We know it’s sacrilege to many, but we would love to see more access to Wi-Fi and electricity in the wild places we travel to.
Hear us out
Because ours is a working road trip, staying connected on the road with internet access and electricity is necessary in order to meet magazine and newspaper deadlines and to produce this blog which you’re reading right now. If we can’t get internet access and electricity in a park or campground then we’re forced to leave these wonderful places and move to a more expensive, less wonderful motel room somewhere simply so we can complete our work.
Understandably, we are thrilled whenever we’re able to connect in the outdoors. For example, we used our Verizon wireless card to connect to an internet signal and plugged our laptops into the electrical outlets provided in the campground at the Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park near Gainesville, Florida. This allowed us to finish and file a feature for Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine right from our picnic table.
After searching nearly every nook and cranny of Crater Lake National Park we finally found a turnout along the Rim Drive where we got a Verizon signal. A couple of times each day we’d park there and call it our office for a while before returning to the trails or heading back to camp. Members of the Friends of Crater Lake organization contacted us after reading our post about Crater Lake to request the exact location of the spot where we’d found a signal so they could get some work done in the park too.
What do you think?
Would greater access to Wi-Fi and electricity in National Parks, State Parks, and campgrounds in the US be a good thing or a bad thing?
What extremes have you gone to in order to get an internet connection in a park, campground or other natural area?
Let us know in the comments below.
Here’s more about travel to US National Parks & Monuments
we would love more wifi access in national parks. we have no trouble turning off our devices to relax — we can unplug ourselves, so we don’t need the parks to do it for us. it’s a pain to have to go out of your way (back to “civilization”) to do a little work (we also work on the road) or upload a photo or what have you.
I love the idea of free wifi in parks as long as you don’t bump into people gazing down at their phones instead of the life around them. Just please no wifi, ever – as in never ever ever – at Burning Man. There are places that should remain unplugged.
What if the WiFi access allowed some sort of incredible Burning Man art installation?
More bars in more places? All for it. We dongle all the time, depending on the country we are in we either buy a USB dongle from a network or we use our unlocked dongle and buy a sim card t stay connected to the all important clients.
We occasionally find a unsecured network, but for the win we use the cell networks.
Tough one! I say no, just because there should be some places where you’re out of touch and disconnected. When I did a Mongolia tour, I put the laptop away for the entire time because it just seemed like a good excuse to NOT work ;) Then again, for emergencies…
Wifi, certainly at nominal fee…say 2 to 5 dollars. Why charge, mainly because the parks can’t take the hit of another expense without giving up something else. It’d be a great safety feature for those that are lost. No on the electricity as to accommodate that you would need to add infrastructure that includes stringing ugly wires or digging ditches and we’ve all seen parks start projects that go for years leaving ugly piles and scares in beautiful areas.
I hear ya! I was just in the Northern Territory, Australia for a press trip and not having internet access (without paying sky high roaming fees) was nice but it means more work now that I’m back and loses the impact of being in real time. I like to get away from it all, but not on a work trip.
On the other hand, I don’t understand press trips that don’t arrange for internet access.
I am a traveler and like to travel very much. Always search for beautiful photos and traveling site. But I never seen such an amazing photo on a outstanding place. Its simply awesome!!
I tend to agree with Brooke in theory. Some places should remain out of bounds for internet access. Constantly going online in places like these really inhibits the ability to sit back, relax and enjoy the incredible surroundings. Yes, we all work on the road, but nobody needs to be working every single day, so I don’t see the need for full access. You can take one day off and fully enjoy a national park without being online. That said, I’m a hypocrite, because I loved having internet access in Yellowstone, and I will definitely take advantage of it if it happens to be there.
I think wifi in places like airports and hotels should be more readily available, but I say no way no how to accessibility in nature. I have a similar job to you, and I think it’s incredibly important to experience the world around me without being clogged down by technology. It shocks me how plugged in people are. I don’t think that’s a good thing, regardless of what your job is. And I agree with Angela’s comment: Burning Man is in no way a place where wifi belongs.
There are good and bad aspects of more widespread WIFI, but I think overall it would be helpful for working travellers!
I think Wifi access is good at the National Park Lodges, and visitor center areas, but not in the remote areas. Wild areas should stay wild.
Then again, for emergencies of course it is always better if a cell phone signal is available, but I can easily imagine all those millions of tourists on the phone with their (mother/brother/sister/aunt) saying: “Yeah, I’m looking at the Grand Canyon right now!” and I’d cringe. And hate that.
Then again, I try to go to National Parks when the millions aren’t there because it is bad enough to just be in traffic in a national park, nevermind traffic while people are texting or talking on cell phones…
Of course, it will be even worse than that if you hear 1000’s of people chattering away on phones in French, German, Italian, Chinese, Arabic, Hindi…. well, you get the idea.