What Happened to the Great Outdoors?

The May long weekend is finally here and the official kickoff to the camping season has begun.

Have you ever seen one of those Go RV’ing commercials where the family packs up all there belongings and heads out into the wilderness in their $100,000 fifth wheel trailer complete with two quad garage, satellite dish, home theater system with                                                                                     surround sound, fireplace, jacuzzi tub and air conditioning … talk about roughing it.

While many areas of the wilderness have cell phone and 3G data reception there are still several campgrounds and national parks which don’t have internet, cellular coverage or Wi-Fi Hot Spots.  In these pristine wilderness areas you can unplug, unwind and get away from it all … at least for the time being.

Parks Canada has announced it is planning on installing wireless internet Wi-Fi hotspots in 50 of it’s most popular parks across the country.  Many of Parks Canada Campgrounds are located in cellular coverage areas – allowing campers to stay connected while on vacation but often cellular 3G reception is spotty, unreliable and expensive.

Ubiquitous Wi-Fi has an advantage over 3G buy not eating up capacity on expensive data plans and is especially attractive for international visitors who may be roaming.

IMG_4849Parks Canada did not say if they would offer Wi-Fi service for Free but rather hinted that it might come with a nominal charge similar to the fees charged by hotels and resorts (think $10-$20 day here).  All kidding aside there are some benefits to having reliable broadband access while camping.  Reliable communication in case of an emergency call from home or the office would be beneficial and may convince some reluctant campers give the great outdoors a chance.  Being able to stay connected while camping may also lengthen the stay of many visitors.

While camping purists may frown at the idea of having internet access while enjoying the great outdoors when you sit back and think about it, it seems like a WIN WIN idea for both Campers and Parks Canada.  For the campers that want broadband access will have the opportunity to get reliable internet access at a affordable price.  Parks Canada will garner another revenue opportunity and perhaps attract new customers to their facilities and extend the stay of their existing customers all because of Wi-Fi.

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