Idaho State Parks Plug In

Idaho State Parks are seeking to redefine camping. The places where Ernest Hemingway used to pitch his tent and cast his fly rod is going wireless. At least, some of them are.

Park officials are looking closely at an experimental program that currently connects five state parks to the internet. The parks in question are Bruneau Dunes, Harriman, Henrys Lake and Ponderosa.

So far feedback has been good; though purists are obviously a bit miffed at the combination of nature and tech. After all, state parks are one of the last remaining places where you can go to get away from those who compulsively check their email or MySpace friends list.

A survey conducted as part of the pilot program shows that most people are in favor of campground WiFi. Campers claimed that they would use the service for practical reasons like checking weather reports, contacting family, looking up information about the park, and making arrangements for future camping expeditions.

But who are these survey respondents? If you are thinking that most are the type who consider camping parking bus-sized RVs somewhere with lots of trees, you’re right. Kind of. Many of those in favor of the WiFi were representing the old school: tent campers. So, like it or not, it seems the marriage of tech and nature is going to go ahead in Idaho.