Campsites and WiFi
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We regularly ask at cyclecamp: “What do cycle campers need?” People often say they need WiFi. This is for a whole host of reasons but not least is the ability to plan their next day’s journey on cyclecamp.
Most people look out for WiFi when they are travelling and indeed the cyclecamp network is designed around being able to access the cyclecamp website on your phone. We’re assuming that most cycle campers don’t carry laptops because of the weight.
People mainly use the 3G or 4G networks to find out where the nearest cyclecamp campsite is when they’re going along. They only use WiFi where and when it’s available can find it. But WiFi is obviously useful for all the other things you use it for.
So, the question is: do you need it on the campsite?
Amongst all the other facilities we list that are useful to cycle campers (we don’t list for example whether you can bring your dog or empty your chemical loo) we don’t list WiFi.
This is partly because many smaller campsites don’t yet offer it (about half the cyclecamp campsites do). And although the owners of many small farms for example would have their own private WiFi connection and might offer it for use, we can’t guarantee that. What we do reckon though is that most of the time, even in very rural areas, there will be a mobile signal. Not cheap but still useable. And for many people, depending on their contract, that will mean no downloading videos or audio.
But would you not use a campsite because it didn’t offer WiFi? Some of the simpler more attractive campsites don’t. And for the rest of the time, it’s likely that you‘ll find a WiFi café or hotspot somewhere en route during the day. In fact, we’ve always believed that what may be more important than WiFi is the facility to charge your mobile phone.
We do recognise that most cyclists are carrying either or both GPS and smart phones (we haven’t mentioned tablets but it’s the same issue). Charging is the real problem, not access to a signal (which there usually is) or to WiFi (which you can get round using some of your data allowance). Perhaps both would be nice!
Of course, you don’t really need a smart phone let alone WiFi. You can plan your journey at home and print off the campsite details! Yes, it’s the old-fashioned way but it still works. And you can still make ordinary mobile calls along the way if need be.
So, all in all, we’re relaxed about WiFi on campsites but that might have to change in the future.