Wireless wilderness

Campgrounds are going wireless, reports the Baltimore Sun, so kids don’t have to rough it without their PlayStations.

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resort, a private campground in Williamsport that has already gone wireless, is looking for ways to use that access to let kids use more game systems in cabins, said resort owner Ron Vitkun.

Michael Lee, a spokesman for the Outdoor Industry Foundation, said his group is exploring ways to use technology to hook kids on camping. One example is geocaching, a kind of high-tech treasure hunting that uses handheld global positioning system devices.

“Kids who are used to interfacing with a screen can be doing that in the woods,” he said.

Camping and backpacking are declining in popularity, perhaps a function of the aging of the baby boomers.

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  1. Geo-caching is cool. Playstations and other electronic gadgets while camping are not.

    When I ws a kid, we weren’t even allowed to take radios when we went camping, because my parents thought one point of camping was to wean us temporarily from being plugged in all the time.

    We follow the same route with our brood- no radios, computers, or other isolating activities while camping. We also refuse to have a vehicle with a DVD player. My dad says people just don’t live like this anymore, and we go right along being people and living exactly like this.

  2. It may be that camping and backpacking are fads of previous generations – just like hula hoops. (Or for that matter, digital wireless technology for the new generation.) I mean no disrespect for people who are genuinely interested in any of the above.

    I have more disrespect for a low-tech buffoon who plays loud analog music at a campsite, and litters the place with cigarette butts and beer cans, than for a digital hi-techer who stays inside his vehicle and keeps his visit clean and quiet. Some things matter more than technology.

  3. My son, who is in his mid-twenties, spends much of the summer camping in the national forests. He has a few “high-tech” items, such as a propane-fired shower and a gasoline powered blender (for making margaritas) but he is perfectly satisfied going into town every few days to check his email at the public library.

  4. I guess my response is this:

    why spend the energy, time, and resources to travel when, once you get there, your goal is to make it as much as possible like you’ve never left home?

    I mean, I like indoor plumbing as much as the next person (and would probably be much less likely to travel somewhere where pit toilets or self-dug latrines were a big part of the experience), but if you’re insulating yourself from the outside world with an mp3 player, and dvds, and video games, why not just stay home and, say, take a virtual tour on the Web?

    (I also level the same argument at the people who spend energy and time to travel somewhere, just to spend the whole time searching for a McDonald’s or KFC to eat at so that they can have “familiar” food).

    Granted, I grew up before in-car dvd players (and even, really, before Walkmans, although my parents did have to institute a Walkman-limiting-while-on-vacation rule for my brother). Part of the POINT of traveling is to spend time with your family – and if you dislike each other enough that you have to distract yourselves from each other’s company, maybe a vacation is not really what you need….