Three things you need when digital nomads go camping

I love the outdoors.

Being away from the hustle and bustle of the city is the perfect way to unwind. If you need to dream up your next big project, get a little perspective, or just spend a little time with your family, camping is a great way to do it.

Theres digital nomads all over the world working from RV’s and campsites, because it ties right into the type of lifestyle we want to live. Get your work done, and then go enjoy life.

But camping isn’t always particularly friendly to those wanting to work.

Now hang on you say.

I was signing up for a life of working from my hammock in a tropical paradise. I want to be drinking a mojito at the beach while grinding away on my laptop.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s not how we roll.

I shudder to think how my back would feel after an afternoon trying to work from a hammock. Because come on, they’re fun for a picture, but not really conducive to getting any work done. Oh and the beach. Forgetting for a second the sand and water, why would you not simply get your work done and leave your laptop in your room?

This is where the challenge comes in. Say you are going camping for a few days. But you’ve got a business to run, so there’s always a chance you’re going to need to connect and ensure you’re on top of everything. It’s not ideal, but here’s how I do it.

Best gear for camping as a digital nomad

Mobile hotspot

My favorite device at the moment is my combination wifi and power bank. I use the Xiaomi ZMI MF855 because it’ll keep your WiFi going for about 48 hours (continuously) without needing a charge. More than enough if you’re only needing it for a few hours at a time, and you can also use the power bank to keep your phone (or any other devices that charge via USB) charged.

What I would recommend though is to buy a few sim cards from different providers. I’ve found that coverage can vary widely when you get out of the city, which is going to completely eliminate your ability to get online if there’s no signal. Having a backup plan is always a good idea.

Portable power

This isn’t a concern if you’re going to a proper campground, as most will have a continuous supply of power. But the last trip where I camped was on Koh Surin in Thailand, they only turned the generator on for a few hours in the early evening. It was a perfect holiday, except if you needed to pull a long session working and your laptop battery died.

As mine did. A couple of times.

After the trip, I went and bought a proper battery pack. It’s a bit over a kilogram, which makes it a rather heavy addition to my kit, but it’s a necessity if I’m anywhere without a reliable power source. I went with the MaxOak 50,000mAh charger. For its capacity it was the smallest and lightest on the market, just make sure your laptop doesn’t require more than 4.5A otherwise it’s not going to charge. This is very important, this charger will not work with your Macbook. Nearly every other brand is fine, but check before you buy it people.

Tunes

I love the peace and quiet you get when you’re camping, but sometimes it’s a little too much. For me, I can’t work when it’s too quiet, so I’ve always got a little music grooving away in the background. Plus, it’s a lot of fun when you’ve got a few friends with you and you’re relaxing around the fire. Nothing goes better with a couple of beers than some good music.

My blue tooth speaker comes everywhere with me. It’s survived rainstorms and bucks parties, sandy beaches and being tossed around in my backpack more times than I can count. It’s a wonder it still works, but, touch wood, she’ll be going strong for a while yet. I bought the Fugoo speaker that’s waterproof, as I’d rather spend a few extra bucks and get something that lasts than have a cheap speaker die on me after only one trip. Again.

And that’s it. All I need to get my work done is the internet. Power. And some music.

Oh, and you’d, of course, need to bring your laptop. But that’s so obvious it’s a given and I highly doubt any of us travel anywhere without a laptop anyway. We also cover a few more items in our list of gear for digital nomads, make sure to check it out too.

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