For Ray Mears camping would be a tarp tied between a few trees somewhere in the outback but in this country many campers have moved on from simple pleasures of the outdoors. A campsite once consisted of a field devoid of cowshit, then came toilet blocks and shower rooms to de-grime yourself after a satisfying slog across the moors or up a mountain and back. Even then you’d retire to your tent, fire up the camping stove for some simple tinned beans and sausage or a dehydrated meal in a foil bag, maybe even sit around a campfire if it was allowed and drink a few beers or mugs of tea, look up at the stars and contemplate life, or tell a few stories or jokes.
Now though campsites are all teched up and I’m not in any way against that. If you can’t bear to be completely off-grid there are some that have electrical hook-ups for tents as well as caravans and motorhomes, if you don’t have that then you can always get a solar charger for your phone and tablet, in the future kinetic chargers will make use of your daily hikes to juice your kit. Many sites have good wireless broadband internet so you’ll never miss your favourite tv, can check your emails and continue to update the world on how your holiday’s going via Twitter and Facebook. I recently visited Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales and on the campsite there I was able to read the news via my AP news app on my Nexus 7, write notes for this blog on my tablet and netbook (yes, I’m the one who still uses one, because it’s portable and cheap) and send my envious friends at home a picture of the beautiful weather and scenery. My clever little tablet even added my exact GPS coordinates to the notes I added in Evernote.
If you can bear to take with you only your personal tech life and leave the work with an Out of Office notification then it’s the best of both worlds – the great outdoors when the weather’s nice combined with the comforting glow of the internet, or Angry Birds when it’s raining, or when you’re sat sipping a beer, listening to streamed music while reading articles as the sun sets. As I was for that all too brief week.