I confess, I’m not a huge lover of camping. Ok, it’s just the sleeping and showering (or lack there of) that I don’t like, but I do love getting outside and away from it all to enjoy the quiet, fishing, hiking and evening star gazing. Let’s be real though, when I say “getting away from it all” I don’t mean all my devices. I’m not about to leave my phone at home, even if the wifi isn’t working and I can’t get a signal for miles. I’ll still have it in my back pocket. If for nothing else to snap a quick picture or access an app for quick reference. I’ve found several apps that do a great job of enhancing the overall camping experience. (Find a camping app that helps with comfortable sleeping then I’m golden!) Following are some of the best camping apps out there – so far. Before you head out, check the best camping apps you must have.
Best Camping Apps (so far)
Nothing is more frustrating than slogging through the forest trying to get a signal for your GPS to work. With Motion X GPS, you don’t have to worry about that. Simply download the maps beforehand if you are going to find yourself in an area where GPS service is scant. They have excellent topographical maps, as well as some nice marine charts too. It’s a great camping app to have in your back packet – literally.
This one is absolutely fantastic for mountain trail hikes in places such as Colorado, this is of course assuming you plan to hike when you’re camping. With more than 50,000 trails in the US, All Trails makes hiking so much easier. You can choose your difficulty level, read reviws from other hikers, as well as create your own trail for any activity ranging from mountain biking to fly fishing. Furthermore, All Trails has established a partnership with National Geographic. You can edit your map, download it, and print it out for use later..
This birds app is a unique one to add to the list. Considering the fact that there are hundreds of species of birds in North America alone, Audubon Birds takes the guesswork out of identifying exactly which birds you are looking at. The app covers over 821 species and gives excellent descriptions and photos to use as a guide. There are even sounds included as part of the app to give you some help when trying to identify different bird calls and songs. I love the feature that helps you to easily identify the type of bird by filtering things down such as shape, region and color. You can also identify birds that have (or should) be seen in your area based on the migratory maps the app includes. The one thing, this app is $10 so you need to use it. Having grown up with a Dad who would flip through the pages of a bird book to identify what we were seeing (after the bird had flown away) it’s worth the price. NNot only will Audubon Birds shorten your search butiit will keep your kids more engaged during the process. It’s the price given all that it offers
SAS Survival Guide
Many survival guide camping apps exist, but the SAS Survival Guide is something that could actually save your life, should you find yourself in a survival situation. The SAS, a special regiment of what you know to be the British Army, is considered to be one of the most fierce fighting forces to ever exist. As such, this guide is the real deal. With 400 pages of guided text, videos, Morse code, photos, and compass devices, this app could really come in handy if you find yourself in a less than desirable situation. It does operate offline, which can be very useful in accessing the information in a remote area. (Just a tip, you might want to review a few of the cchapters in the app such as “camping” or “first aid” before you go camping…)
Chimani National Parks
So there are 59 National Parks located inside the United States. An app detailing each of them would be nice wouldn’t it? Well, look no further than the Chimani National Parks app. This app is divided into sections. The main, or master application, gives you a general overview of each National Park. However, it also offers individual parts of each map. That means you can find anything from the Grand Canyon to Acadia, in one handy little spot on your phone. It’s a great planning app to ensure you have a great time when you reach your National Park camping destination. The app also includes interactive maps, and access to daily national park news. (The Chimani company currently has additional apps for 18 out of the 59 parks available for download that go into deep detail on the individual destinations such as Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky, Acadia, etc.)
Similar to All Trails mentioned earlier, this map is different in that each map is user submitted. There are close to a half million submissions by the way, and they range on everything from hiking trails, to ski trails, to sailing and biking. Every Trail is a comprehensive app which really lets you create a tailor-made route that you can use over and over again. If you want to have offline access, you will need to pay $4 for the pro version. However, that’s a fair trade for access to such great resources.
This app keeps you from ever having to ask the question, “Where is the nearest camp ground or are the park?” With the Camp Finder app, you can search all 17,000 locations peppered throughout the United States. Filtering options are available, which allow you to search for campgrounds with a certain type of amenity, discount, policy or activity that you are looking for. The best part? This app integrates with Google Maps, so getting there is a breeze.
If you’re planning on seeing wildlife the next time you’re camping then this app is phenomenal. It allows you to log every type of wildlife you encounter during your camping trip, and share that information with other app users. Use Project Noah as a sort of on-the-fly field guide. It updates with pictures taken of local wildlife and fauna that have been spotted in your particular area, recently. This app is perfect for engaging your kids while they are exploring the great outdoors. (It’s also a great tool to check what others are seeing in the areas you’re going to be visiting in case you want to avoid seeing any wildlife.)
The Night Sky Pro
So you like looking at the stars, but you don’t know enough about them to understand where the constellations are? Well, The Night Sky Pro app is excellent at doing just that. All you have to do is hold your phone into the sky and the constellations spring to life. It also includes weathe, star gazing conditions and a Sky Information package detailing information on what constallitions and stars you’re lookng at. That’s just a few of the features…
Now you have some handy apps to help you get the most out of your camping experience. These apps don’t detract from the great outdoors, they just help you have a much better time getting there and enjoying them. After all, that’s what it is really about anyway, right?