When one imagines camping, the image of sitting in the middle of the forest listening to the songs of the birds and the wind rustling through the trees, completely untethered from technology, comes to mind. However, the phone that will reflexively be sitting in your pocket, offers a bevy of apps to aid in your camping experience. Here are some of the best apps for camping and hiking.
Before you are identifying plants, star gazing or tracking a wild animal, you need to pack for your trip. Camping List is an efficient app that eases the chaos that can encompass packing for a camping trip. With prefilled categories and an easy to use interface, the app divides the list into categories, ensuring that no item is left at home.
Created by the American Red Cross, this app helps you navigate any medical issues that you may encounter while camping. The app uses diagrams and videos to guide you through emergency situations from burns to bandages. The app also includes a hospital finder, and specifies which hospitals have an emergency room. You can even test your first aid knowledge with interactive quizzes that help you hone your lifesaving skills so you’re not completely lost in the face of an emergency out in the wild.
Maybe you forgot the actual flashlights. Maybe the batteries are dead. Or maybe it’s buried under the five down blankets you packed in case of a cold night. The Flashlight app remains the simplest, and one of the most effective apps to have with you while camping. Be cautious with its usage, as it can quickly suck up your battery power.
iOverlander helps you find your next destination with the use of an interactive map that is constantly being updated by other adventurers and explorers. The app is available for iPhone and Android and helps you find locations and see descriptions, amenities, reviews, and photos. Users can add comments and updates to let other users know what to expect like road closures or camping availability.
Camping and hiking are a great reminder that we share the world with a great many species. iTrack includes detailed information on 66 common animals in North America, from their tracks to front and hind track drawings, this app has everything you need to identify animals in the wild. You can even use the iTrack app offline.
One of the best things about camping is getting away from the city lights and staring up at the stars on a clear night. Night Sky is the premier app for identifying constellations, stars, planets and satellites. You can even set notifications for yourself to be alerted when an object in the night sky is getting close to your location, such as the International Space Station. The app won a 2018 Webby Award and named an Apple Best of 2017 app.
Camping brings you face to face with the many varieties of plants in the wild. To the untrained eye, or in this case, the untrained eye that does not have PlantSnap, the forest is a nameless blend of plants. With PlantSnap, you can take a picture of the plant you want identified and if it is one of the 500,000 species in the database, it is instantly identified. PlantSnap recognizes nearly 90% of plants and trees on Earth, turning aimless walks through the forest into educational adventures.
Find your next campground or campsite for tent camping or RV camping with The Dyrt app. You can rely on reviews for over 29,000 campgrounds in the United States, by campers who actually stayed at the campsites. Choose from map view or list view to make it easier to find your next destination and sort listings by name, state, or distance from your current location. The app covers everything from private campsites to BLM, county and city parks, and National and State Forests and parks. You can also make camping lists within the app and share with friends and family.
USFS and BLM Campgrounds
Finding a good campsite used to involve thumbing through a Camping America tome. In the internet age, a campground search often consisted of navigating a maze of National Forest Service websites. Luckily, the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management have put together an app that includes over 5,500 free and low-cost campgrounds, complete with photos, up to date weather, offline maps, and contact information.
US Public Lands
The US Public Lands app by Two Step Beyond claims to include all government lands that are one square mile or larger in size, including land that belongs to BLM, US Forest Service, National Park Service, Army Corp of Engineers, US Fish & Wildlife Service, and more. The app works offline so you can navigate without an internet connection. Some users claim there is a level of inaccuracy to be aware of with this app. As always, use common sense and never cross onto land that is marked with private property or no trespassing signs.
Find your next destination with WikiCamps USA, a crowdsourced app that serves up information on campgrounds, caravan parks, backpacker hostels, day stops, POI’s, dump points, and information centers. Users can add content to the database at anytime, and share important information about new and existing locations within the database of over 18,000 sites and growing. Download the app contents before your trip and all functions and content will remain available to you offline. Destinations are easy to find with navigable maps, and details pages about each location includes easy to identify icons that represent site features like toilets, showers, power, pet friendly, and more. The details also include the name and address, contact details, user ratings and reviews, fees, photos, and a seven day weather forecast. WikiCamps are also available for Canada and other countries.