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Camping with an iPad: Tips and Tricks

Your iPad Pro is nicely fitted with an iPad Pro 11 inch case — or a 12.9 inch case, if that’s your model. You’ve got sleeping bags, a tent, and three days of food and water stashed away in the back of the jeep.  Bug spray, first aid kit? Check check. Are you ready to go, or is there something more you want to take with you on this camping trip?

As it turns out, there is something you’re forgetting. Here we’ll look at camping with an iPad, and what tools and knowhow you need to make the most of your tablet when you’re out in the bush. 

Your iPad When Camping: Why Take it Along?

First, why would you take your iPad camping? Well, here are a few reasons:

  • Full-page maps and a GPS connection mean you’re unlikely to ever get lost— if you manage to keep your iPad battery topped off at all times.
  • Movie nights round the campfire can be a fun bonding experience for a group camp, and a wonderful way to speed the evening up if you’re doing it on your lonesome.
  • Music, audiobooks, that favorite podcast? When you’re camping, away from the bustle and noise of every day life, you’ll enjoy your audio treasures that much more. 

If you’re one of the unlucky ones who have to take work with you everywhere, even when camping, the iPad will let you stay on top of your responsibilities even when you’re off grid. 

Keeping Your iPad Charged Off grid

As it turns out, the key to camping with an iPad is keeping it charged. If you expect to be driving a fair bit from one place to another, you’ll want to get a quality car charger to top your battery levels up when you’re on the road. But what about if you prefer camping at one place for more than one night, or abandoning the car and trekking up into the mountains? Then you need an alternate power source; a way to charge your iPad that relies neither on outlets nor cigarette lighters. 

The good news is that the price of power banks has gone down in recent years, and they’re now a great affordable option for everyday— and for camping trips in particular. 

Browse power banks on Amazon, and you’ll find a nice selection that won’t break the bank. Make sure you choose one that charges quickly and will also provide a quick charge to your iPad— you don’t want an old fashioned power bank that can’t give more than two amps. 

If you’re thinking more in terms of a long summer in the outback, you want something more than just a power bank or two. Now you need a way to recharge without starting your car— and the easiest way to do that is with solar power. 

You may have noticed a selection of power banks with built-in solar panels. These look great in theory— who doesn't want to kill two birds with one stone? The problem is that neither the battery nor the solar panel is worth much in these combo devices. Instead, you’re better off buying a great power bank and a great solar panel, separately.


If you’re shopping for a solar panel, we recommend you look for something that puts out at least 30 watts. If you’re able to splurge make that 60. No, your iPad can’t take a full 60 watts in at any time, but non-ideal real life condition (clouds, low-angle sun) will sap the power of any panel. 60 watts means that your iPad will be able to get a decent charge under most conditions— and your phone and power banks, too. 

Protecting Your iPad from the Elements

There’s just one more issue you need to deal with when camping with an iPad: protecting it from the elements. Remember, iPad’s aren’t meant to be baked, drenched, or otherwise subject to temperature or environmental extremes. That means you’ll sometimes have to take extra precautions to keep your tablet safe beyond buying iPad Pro 11 inch cases (or whatever cases are appropriate to your device).

A cooler can be a great place to store your iPad away from the weather and from temperature extremes. Some avid campers who chose to lock their devices up in potentially hot cars use coolers with concrete pavers, covered with a quilt. At night, when everything cools down, take out the cooler and open it up so the system can lose any heat it has acquired during the day. 

What about the random rainstorm? Sure, your device will be fine in that cooler in the car, but what if you took it with you on a trek up the mountain (full sized GPS maps, remember?). Our best advice is high quality oversized ziplock bags— they’re a wonderful way to keep things dry. Of course, you can also spend your cash on fancy iPad waterproof covers, but we’d rather you saved your money for a great shock-proof Zugu case that will keep your iPad safe day in and day out. Whether that's a ipad pro 11 3rd generation case or a 12.9 inch case for a 12.9 inch model, it’s important to have a quality case that fit like a glove.

Final Checklists

So, are you ready to go not hat camping trip? Have you got your iPad stowed away in its shock proof case? Check. Have you got an alternate power supply ready; preferably two or three? Check. Have you got a cooler to stick your tablet in if you’re visiting the desert, or a plastic bag if you expect thunderstorms? Check check. Now you’re ready to go adventure! Just make sure you download everything you want to use before you get out beyond the reach of Wifi, and you and your iPad are all set for a fun camping trip together.