Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Communications Networking Wireless Networking IT Technology

Ask Slashdot: Suggestions For Taking a Business Out Into the Forest? 146

An anonymous reader writes: I'm a huge fan of primitive survival reality TV. I am also self-employed in web troubleshooting and hosting services. I have to be available 24/7, but a lot of my work is just being online for a few minutes at a time. I often think about taking my business 'outdoors', camping, 3-7 days or so at a time — but staying online. Has anyone had experience with this? How did you do it, in terms of internet connectivity and portable power? Satellite internet or long distance Wi-Fi antennaes and a very tall pole? I've looked at some portable power stations with solar attachments, but the idea of hand-cranking to recharge if it's overcast isn't fun, after all, the point is to relax. But I'm willing to manually recharge if it's realistic (would prefer pedaling though!) I happen to have a Toughbook CF-52 (I just thought it was cool) but I may need to replace that with a more eco-friendly laptop as well. Thanks!
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ask Slashdot: Suggestions For Taking a Business Out Into the Forest?

Comments Filter:
  • I go camping to get away from that shit.

  • Easier than that (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30, 2015 @02:05PM (#50421783)

    Depends on your location and camping requirements. When I camp on the AT I get fine cell service. I put my phone on ultra-low power mode and it lasts for a few days. If a keyboard is needed I'd go with an low-power solution like a windows convertible tablet and keep it sleeping in airplane mode most of the time.

    If you are car camping its as easy as idling the car for an hour every day to charge everything up. If you are serious about making a semi-permanent camp, a generator trailer towed by an ATV is a good solution.

    Camping is artificial rules... make them up to suite your enjoyment.

    • Re:Easier than that (Score:4, Informative)

      by Harlequin80 ( 1671040 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @07:41PM (#50423115)

      Pick a spot where you have mobile phone coverage and you have solved your internet problem and you would be amazed at how much laptop time you can get out of a couple of charged car batteries and an inverter. If all you are doing it running a phone and a laptop you will get a week no problems.

      • If a professional solution of batteries is desired, you can't go wrong with Goal Zero:

        30W solar panel: []
        90W solar panel: []
        This has 400WH battery:
        which should be enough for a laptop and cell phone, or even a sat link if cell service isn't available.
        They even have tripods for the solar panels: []

        I have a Yeti 400 paired with a single 30W panel for Boy S

        • by mirix ( 1649853 )

          Fridges just use too much power for solar, unless you have a lot.

          Propane is probably the way to go, unless it's a permanent setup in the bush...

  • by luvirini ( 753157 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @02:05PM (#50421787)

    A lot of areas are covered by cellphone data service. So if you go to such areas you would likely only need a cellphone with tethering, laptop with as long run time as possible and a solar charger.

    Basically you would charge our phone with the solar charger and have your laptop off until needed.

    • Get Sprint.
      Get unlimited dataplan (Includes roaming, very important)
      Get free WiFi hotspot so laptop uses phone for access.

      With roaming I am rarely out of someone's network, so long as I am near some level of civilization.

  • Generators . . . (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30, 2015 @02:09PM (#50421809)

    Please don't be one of those damn people with generators in a rustic campground (those without electrical hookups).

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ArsonSmith ( 13997 )

      Why the fuck would I run a generator in a camp site with electrical hookups?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, if you can find one, buy a fuel cell based setup for those situations. EFOY is one brand... Totally quiet with no nasty fumes.

  • Kitty loves Robot (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30, 2015 @02:12PM (#50421829)

    These guys did it: []

    They're in Boston now, I talked to them about it for a while and they're two very awesome people. There are many other articles out there about their time living in the woods while developing their projects.

    • by dargaud ( 518470 )
      One thing that would be really great is a laptop with an eInk screen, so that you'd be able to use it in full sun. Even the best laptops are difficult to read under the shade of a tree (and at max screen power the battery doesn't last long). But as far as I know color eInks have been in the development stages for forever, and B&W ones have not made it out of eReader displays.

      I'd love to have a laptop with a changeable screen (press the button and pop it out): normal and eInk. Or even: eInk, Glossy, Ma

  • If you go hiking for a few days at a time that is different than finding a campsite and putting an RV on it for a few days.

    Say you have a vehicle (such as an RV, a van or even a 4-wheeler), then satellite internet is probably the cheapest and easiest route to go. You use an auxiliary battery and if it drains, you start the vehicle for a little bit. You could even outfit a van/RV to have a 'command center' with a good display, keyboard, mouse and everything else you need to work comfortably.

    If you go hiking, then you're looking for a portable dish, receiver hardware, power, laptop etc. not to forget your own survival needs (several kg of water, food etc) things get heavy and I wouldn't recommend it unless you also take along an army platoon with a designated comms carrier.

    High-power wifi from your camp site etc. is possible but may also be illegal unless you have the licenses to do so everywhere you go and even then reception won't be great if at all possible 30-60 min. into your hike (trees, hills etc absorb the signal greatly)

    • I don't think you can call sitting in a huge RV on a site with electricity, flushing toilets and so on "camping" in any meaningful sense of the word.
  • The idea of trekking out into the wilderness with an extra 20 lbs of tech gear just so you can fix client issues IF they come up doesn't sound very appealing. It also sounds highly risky from a business perspective. One your tech could get busted easily, falling rocks from cliff sides, dropped in a stream where the waterproof bag is then punctured by a stick, you just get separated from your gear for a day as a bear trashes your stuff looking for food, the satellite network could go down, etc. Also, YOU can
    • I have to be available 24/7, but a lot of my work is just being online for a few minutes at a time.

      It sounds like he wants to run his business on autopilot into oblivion.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        OP here. I actually appreciate your pointed, from-the-gut response.

        I miswrote that line. A lot of my work is being online for a few minutes at a time - communication, to troubleshoot issues, or to download something (like a website), which I then work on offline for a longer period. On average I work the same number of hours per day as most people.

        However, this time spent online is really not relevant though, since when I think about it, I really would prefer to have constant connectivity while out there

        • by GWBasic ( 900357 )

          In my experience, data coverage in the woods varies tremendously. What we call "in the middle of nowhere" is so relative; in the "middle of nowhere" in a state like Massachusetts is probably a mile or two "as the crow flies" to an area dense enough to have wireless data. "In the middle of nowhere" in California or Nevada will have excellent camping; but no data coverage.

          In my opinion, you're better off finding a handful of camping sites and general locations that you know will have rock-solid data coverage;

        • I really would prefer to have constant connectivity while out there

          If you're going to want "constant connectivity", then you're not going to be very "out there". If you're in North America (I don't think it's been mentioned ; I don't think it really matters) then you've got some reasonable sized areas of wilderness to play with, but here in Scotland, you only need to walk 5 to 10 miles (say, 1.5 - 3 hours, with breaks) to get out of cell phone service. That's easy to do.

          Cell phone service is installed to

    • by gigne ( 990887 )

      Now we are getting somewhere. This isn't solved easily by technology (tried it) so instead I had someone else buddy up when I needed to take a break.
      no one should work 24/7 365

  • And what? Shoot it?

  • It can be done (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 30, 2015 @02:33PM (#50421921)

    I spent 3 winters living on a motorcycle, camping in the deserts of CA, NV, AZ, and UT, and working from there. A USB LTE aircard with Verizon (they really do have the widest coverage) and a small external antenna did the trick, even in some VERY remote places (Find Escalante, UT on a map and follow the Hole in the Rock Rd 30 miles south to the turn-off for Peek-a-Boo Gulch. Yup, I worked from there for a few days). I had an iPhone app that showed where I could find service and which G it would be (aptly named "Coverage").

    Can't help you with charging because I had an inverter plugged into the bike. I suppose you could accomplish the same with a very small generator if you plan on getting somewhere and then staying stationary. It's hard to beat the energy density of fossil fuels.

    Depending on what part of the country you're in you can get out to some pretty remote places deep in National Forests and on BLM land with a vehicle. They also usually allow "dispersed camping" just about anywhere you please for a few weeks at a time. It's not the same as heading out on foot with nothing but a backpack but I would do that on the weekends, launching from wherever I happened to end up with the bike on a Friday.

    Regardless of what you figure out for charging, a smaller laptop with less moving parts will be much less power-hungry. I used a Macbook Air.

  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @02:34PM (#50421925) Journal

    Most laptops are pretty power hungry (7-10W). Can you work web and iOS app-only? The iPad air sucks less than 3W when running. Which means you can work pretty long without needing to recharge. Obviuosly a macbook air if you need a laptop or a MS Surface is fairly power-efficient if you need a windows machine, and they'll burn closer to 5-6W. Grab a solar charger ( and a Biolite stove ( for recharge and cloudy-weather just-in-case charging.

    If you're close enough to civilization for mobile/cell data, that's your best bet (and where the iPad would really shine, tho the Surface 3 has an LTE version). If not, there's more costly solutions like Iridium Go! ( $125/mo for unlimited data, but at 2.4kbps're just telnetting, right?), but still fully portable.

  • by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @02:34PM (#50421927) Homepage Journal

    There's an outfit on amazon/ebay that sells 18v "Allpower" solar panels with an array of adapters to use with whatever brand laptop you have for reasonable prices. They just unfold, and then plug right in to your laptop. On a modern laptop, you could probably get away with running/charging a laptop on a 21w array [] for $90, but they make up to a 28w array [] for $130. Modern Haswell/Broadwell laptops run at about 15w with the display at full brightness. There's a 14w array too for $60, but if you're seriously considering buying a device like this you probably want the ability to run and charge at the same time, and it's unlikely you'll find a place that allows you to put the panel in full sun and comfortably work on the laptop. With 18v, you'll never fully charge the battery (you need 19-19.5v to do that) but it'll satisfactorily charge your laptop to about 93% very reliably.

    Of course, if you're stuck in a rainstorm for three or four days and you wear down your laptop battery, you might have trouble getting it charged back up until the sun comes back out. But with modern 15 hour batteries in laptops you should be able to squeak by for a day or two of normal office work.

  • I pointed a high-gain antenna at my desired source, and didn't get nearly the range I was hoping for.

  • OP:

    If you want internet and the outdoors, you have simpler options:

    1. Work in your backyard.
    2. Knock out a wall in your home office, exposing it to the elements.
    3. Redecorate part of your home to synergize with nature.

  • by ITRambo ( 1467509 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @02:36PM (#50421941)
    Aren't you simply moving your stress outdoors, when working to stay connected and available 24/7 while "relaxing" in the woods? I sympathize with your desire to work and simultaneously to relax. I personally work in a separate building on the same property as our home, but with a different address and facing the main drag with a customer entrance. I can relax in my home and work in the shop as needed. There are no vacations for us, just breaks from work that need to be taken advantage of. If you can achieve a greater degree of relaxation outdoors, successfully and affordably, I salute you.
    • Well it's not necessarily "relaxing from [enormous] stress" of answering support tickets or whatever. Just changing the scenery and getting new experiences while still earning money.

      As I can work remotely, I've been thinking about something like this, just with travel in general and not camping because camping is fucking miserable. As is, I go to the office (which is now 5 minutes away after they moved it closer to my apartment), sit there for 8 hours and then, unless there's a specific event I'm attending,

      • As is, I go to the office (which is now 5 minutes away after they moved it closer to my apartment), sit there for 8 hours and then, unless there's a specific event I'm attending, I walk back home. This shit gets old after a while.

        Pretty much the ultimate First World Problem, with the exception of moaning about how uncomfortable the vast piles of cash you've inherited are to sleep on.

  • I've been there. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I can relate, as this is something that I have done in the past. I was a telecommuter and wanted the freedom to work from wherever I wanted to work from. Usually, my home base was my car. I had a fairly large tent, a tarp, a camp table and comfortable camp chair. The tent was big enough that I could bring the table and chair into when the weather got bad (without having to shuffle the bed around). The tarp kept the sun off of me and my laptop when it was nice out. Other things that made camp life doable for

  • by sirwired ( 27582 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @02:42PM (#50421967)

    Your question is bizarre. You talk about being really into the whole survivalist thing, but the infrastructure necessary to hold down a tech job while in the deep wilderness living off your wits is a complete non-starter. (Pedaling for power? Seriously?)

    Simply put, your biggest problem is power. (You'll need a LOT less power if you can figure out how to work with a tablet and bluetooth keyboard instead of a full laptop.) That means you are going to need a "base camp". That base camp will need supplies of food and fuel, and a large sunny clearing to collect power whether you are there or not. You can periodically return to swap out batteries/machines and pick up fresh supplies of food and fuel.

    You'll need to (obviously) work within an area with cell phone coverage. But there are plenty of fairly remote places that fit that bill, so it's not a big problem.

    Discard any idea of hunting for food or cooking with a fire... if you are hungry and in the middle of hunting something or gathering much-needed wood, you are going to get even hungrier when, inevitably, your phone starts to ring with a new problem. You can certainly go several days without seeing another soul, but "living off the land" is just not going to work.

    Also consider what you are going to do in bad weather. I'm guessing that once your phone rings, it means something is broken. You'll need to start working pretty quickly, and likely will not have time to make camp if you were in transit at the time. (Please don't say it's realistic to work outside in the middle of a rainstorm, no matter how tough your gear is.) Do you really want to be holed up in a tent (or lean-to, cave, whatever) for days on end when the weather is bad? No, you don't; that's boring as $hit.

    Really, if I were in your place, I'd have a base camp (at a regular campground) with a pop-up camper and small and quiet generator (and secure locks!) and go on hikes of one or two days (those small lithium power packs and an iPad would work great!) when the weather looked good. It ain't "roughing it", but trying to get work done in lousy weather when you are hungry and tired is just silly; your work will inevitably suffer as a result.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm the OP, some comments:

      I'm not talking about "living off my wits" in the wilderness, as I wrote, just 3-7 days of camping at a time. I'm a fan of primitive survival TV, but I'm not skilled. It would really just be camping. Or glamping, really.

      Obviously I would bring food and cook and eat like a normal person enjoying nature, not living there. In bad weather, I'd go home. I'm just trying to figure out how to power my equipment for 3-7 days and get internet, really.

      I wouldn't be "in transit" often, ot

      • If you just want to glamp and want to have network access, your question was phrased poorly. Maybe you should have just asked about network access for glamping, or googled it?

        If you're hiking with a tent, power is an issue. You probably want a generator to power a laptop and phone with data hotspot/mifi. Lots of camping areas have 4G data.

        What you want to do is so basic I don't understand why there needs to be an Ask Slashdot about it.

        • What you want to do is so basic I don't understand why there needs to be an Ask Slashdot about it.

          This is true of most Ask Slashdots, except for the ones that want a solution that is (a) amazingly technologically advanced including at least three out of 3D printing, lasers, rockets, nuclear power, space travel, (b) free as in freedom and (c) free as in beer.

      • If you just want to camp out of your car and go hiking on the weekends, then bringing up survivalist TV shows was more than a bit confusing, because car camping is the opposite of wilderness survival. Buy whatever living facilities you want, park them in an area with cell access, and you are all set. A small generator if you have a pop-up, or just your car if you don't, is fine for juice.

    • You don't need solar. A deep cycle marine battery will keep a tablet and phone charged for up to several weeks. You can even run a laptop off of one for at least a week with a couple hours of use per day. Low tech and easy. git an alligator clamp cigarette lighter adapter and make sure you have chargers that will fit that and you'll be fine.

  • Wow... you are heading right into a Upright Citizens Brigade skit. []
  • by mpoulton ( 689851 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @02:44PM (#50421981)
    I have an off-grid cabin on a mountaintop in the middle of nowhere. It's not a survival campsite, but it's quite remote. I can work from there if I need to, and I sometimes do. I have rainwater collection, solar power with plenty of storage, and line of sight to a cell tower on another peak several miles away. Full 4G data from all providers - but only once you're up on the peak, not on the way in. This is a reliable and comfortable way to work from a wilderness location. But this kind of system does not work for survival camping, especially moving between locations. Reliability requires a fixed location with line of sight data service, and a fixed solar installation. If your priority is primitive camping, I don't think this can be achieved effectively. But if your priority is to experience isolated wilderness while definitely staying connected, a small cabin (even a primitively constructed shelter) at a carefully chosen location can work just fine.
    • I haven't done what the OP is suggesting, but I used to (including in a much lamer age of data coverage) take off hiking while vaguely babysitting database builds - every time I'd hit a ridge or a peak I'd check for connectivity, and if I had it, I'd check to make sure nothing had broken too terribly. (And if I was feeling bratty, snap a picture and send it to my labmates.) But this was up in the Cascades - the terrain matters.

      Another of my rules of thumb - more generally than just with the above excursions

  • I get that you're not on-line for long. But, when you are on-line, what sort of bandwidth do you need? A few years ago, I looked into working from the family cottage on a quasi-permanent basis, but there was nothing really available that met my needs.

    Satellite tends to be okay on the download, but, even if you can do upload via satellite (when I was looking, upload was by land line - ick), it's really slow.

    If you can get cellular data with tethering, that's not too bad, but you'd want to check on reliabil

  • nothing worse than doing business in the woods and then having nothing to wipe.

  • But, most people just go to 7-11 and get hard copy porn for camping, I mean, how far are you going to carry on this charade? Web hosting and troubleshooting.... ha!

  • by brian.stinar ( 1104135 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @02:55PM (#50422053) Homepage

    I have multiple batteries for my laptop and cell phone. Typically, what I'll do is bring as many batteries as is feasible (usually three for my laptop and four for my phone) and fish while writing software. Fishing requires very little active concentration, and it's nice to be able to write code while outside. Most of my trips are not very far from my car though.

    Occasionally I'll go on backpacking trips that aren't car-accessible. I have not yet tried to work from one of these trips. I've been looking into the Goal Zero Voltage Inverter [] and their lightweight solar panels. [] If I do go this route, I'll likely start out with the solar panel + phone recharger, see how that works, and then get the more expensive voltage inverter and battery. I think it really depends on if you'll have a car available or not. If you have your car, you already have a power generator and the ability to haul heavy stuff.

    I own my own software company [], so as long as I'm decently responsive I can work from wherever. I kind of agree that for most people going out into nature is a way to not have to focus on those types of concerns. For me, I like being able to work from wherever in the event that I have to pack up and get out quickly.

    I think I will get a portable solar cell phone charger, so I can charge my phone from wherever. I live in New Mexico, and the sun in always shining here. There are times when I forget to charge my phone enough, and I'm sitting in my car with the car running so my phone would charge. It would be nice to throw up my solar dash mat, run a wire into my glove box, and put my phone in there while I go inside someplace to do errands.

    • I teach computer science, and I occasionally get students asking how they could work for a living and still be able to travel, go outdoors, etc. and not be stuck in a cubicle. Do you have any advice for them, such as how to find jobs or clients to work on? How did you get where you were today?

      • The one thing I've noticed, more than anything, that has helped me avoid the need for a crappy (yet well paying) job is living far, far below my means. When I had a cubicle summer internship, I quit. If I had been spending all my money, before I earned it, with commitments on a car payment I couldn't afford, quitting wouldn't have been an option. I knew college students with car payments. That's a bad idea.

        I also think that seeing the world in a way that brings opportunities to the front is a good viewpoint

  • I'm a huge fan of primitive survival reality TV.

    I need some context. I cannot tell from your post whether you are an experienced outdoors-person or just someone who thinks it looks fun while watching it on TV.

    I would say if you have limited experience doing survival camping (or just plain camping in general) that you get very comfortable with that in and of itself before you start attempting to add in additional work. I assure you that for the majority of people in developed countries, just camping / surv

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The point of survival camping is to challenge yourself and be uncomfortable. If your trying to get around the challenges, you're missing the point. As far as bringing tech with you, you're going to use it as an excuse to quit the first chance you get. So don't do it. Find someone to cover for you when you're out, or else just accept that sitting on your couch watching those shows is a lot easier than going out and doing it, and it might just not be for you. Don't spend a lot of time and money trying to

  • I've done this but it is a bit like peeing into the wind, especially if you are camping with friends or family.

    Given that you want to get away but it is not doable to let go, I have two suggestions:

    1. Make a plan to partner with someone so you can cover for each other. Life happens. You cannot be on call 7x24x365 forever. You won't like it and eventually your customers won't either. Certainly the significant people in your life will hate it. Get involved with a consulting partnership or form one you

  • I'm a huge fan of primitive survival reality TV. I am also self-employed in web troubleshooting and hosting services....I happen to have a Toughbook CF-52

    I hope someone got this guy's name. I think DHS might want to work up a profile. Just in case, you know?

  • Ask a sailor (Score:4, Informative)

    by qume ( 68415 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @03:54PM (#50422347)

    I live on a boat and work full time online. There are many of us. We're in the same situation, even though it seems different. There are heaps of resources online. Looking at the quality of the responses here I would encourage you to just go and see what people on boats have been doing. Far too much to cover in a single reply.


    - LTE/4g with a high gain antenna is by far your best bet. USB or ethernet, not a hotspot. Don't waste power on local wifi
    - Long range WiFi is a pain in the neck
    - Forget about satellite. I have it because I have to. It's terrible and obscenely expensive.

    You don't have to worry about a bunch of other stuff sailors have to deal with like desalinating water and non-cell based comms. You'll find it really not a problem to pull off what you're trying to do. And you can get really remote with a carbon fibre poll and high gain antenna. Make sure you put the USB modem at the top of the poll so the RF cable to the antenna is short and the USB cable is long.

    And as for power generation - spend 95% of your effort trying to reduce power consumption. That means not just what hardware you choose but changing your behaviour and how software is configured. And get a Honda eu1000 generator + lithium battery, with a high efficiency solar panel and MPPT controller. Don't use an inverter to power the power supply for your laptop. Get a DC/DC converter to go from the main storage battery to your computer. Personally i'd not worry about solar if you're only going for a week. The gasoline to run you for a week will be like half a gallon or a gallon.

    Oh, and go to a sailors swap-meet. You'll find old charge controllers, solar panels, generators, inverters etc. Also pick up some blocks and rope while you're there, it'll be useful for rigging up your site.

    Good luck, I hope you go for it.

    • by qume ( 68415 )

      Oh, and use this to plan where to go. It has mapped all the cell towers in the US, which is where I assume you are.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Your problem isn't internet or phone connectivity while away from work; it's taking work with you.

    If you want to go on holiday for a week or so hire someone who can cover for you for that time, don't try and take the requirements of work with you because you get into this exact situation where what you do or where you go is dictated by power requirements and internet connectivity.

    You don't have a lot of time on this planet, for christ's sake don't spend it working.

  • I spent two years in a mountain cabin living off grid, and working as a software consultant. I used Hughesnet for satellite service, but this was in a remote cabin at 10,000 feet, and a 12 mile snowmobile in. Hughesnet is laggy, but works for basic stuff that you need to do day to day. Solar is completely doable, but you have to not just connect a panel to your laptop and call it good. Then I got a girlfriend and moved back to the city (still keeping and visiting the cabin), so now I do lots of long wee
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I had a manager back in 1990 who was an avid mountain climber. He was also our lead technical guy. When he went mountain climbing, he took a phone with him (I think it was a satellite phone) so that we could reach him in an emergency. If something came up, he would talk us through whatever needed to be done to fix the problem well enough for us to keep going until he returned.

    If you had a flunky who knew the system well enough to follow concise instructions, you might not need anything more than a cell p

  • Come camping and hiking in Norway or Iceland. You'd be hard pressed to find places not covered by affordable cell phone data networks. Probably in Denmark too, don't know about Sweden or Finland.
  • By way of disclosure, I tried in 2009/2010 and wasn't able to do it at any reasonable cost. Our compromise was living in a campground and getting cable service. That worked surprisingly well.

    While most campgrounds have wifi, not all campground wifi is reliable enough to run a business. During the season it will bog down during peak demand, some of the smaller campgrounds have time outs and bandwidth limiters.

    Out in the twigs even wireless wasn't reliable enough to make work.

  • While I have no affiliation with these guys, I think they might be useful for the power replenishment side of your camping problem : []

    PS I don't camp either, but I have used their Power Practical ( accessories for 'city boy' use cases :-)

  • Forget about backpacking with all the equipment you will need. It cannot be done yet. The technology is not that advanced.

    Invest in a smaller 4WD or AWD vehicle with high ground clearance (critical!) and a 12 volt system. And a good power inverter-- although more and more now you can find electronics that will run directly off 12 V DC. You want a car that is small enough that you've got a good range without draining the bank account to keep the gas tank full-- plus something small can get you past tight sp

  • [] Projects still need work, print it up, throw it in a river with insulated cabling, voila, effortless power. Cheers, D
  • It blows me away how many people think they're entitled to be paid for not working, that they don't need to attend meetings, that they don't need to appear at the office, that their job is just an "irritant" that should get out of the way of their personal wants.

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      Yep, and I make over $100K by telling the boss to suck it I'm not wasting my time going to his meetings.

      The job is not the irritant. It's the brain dead people that think they need to make busy work that are the irritants.

  • Hughesnet is the ONLY choice for high speed and yous lowest ping is 3000ms. yes 3 freaking seconds is the Shortest ping you will ever get.
    Also the bandwidth you pay for it really cloudy. they cant explain why my data transfer counters don't match theirs some months they are higher than me by 2gb.

    So in order to make sure you don't go over you have to pay for the highest bandwidth plan they have. Which if you can't swallow a $299 a month internet bill, then it's game over for your at home business.

    Also rem

    • Take a look at MOSH [] for more responsive SSH access. Of course, it sounds like you are married to a GUI and for that I am truly sorry.
  • Here are the tricks of the trade I've found:

    1) Take time to pick your location carefully. If you're going to a developed campsite, don't show up on Friday or Saturday. Your options will be limited. Understand that reception make suck at the site at ground level, but just by hoisting a cell phone 10 feet, you'll get good reception. Have a bluetooth ear piece to help facilitate this.

    2) Pick your laptops *carefully*. I use an Asus T100 for backpacking because has a long battery life and it charges off of stand

  • Car camping? Sure! RV? No problem! Live-aboard size boat? Why not?

    Engine+battery means near unlimited power. If you are within range of cellular then a cellular booster on the roof (not cheap) will get you pretty good range. Basically makes 1 unreliable bar into a usable signal.

    Not cheap at $600 for a Shakespeare cellular booster, but not any more than any other nice piece of technology. Less expensive than a nice laptop or tablet. Check

    Going a little farther with the RV or boat? HA

  • I'm a writer.

    As such, there are times when I really need to get away from everyone and everything so I can totally immerse myself in just writing. Doing this while camping is wonderful. Or, sometimes just jumping on the bike with the computer in a daypack so I can park my butt in some shady spot in a park forest is good enough.

    While writing and programming share the same mental processes, they have different demands on a computer. Programming is going to be much more demanding on a computer than writing pro

  • by TheRealHocusLocus ( 2319802 ) on Sunday August 30, 2015 @11:20PM (#50423943)

    I've looked at some portable power stations with solar attachments, but the idea of hand-cranking to recharge if it's overcast isn't fun, after all, the point is to relax.

    You'll be able to relax in style with a single NuScale Power Module (NPM) small modular reactor [] at your command. Camping is funnest near a mid-sized lake --- and that's exactly where you'll want to submerge this puppy. The NPM is a compact vertical package that includes the passively cooled reactor vessel, steam generators, pressurizer and containment in an integral package that eliminates reactor coolant pumps and large bore piping. Each NPM can supply 50 megawatts electric, which should be enough for a small camp with perimeter energy defenses. They are supplied factory-built for easy transport and installation. Every couple of years the whole family can participate in refueling remotely using underwater waldoes and flange stud tensioning/detensioning tools [] operated from a small fishing dinghy. Assemblies of <5% enriched UO2 fuel are available from most "Up 'N Atom" bait/uranium shops.

    A nearby abandoned salt mine would make the perfect place to run small piping and control cables into, stockpile weapons and supplies, a few diesels and tank storage for black-starting the nuclear plant, hot showers and an underground aquaculture greenhouse... with 50MW of power you can take the sun underground with you. Even used inductive tuned circuits to deliver several kilowatts of power wirelessly the short distance to your surface camp, Tesla style.

    Satellite internet or long distance Wi-Fi antennas and a very tall pole?

    Satellite you'll be paying through the nose every month for chump bits and WiFi doesn't handle the miles so well. Your best bet is to co-locate at the nearest telco point of presence and run something like a Ubiquity 5Ghz AF-5 and 24Ghz AF-24 unit [] in tandem. Don't bother with the AF-24HD, its 2Gbps rate is probably overkill and you'll want to bridge the 5 and 24Ghz units at the lower rate so you'll have the aggregate ~2Gbps anyway when the weather's fine. When the raindrops come 24Ghz will fade but the 5Ghz should stay solid. Of course your camp will not be able to directly see the telco building, but a couple of passively connected dishes on a facing hill, surreptitiously placed and suitably camouflaged, would do the trick.

    This setup would definitely optimize your prospect of running your business from camp, but having 50 megawatts would also make some fun outdoor activities possible, like panning for gold with electrolysis, zap-fishing, laser mountain and cloud painting, and industrial scale atmospheric CO2 sequestration.

  • There was a kickstarter campaign some time back for Kraft fuel cells []

    All you need is camping gas. You can work on this idea to get something which can work with your laptop or something.

  • Why don't you find a camping spot with a good 3G or 4G singal and use a solar power solution. You can tether your phone by enabling the hotspost feature. You can also charge your devices or even run off AC by picking up a solar panel kit. For a few hundred dollars at Harbor Freight, you can by a two panel solar kit with inverter and a compatible 12V battery to store it. If you plan on hiking in, you can also get a small portable charging system with USB which you can use to charge your phone and a small Win
  • As a search & rescue member, I'm constantly getting into heated discussions with software developers that insist on the need for constant internet access particularly for mapping applications. Sorry, but the bulk of the world exists outside a major metropolitan area where cellular coverage is spotty at best. If you can't be bothered to cache your maps so I can use them offline, I won't be considering your mapping application no matter how fancy it is. Even if an aircard works, the monthly fees are ex

  • Plenty of sage advice already posted here for picking a good ridge-top site (75% of your battle). But if one has no choice but to select a canyon or valley campsite (I canoe a lot, and that's where the water is!), I've wondered about packing a small tank of helium to inflate a meteorology-grade balloon and send up a phone to collect/send messages. I never thought about this for a "wilderness cubicle," but more for emergency purposes, e.g. post an SOS text msg and hoist the "flag." Wouldn't be feasible for s
  • I have no experience camping, so I'll not comment on the ease of working out in the wilderness like this, but I have recently been involved in a project to have a rechargeable cart using a pair of marine batteries to power a laptop (a Toughbook, in fact) and document scanner. Some posters suggested using car batteries and an inverter, but the batteries are a DC power source, and your Toughbook's power input is also DC. Your laptop's power brick converts the AC current from your wall outlet or an inverter in

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal