How to watch TV when camping

Updated February 21, 2017

When camping, you usually don't lug along your flat-screen television, portable generator and satellite system from home. However, going camping doesn't mean you need to completely abandon all TV service. With a portable hand-held TV, it is possible to pick up local broadcasts of networks such as CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC and PBS, allowing you to watch TV while camping. The reception quality will depend on where in the country you are located.

Put fresh batteries in your hand-held TV. Batteries only last a few hours in a portable TV (due to the amount of energy it takes to keep the screen and reception running). Using fresh batteries gives you several hours of life, however it is a good idea to keep spares on you, too.

Fully extend the antenna on the hand-held TV and turn the power on. This increases the range of the TV's signal.

Head to a clearing to find the best signal. Trees often block out the signal, making it hard to receive any picture at all.

Move the antenna around until you find a suitable signal quality. Sit still with the TV so you don't interrupt the signal.


Make sure your TV is digital and not analogue. Analogue TVs are no longer capable of receiving broadcasts through an antenna, as all broadcasts are digital now. Check the user manual of your TV if you are not sure.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand-held television
  • Replacement batteries
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About the Author

Greyson Ferguson is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree in film and television. He currently resides in Lansing, Michigan where he works on independent film projects and writes for numerous publications. Ferguson primarily focuses on computer and electronic articles. Greyson produces, focusing on only upbeat news stories with daily updates.