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Smartphones and free Wi-Fi are requisites for a successful camping trip today, according to the 2015 North American Camping Report from Kampgrounds for America.
Almost all of the more than 2,000 respondents surveyed, or 83 percent, reported bringing their mobile phones with them on a camping trip.
Even more disturbing is how similarly young campers prioritize smartphones and toilet paper. Respondents younger than 25 years old consider a smartphone (28 percent) almost as important as toilet paper (34 percent).
Unfortunately, the phones are not being used to just check trail routes or consult a compass. Half of all campers who say they go online at least once a day are checking email, taking photos and posting on social media.
Of course, these campers all need Wi-Fi to make their devices worth much. The report found that free Wi-Fi is the third most important amenity behind clean bathrooms and a kid-friendly atmosphere. Forty-one percent of respondents choose a campground based on the availability of free Wi-Fi.
Although tech addiction is no surprise, it is ironic given the stress relief that most campers seek. Just more than half of the respondents cite nature, stress reduction, and quality time with family as the key reasons that they camp.