Camping with a Kindle

18 Apr

Camping with a Kindle

Now, I know that many people don’t consider camping in a motorhome really caming but . . . what can I say, it works for me.  And, I know from camping.  I’ve done the backpacking thing.  I’ve done the tent camping thing.  I’ve done the 5th wheel trailer thing.  And for me and mine, motorhome is the way to camp.

We camp in RV parks and state parks and friends’ driveways.  We camp with full hook-ups and we “dry camp”.  We do several camping trips a year.  We are a camping family.

When I got the Kindle2, I didn’t think much about the camping thing.  I just sort of assumed it would work for camping.  Our most recent trip to Disneyland was my trial run for Kindle Camping!  And, it worked beautifully!

One of the biggest problems with camping is that you have no room . . . even in a motorhome, you don’t want to bring along unnecessary items.  But, one of the joys of camping is that you have downtime to do things like reading.  And, sometimes you want a choice in what you read.  I’ve been known to bring 4 or 5 books with me when I go camping.  With my Kindle, I had more like 20 books with me and they took up less space than 1 magazine.

In our motorhome, we tend to leave our bed set up most of the time.  The kids sleep on bunks above us (see the picture above).  I tucked the Kindle into the magazine rack next to my pillows.  I hooked my Mighty Bright Light
on the magazine rack.  I was all set to read myself to sleep each night.

Some of the time, on our trips, we had power because we had hookups at campgrounds.  However, other times we were camping in campgrounds without power.  The Kindle stays powered up for days, particularly if you turn off the Whispernet feature when you aren’t actually uploading or downloading items.  Camping without power does not mean that I don’t have access to my Kindle.  (Besides, we have an inverter that I can use in an emergency.)  To be clear, I used my Kindle2 for 8 days on the camping trip.  I downloaded a book while we were gone.  I read for several hours a day (I read 4 books and started a 5th on that trip).  I read a LOT.  And, I only charged it up twice.  Neither time did it NEED it.  I charged it up because I could, not because I had to.  Pretty darn cool, if you ask me!  The Mighty Bright booklight also works on batteries or power.  I never did plug that one in — I used batteries the whole time.  It is a necessity to have a booklight because the eInk screen that makes the Kindle so readable does not have a backlight and therefore you must have an external light source.

There were also days when we camped without access to cell-phones or 3G networks or Whispernet but there were plenty of days that we camped with ready access to such luxuries.  On our trip, I finished reading the 2nd book in a series.   When I’d originally purchesed that book, the 3rd in the series wasn’t available.  It was pure joy to check in at the Kindle store and find that the next book was indeed available and download it within minutes.

The Kindle is lightweight, small, and lasts for days on one charge.  I think it’s a natural for camping.  I know it works for RVs.  I would absolutely find it useful for tent-camping.  In fact, I think I would be able to justify the weight and space for a backpacking trip.

Who would have thunk it?  Kindles are the ultimate camping tool!  Go buy one and camp!!!


7 Responses to “Camping with a Kindle”

  1. Robin 18 April, 2009 at 12:26 pm #

    I was happy to read this, I’ve been debating getting a kindle.


  2. Red 18 April, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

    You’re really starting to sell me on one 🙂 Especially the battery life. Amazon ought to give you a commission! It’s also bigger than I thought, I had been wondering if it was too small.

    • Liza Lee Miller 18 April, 2009 at 3:57 pm #

      Laugh. Well, if you click on my link above when you buy it . . . I will get a little something. But mostly I think with something this big a deal, this new, and this expensive, it’s really important to hear how people are REALLY using it. Anyone can LOVE a product the first day or two. But, how it holds up over time, how it really gets used is really important.

  3. Wende 18 April, 2009 at 4:39 pm #

    I’m glad to see you’re still loving that Kindle. We’re staying put this year. . . sigh. . . but I can totally see using one on the train ride to SB.

    Oh, and anything without room service is camping. hee!

  4. jayne 19 April, 2009 at 3:34 am #

    I am reading like a fiend with this new Kindle2! I read, read, read every single day. I love it. It stays in my pocketbook it’s so portable, and I can pull it out any time I have a few minutes. I absolutely adore it, just as you do Liza.

    • Liza Lee Miller 19 April, 2009 at 6:45 am #

      I’m so glad you love it too, Jayne. I am not carrying mine around with me during the week as, being a teacher, I never have actual down time. I need to get in the habit of carrying it with me on the weekends though.

  5. KGMom 20 April, 2009 at 4:48 am #

    When I saw the post title, I thought–of course you would/should take the Kindle along camping.
    I plan to take mine on any trip I make.
    (Now I take it to church with me and read during all but the sermon and the prayers–oh, and the hymns. 😉 Shhhhh-don’t tell the pastor.)
    I got a pedicure on Friday, took my Kindle along, and ended up explaining it to everyone including the pedicurist. Sigh. Cuts into reading time.

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