Taking your Android camping ~ Android Coliseum

Taking your Android camping


So, it's summer and when it's summer time I like to spend every moment I can in the outdoors (except when I'm sunburnt like today... ouch).

Taking my device with me into the great northwest wilderness used to be cause for concern.  I baby my devices and taking them to places where getting dirty, or starting fires, etc... doesn't quite align.

I used to just leave my phone in the glove compartment ... but nowadays I've grown accustomed to having it around and come up with ways to use it around the camp site.  Here are my tips and tricks:


Ziploc baggies - the cheap case / screen protector
First up, let's protect the device.  I'm not one for using cases, but getting dirt or sand is not ideal.  I'll usually find some cheap bumper case to protect it if it falls to the ground (there's more rocks and twigs around than at home).  But even though it's got an IP rating, I'd rather not test it out during the rain or if we're near water so the tip I learned from someone a long time ago was to use a ziploc baggy.

Alternatively, you could go for a drybag, but it's hard to find one to fit and can fit a case too... plus it's hard to use the buttons.

The upshot here is that not only it protects the phone from getting wet, but protecting the glass from getting sunscreen or bug dope on it, which could harm the glass.

Keeping the charge - battery packs
So, depending on how you're doing the camping, or where; you may end up using your phone more or less.  Even with battery saving tips, putting it in airplane mode etc... it still may only get you 2 or 3 days before it dies.  I like to camp longer than that, so having something to top me up as needed is going to be important.

For this, I have 2 options:
 1. I use my dodocool solar charger - this thing was a godsend my last camping trip, and even on my day excursions for our holidays.  Depending on the day and the sun, it could take a while to charge the 10,000mAh battery.  But having something that's 'renewable' is definitely preferred.
 2. My coocheer 8,000mAh rugged battery bank - not only is it rugged enough to be dropped and bopped around, but if you long press the button it has a flashlight on it.  Perfect for camp.  For a good 3 day weekend this has lasted me for a bit of flashlight at bed time, and then leaving my USB fan on running over night and still have a good amount of battery left too (not charging my phone, my solar does that, this is just in case for when the solar is dead).

The bonus here is that if the rugged battery dies, I can charge it with the solar if it's a super sunny day ... it'll produce to spare.

You'll need some cables, so bring plenty.  If you have the space, bring more battery chargers (I love the Block Party

Alternatively, if you camp you're near your car you could plug it in there with a 12V plug, but your car battery could die, so you'll need a battery jumper.

A little bit of music - radio/bluetooth
I used to have an awesome speaker - but it got stolen.  Poop... but this works option works out even better.  The Champ 'Survival Skybox' not only is a bluetooth speaker, it has a radio (with weather), it has a flashlight, it has solar (but it is rather slow) and even a wind up to charge the battery.  And the device has USB out if you want to charge your phone (but it's not a very large battery, so don't count on it).

A little bit of distraction - books or games
Personally, I'm not big on video games while camping, sometimes something might be needed.  Games without internet like my new favourite: hole.io (review).  Something you could play for a moment, then put away.  You don't want that distraction from the awesomeness of nature.

Books, that's another idea entirely.  Just hanging out in the hammock when there's nothing to do is awesome, made better with a good book.  But a book is harder to read after everybody's sacked out and you're waiting for the embers to die down so it's super dark.  A book on my phone is super easy to read.  My suggestion is Google Play Books, but that's just me.

Miscellanea
A total final option could be to just look at having a device you use just for camping.  Something like those CAT rugged phones, or the Galaxy Active etc... or just something super cheap you wouldn't care about if it got ruined.

My wife's favourite accessory for camping is still her Moto Z, as her favourite thing in the world with that phone is the 'shake gestures' (literally, whenever I've tried to show her another device, she retorts with "yeah, but can it do this?" and then shakes her phone and the flash turns on); doing the double chop to bring up the flashlight is super handy.

I didn't really suggest headphones, as I don't like to be 'blocked out' from my surroundings while camping.

I also didn't suggest apps like Maps, or Fit etc... as I thought those might be a foregone conclusion.

Anyways, those are my suggestions - what are yours?  What books do you take?
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