used in construction. The finished product is similar to a roll-up bag cyclists carry, but can be resized if you just want something small to fit a phone and watch inside.

If you don’t have time to do something and you just put your electronics in your pocket and go, ziplock bags are the classic solution—just make sure you can double the bag to be careful. than. If you happen to have a vacuum sealer that is used for food storage then you can even seal small appliances that way. However, leave some air inside the bag, or it will push the buttons of the device down.

Heat

You can absolutely bring an extra heat source when camping, and it’s especially handy if you’re not allowed to have a campfire. Crafting a do-it-yourself fireplace isn’t as complicated as you might think and it’s great if you need a custom solution that doesn’t cost a fortune.

In our list of creative DIY heaters that really work, two stand out. The first is a 100W mini heater built with just a tin can, clay, and a few coils of wire. The second is a coin alcohol stove that also uses an old drink can. Both projects are cheap and doable, even without any do-it-yourself experience. Because they are made using repurposed parts, you won’t need to worry if you damage the heater. However, the reward is the opportunity to make your camping experience more luxurious.

Lighting

The new wave of camping videos on YouTube will suggest that you really need a full set of lights and lanterns to create the perfect, cozy camping experience. However, it’s an expensive option, which can take some time to achieve. An alternative is to explore the world of LED lights, which gives you the option of crafting all sorts of homemade lights.

For a bit of fun, you can make cute origami lights with your kids, or to take things up a notch, you can try making a USB rechargeable flashlight. You can find these projects and more in our list of gorgeous DIY LED light projects. Fairy lights or an old set of Christmas lights connected via USB are also simple options to light up the night. It’s all about setting the mood for a camping trip that you won’t forget.

Entertainment

Once you start thinking about what technologies you can take with you on a camping trip, there’s no limit to how comfortable you can be out in the wild. Download a few movies to your iPad and make a quick DIY tablet stand out in cardboard, and you’ll be prepared for a cozy night inside your tent.

There are also some creative ways to use technology outdoors, such as setting up a time-lapse Twitter camera or incorporating a remote birdwatching station. You can learn how to build these in our awesome projects using the Rasberry Pi and the camera.

In case of emergency

For seasoned hikers and intrepid adventurers, GPS systems are a piece of technology that offers incredible benefits. The main applications include trip planning, navigation, and recording your trip data — and it does all of this without using the internet. If you’ve been into electronics before, there are plenty of tutorials out there to teach you how to build your own GPS device. And even if you haven’t, Spark Fun’s overview of the subject is great, complete with a beginner project to try.


Another great project to build is a off-grid Wikipedia computer that will have everything you could possibly know in case you can’t connect to the internet. If you are traveling far beyond the reach of civilization and you are traveling by car, it can be the ultimate source of knowledge in an emergency.

If all of the above sounds a bit too much, the most important thing for a simple trip is to plan well in advance. For devices that rely on cell and cell phone signals, make sure to bring a suitable power source and think about waterproof storage to protect your device from damage. And above all, always make sure to let someone know where you are going and for how long, in case you need to be rescued.

Great camping experience

Now you know how to bring your tech gadgets with you on your next camping trip. With a portable power source, you can build a wonderful base that is illuminated with LEDs and heated with a DIY heater. Just remember to have a waterproof solution ready for your devices if they get wet, and never forget to have an emergency plan. There are affordable homemade tech solutions for every situation, so don’t be afraid to camp in style!



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https://www.makeuseof.com/diy-guide-to-camping-with-technology/ A DIY Guide to Camping With Technology

Sarah Ridley

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