Can you use a cell booster in a tent?

Here’s another one that comes from our social channels. We had a customer ask:

How can I get better cell service in the middle of the forest? I camp a lot and there isn’t always good cell service. What to do?

This one took a little bit of thought. For the most part, cell boosters aren’t used outside. After all, the whole point of a cell booster is to take signal from outside and bring it inside. But, after some thought, I came up with a solution that ended up working.

The weBoost Drive Sleek

This is the weBoost Drive Sleek. It’s designed to give great cell service for one device in a car. And, it turned out to be the perfect choice to boost cell service in a tent as well.

The difference between this booster and other boosters is that it has a lot less power. It’s designed only to boost signal for a single phone, attached to the cradle. The boosted signal doesn’t go more than a few inches away from the cradle and that makes all the difference.

I advised the customer to attach the outside antenna to the highest point possible, whether it was on a tree or a post or whatever. Then, power the whole thing with a battery pack with a 12-volt lighter socket. These battery packs are pretty common in camping situations. Alternately, they could have cut the cord apart and wired it to a power bank that’s designed to provide 2 amps of power. In this case that wasn’t necessary.

The customer was happy, and so I thought I’d tell you all that it worked.

Why this booster works where others would not

Cell boosters have complicated anti-feedback circuitry. If the outdoor antenna senses any signal from the indoor antenna, it reduces power until it can’t detect that signal any more. With a conventional booster, this would probably mean no signal at all.

However, the Drive Sleek and other single-device vehicle boosters are designed to work in situations like this. They do it by keeping the broadcast power so low that it only works a few inches away from the indoor antenna. The indoor antenna is built into a clamp or cradle which holds the phone securely. This also keeps it from bouncing around while you’re in the car, because no one wants that.

Get the right cell booster from Solid Signal

When you shop at Solid Signal, you’ll find the best selection of cellular signal boosters. Each one comes ready to install with all the cables and accessories you need. We have cell booster systems designed for spaces from 10 to 100,000 square feet, and our experts will help you find the one you need!

If you have questions, call our 100% US-based call center at 877-312-4547. Or, if it’s after East Coast business hours, fill out the form below and one of the experts will get back to you! It’s our pleasure to help, because really… no one likes bad cell service, right?

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.