Taking an E-Reader on hiking trips with you is a choice that you can make, let me shine some light on the ups and downsides in this blog post.
Reading in your tent with the rain pattering on your outer tent is one of my favorite things to do when stuck in that situation. You can read inspirational hiking stories or read about history. Or just read your favorite books out of the comfort of your sleeping bag.
The choice for taking an E-Reader with you on hiking trips is yours to make, but let me shed some light on all the things to consider, and some recommendations on what E-Readers to look out for when planning your hiking trips.
Upsides for bringing an E-Reader or Kindle
Well, the major upside to bringing an E-Reader or Kindle with you out on hiking trips is that you can read whatever you want. And with most E-Readers, you can stuff them full of thousands of books and reading material. That is the obvious upside of bringing an E-Reader with you on hiking or camping trips.
The second major upside is that it is many times lighter than bringing most books with you. Books are always a brick in your backpack. Yes, you can rip off the pages one by one as you read them. But I can never live with myself when doing that. It goes against my family code to destroy books. And I think my grandpa will disown me if he ever finds out I did that in England.
The weight of most kindles and E-Readers varies off course, different kinds have different weights. With my choice that I landed on the E-Reader itself only weighs 166 grams or 5.8 ounces. Compare that to most books and it is a lot lighter. This makes bringing one an easy task compared to one or multiple books.
And for the traditional book option, with most E-Readers, you have a built-in reading light. That will make sure you do not have to use your headlight for that purpose. Another upside for the E-Reader.
Entertainment is also very important, being stuck inside your tent all day or camp for whatever reason can be boring. With an E-reader, you can read all day and barely use any battery power. Compare that to watching a movie or show on your phone and you will blast through your battery and battery pack in a day. The screen and low power consumption of the E-Reader are just awesome. Before I got one I was always skeptical, but since I have one I would seriously reconsider picking up a regular book.
Downsides of bringing an E-Reader on hiking trips
It’s another thing to charge, protect, and carry in your backpack! That and the added weight compared to not carrying one or a book are the major downsides of taking a Kindle with you on hiking trips. But let’s break the individual points down a bit with its counterarguments.
-It’s another thing to charge
That is the biggest thing that gets brought up. However, for most hiking trips that are shorter than 2 weeks or a week, you don’t really have to charge it. Unless you are out in colder weather. And let’s be practical you are already carrying a phone and battery pack for charging. If you are a reading enthusiast then you can make that sacrifice.
-Yet another thing to protect
Slap a lightweight case on it to protect it and don’t put it in the same pocket that you throw your cooking gear in. Keep it dry, and it will be fine. And if not, they are way cheaper than most smartphones. Yeah, it will suck when you bust the screen or dunk it in a river but it’s not the end of the world. It is not a communication device and serves a singular purpose. Reading.
-And another thing to carry
That is the one argument I cannot counter. If reading is not for you or when you’re not going to spend much time reading when hiking then leave it and any books at home. Carrying a Kindle or other E-Reader and barely using it, you might as well stuff some other useless stuff in your backpack as well. Something most hikers want to avoid to save their back and knees.
Why not just use your phone to read?
Power, unlimited power!
Well kind of…….
A Kindle or E-Reader uses way less power than your phone to do the same thing. Yes, you can use your phone to read on dark mode, airplane mode and brightness turned all the way down. But still, a Kindle will outlast it by a great deal. If you’re going to read one little book during your trip or a few pages in your tent before bed then you can stick with the Kindle or reading app of your choice on your smartphone. But for power-saving reasons, a Kindle makes a lot of sense.
So do you take your Kindle or E-Reader with you out on hiking trips? Why or Why not? Would love to hear other hikers’ thoughts!
Happy hiking and hike for purpose!