The great outdoors can be an experience like none other. You can get exercise, breathe in the fresh air, and you may not mind the occasional mosquito bite or any sunburn. It also gives you a break from civilization for the few days that you are taking a break, even it is in a safe camping ground that shows clearly on every map.
Mobile phones may not work in the wilderness, and to be truthful, that is a major charm of this outdoor activity, nowadays. Phones, however, are not completely useless. They can have apps that can help you a lot when you are out with nature in the wild.
InRoute Route Planner
It is a challenge to find what can be the best route, but here is where the InRoute Planner can easily help. This is an app that optimizes waypoints for the fastest time or even adds 150 locations if you have a manual recorder.
There are interactive charts that show the weather, elevation, and curviness, and also information about the times of sunrise and sunset. It also allows you to export routes to GPS devices, Google Maps, and Waze.
Roadtrippers gives you the answer to the questions about the stops you need to make during your road trip. It is an app that can find scenic points, parks, and other quirky roadside attractions, while you can also save places and trips as you go.
The free version allows only seven waypoints, which can be disappointing, and its content is better in the more populated regions.
If you are happier with weird attractions that you can find on the highways of America, then this is the app for you. All these under-the-radar attractions will come with maps, reports, and photos.
It is not easy to find new spots for hiking or camping. You are never aware of the long the hike is, or what amenities you can find there. Yonder allows you to discover what is new. Let it know your location and the app will immediately show you spots near you that other users of Yonder have reviewed. Hikers, just like you, will have uploaded tips, photos, and even the lengths of trails.
You can also search for information on different activities like bird watching, fishing, or biking, and this app can even tell you which are the best places, where you can do all these activities in one place. Once you have visited any area, you are well-advised to update information and post any comments you may have.
Where to Camp
Many people decide that they want to go camping at the last minute. They then pack their bags and start without knowing what awaits them. You can always do this and see where the road leads you, or you can use this app, Recreation.Gov.
You just need to tap a button to reserve yourself a spot in a camp. It is an app that has many filters and can be a guide you can trust when you are on the road. Should you get lost, you can contact a call center operator, or rely on the photos or driving instructions the app will give. These are just some of the things this app provides.
Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder
This is an app that you should look at if you want one that is trustworthy. Three companies, American Park Network, Ford, and LLBean united their forces when they decided to make this app, and what they have come up with is one of the greatest campsite apps that you will see.
People always expected something cool from these three companies. And they have not been disappointed because with this app they are getting a large database of land in the USA that is publicly owned like national state and local parks, national forests, and other destinations that are federally managed.
Choose the activity that you are interested in and this app will lead you to a campsite that is best suited to your needs.
Chimani National Parks
Camping in the United States can be helped by this app that will help you to find recreation areas, parks, battlefields, historic sites, and much more. It is a well-designed app that has beautiful nature photography, with a map tool that is fairly easy to use.
You can also drill down on information about specific parks. I asked for details on the Badlands National Park and was given the history of the park and other points of interest. This allowed me to chose to install another app, a detailed guide, also created by the same company, Chimani, that focused on this park.
You can choose to upgrade to the premium version, and this can get you added features like support offline, travel guides, activities in the national park system, and discounts that you can get for lodging and dining. If you are a camper in the United States, this can be an impressive app to have.
AllStays Camp and Tent
This is the perfect app to have if you are a serious camper. This Camp and Tent app is just about perfect for campers who love to fully experience their time outdoors. That means that throughout your trip you will not have special treatment or the use of RVs.
21,000 tent campgrounds, all within Canda and the U.S., are listed in this app. You can also never get lost, as the app has detailed maps, and lots of information about each site and area, as well as user reviews. If you are into primitive camping, this app can give you sites where you need to hike in or go in by boat.
This is an app that we like because it is streamlined and can be of great help in finding campsites and reading reviews about them. You can use filters for particular types of sites, and also use the filters to find which sites are drive-in, hike-in, walk-in, or boat-in.
You can get help from the photos that have been generated by users, and also see lots of reviews about popular camping sites. The Dyrt gives campers and people prizes and money when they write reviews.
You are always shooting in the dark when you want to camp for free. You can always pick up a tract of BLM land, or a national forest, but you are never aware of what you will find there. Campendium (iOS) makes this task easier. It has a database that gives you information about site size, cell service, and amenities like RV hookups or toilets.
The comments section is a cache of information that is more specific and based on the experiences of people when they have stayed at any site, things like whether there is enough space on the site to turn a large vehicle around, whether you can experience crowds or whether the road is in good condition.
Most of the other sites will allow you to avoid paying a membership fee, even if you want to book a campsite. Harvest Hosts is different. You need to take membership and this gives you access to a network of 900 places that includes farms, breweries, wineries, and golf courses that RVers can visit and stay overnight without needing to pay.
You will need to have an RV that is self-contained, as these host locations have no bathrooms or hookups, which makes it difficult for using tents, tent-trailers, or even outdoor kitchens.
If you are okay with these rules, you can get access to quiet spots that are stunning and far away from the traditional campsites.
This is a proprietary service for camping in 32 states, operated by the states, and has freeiOS and Android apps. You can, as a camper, search for campgrounds based on location and available dates, but it is an app that lacks map functionality that can be quite useful when you are planning road trips.
It, however, does have features that can track details that keep your trips in the right order, as well as an upcoming reservations tab that can be helpful, and other filtering features.
Do not expect any reviews or rankings for campsites from this app, so any stops that you plan on the fly can be risky. You can however book sites directly.
This app has a list of 730 campsites that offer cozy accommodation with bed and breakfast, as well as the sites that offer massages, saunas, or even breakfast in bed.
The app as well as the website gives you information about proximity to attractions nearby, amenities, and sleeping options. You can use the app to book a site directly and be warned that these comfortable sites do not come as cheap as an RV site or tent in a public campground.
This app is called the “Airbnb of camping”, and Hipcamp focuses on campgrounds that are run by private landowners. Similar to Tentrr, but without the glamping tent that Tentrr has standardized. Their Android and iOS apps will offer you neat booking and other features like availability of night-of camping or for weekend getaways.
The sites that Hipcamp brings you are a mixture of hotel-level accommodation and rural backcountry destinations that can redefine camping. On these sites, you may find yourself in isolation as they offer a single space for a tent or campers with an RV. You can do your bookings on the app.
This app has a database that is crowdsourced and powerful and can even work offline when cell service is not available. You need to pre plot campsites and their info to start with, and then download a personalized map on to the device you have, before you go off-grid. Filter campgrounds for things like showers, hookups, toilets, and pet-friendliness. Every campground listing will have, besides the basic details, user reviews, user ratings, prices, photos, and even a weather forecast.
Wikicamps has a forum that allows people to share information, photos, or even request information about the landowner. A built-in trip planner is quite handy as it lets you plan your road trip and even make changes to it while you are driving and then share it with your friends.
Very few apps provide information about campsites in other countries, but iOverlander does it very well. You can use its maps to find campsites in the area you have chosen with details about amenities like food, WiFi, running water, showers, and others.
You can also get reviews from “overlanders” along with photos. Update your information, or add to it, check in on campsites, and find points of interest, nearby. iOverlander has a large community, which is its greatest strength, and all of them are committed to improving and updating content.
As a result, you will find descriptions of campsites all over the world, in great detail, immaterial to whether you are based in California or Columbia.
This is an excellent source for anyone that needs topographical maps. You can easily download them off-line. If you don’t have the Internet, you will still have them available. They offer many different sources.
This will include maps that will come from NASA, USGS, and also many others. You can also access other sources if you make additional purchases. This app is excellent when you are camping, especially when you’re way out in a wooded area. The free version is available, and you can try it to see if it is appealing. If you do pay for it, you will notice that it is expensive.
It is an app that you must absolutely have if you are going to do any camping.
HERE WeGo is another great app for campers. Unlimited use for downloaded maps is available through this app. If you prefer, you can also use maps from Google. It should be on your list of apps to bring with you when camping. It is excellent for off-line map access. This is one that we actually do like a lot.
It is perfect for most camping areas that are public. If you are close to civilization, it tends to work the best. If you are in the wilderness, far away from civilization, BackCountry Nav would be your best choice. HERE WeGo is a good choice if you want something that is absolutely free.
For navigation, you really can’t beat this app at all. It has a database of well over 200 countries, territories, transit info, bike routes, and does provide GPS access which makes it very popular.
Obtaining real-time arrival estimates is possible with this app plus traffic navigation applications. If you are near a big city, you can also connect this with Google to test its accuracy.
This provides off-line navigation as well, and it was made for those that use RVs so that you could calculate different things based upon the class and size of your vehicle. This helps you to avoid places where there will be propane restricted tunnels or bridges that are going to be too low.
This particular app is somewhat different. It is a very powerful, and outdoor map that is designed for people that do hunting, hiking, or that simply like to go in places where off-road driving is available.
Gaia is very useful to us and it is highly recommended that you consider investing in the premium version if you do a lot of off-road traveling which is just about $40 a year. The premium version is a great choice because it allows you to get multiple layers of maps that can help your travels.
You can create waypoints, watch your progress, and you can also find campsites and mark them as you go along. If you have a laptop with you, you can also connect this to your phone to make it even easier to use.
For those that are not familiar with this Gaia app, if you are doing any traveling off-road, this is the one that you absolutely need to use.
Cars & RVs
Finding a gas station can be very difficult when you are traveling, plus you also want to know how expensive it is. This app will show you where the lowest prices are, allowing you to filter your searches based upon other factors including which ones have restrooms, what the brand is for the gas, and where it is located.
Togo RV is considered to be the best companion app for those that like RV camping because it focuses on the maintenance and operation of your vehicle. There is a tracker, checklist option, and also a server provider list that can help you with checking your smoke alarms or even when you should rotate or inflate your tires.
You have likely traveled, thinking there was going to be a heavy rainstorm, but did it ever becomes a drizzle instead? Perhaps you thought the weather was going to be good, but heavy winds were suddenly there? This app for iOS utilizes very detailed weather data that can help avoid these problems.
It is similar to other weather applications, providing weekly and even hourly forecast, but it can also show other things including the speed and severity of storms, the speed of the wind, and will tell you about wildfires, changes in the temperature, and also earthquakes that they happen. There are filters that you can use which could tell you, for instance, if you will be camping near active faultlines.
For just seven dollars, you can upgrade to take advantage of individual radar sites that can combine this data with everything else. This also allows you to connect everything to your Apple watch if necessary, plus you will have access to a hurricane tracker.
It is always important to have good weather when you are camping. This app can help with that. It has a basic set of applications that you can use. They will tell you about the extended forecast, weather radar, humidity, and also the current temperature. A 12-week forecast is also available, showing you exactly how good or bad the weather could possibly be.
These are all accessible features on just the free version. When you do pay for it, the advertisements will go away. This is probably not the app you were thinking about getting for camping. However, it has a lot of useful options.
Bad weather can ruin any trip you are on, and that’s why when you are camping it’s good to have access to accurate predictions. This provides down to the minute forecasts for the weather, wherever you happen to be, and is said to be extremely accurate.
It can actually tell you when the rain is going to start, and subsequently, it can tell you when it will end or even where a storm will be. You can get more information on conditions, predictions, and you can even set up alerts that can tell you about potential weather changes.
Although this is a very accurate app, it is only available in places like Puerto Rico, Ireland, the UK, and the United States.
This is the app that we really like to use, even in comparison to all that we have mentioned. It is very clever in its design, allowing you to find out what local conditions will be for activities like stargazing, walking your dog, and also for camping.
Hourly forecasts are provided by this app, plus there are many useful weather maps and 15-day forecast capabilities. It is excellent for people in the UK, but it can also be very helpful in other areas of the world.
Before you go camping, you need to plan to bring all of your equipment including your bikes, fishing gear, hiking gear, food, kitchen utensils, and your first aid kit for your next trip. This works with iOS, allowing you to coordinate different trips, and then populate all of the trips with different categories such as toiletries, clothing, and food. Each category can be clicked, allowing you to check them off as you go along.
This is a free app, but when you decide to invest three more dollars for the premium version, quantities can be added to all of the items plus you can access and sync with iCloud.
Coleman is the developer of this app which helps you prepare meals if you decide to go camping this summer. It is considered a luxury app because it allows you to plan for meals by adding ingredients, categories, and different food types. If you want to plan for every meal, especially your favorite ones, you will know exactly what to bring with you.
It is comprehensive enough to allow you to plan for the entire trip, regardless of how many people are coming with you on this excursion. The number of days can also be added. If you need to generate a shopping list, or create a list of equipment that you will need, you will never forget what you need to bring on your next trip.
Trails & Guides
This app has information on the tens of thousands of running trails, backpacking trails, and hiking trails that are located worldwide. You can also filter them based upon which ones allow dogs and kids if you want to.
REI Co-op National Parks Guide
This app will tell you about the most visited national parks and provide you with trail and hiking data on all of them including places like the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone. There is off-line access, one that will utilize your built-in GPS, helping you to access different maps in this manner. Curated lists can also be created for hikes with your family.
The Outbound Collective
This provides many different options for adventure-oriented excursions. Under the radar hikes, hot springs that you can visit, and places to get great photos will be presented. It has unique filters, ones that are comprehensive; some of these will include places to see wildflowers, do cliff jumping, and also yoga if you want to.
It is an absolute no-brainer to have a compass with you if you go camping, especially with an app. This one is actually very useful. Amazingly, it is also simplistic. There is nothing that is confusing. It’s very easy to calibrate. It will show you every direction, using degrees of distance, giving you a fantastic visual representation.
It’s also a very small file. There is really no other way to describe it then we have just done. If you want something like this, you should definitely get this compass app. You are not required to be connected to the Internet and there are no advertisements. If you decide to purchase it, you can get access to premium features for just over three dollars.
Although you will probably have a physical compass with you, having one on your smartphone can be very useful. The Compass Galaxy can be helpful.
It is very easy to use, immediately loading when you turn it on and there are absolutely no advertisements or permissions needed. You may have to calibrate your phone, depending upon where you are when you use it, but there is little else to do.
It is not only responsive, but it is highly accurate, making it one of the best compasses that you can have on your smartphone that works!
Offline Survival Manual
If you are planning on heading out to the wilderness, you absolutely must-have this app. It is a complete survival manual that you can use which covers all kinds of topics including basic medication, how to build a shelter, how to make your own tools, and how to survive various inclement weather conditions you might be faced with.
The total amount of information you will be able to get from this app is very impressive. It covers all of the essentials that you need to know including basic camping tips to effectively dealing with real-life survival situations. It can get very intense.
While you won’t necessarily need this for every camping trip you take, it’s always good to have in your back pocket. The application is completely free with no advertising or in-app purchases that you have to worry about. The app is completely open-source which means you are getting one of the best camping apps without paying a dime.
The American Red Cross offers its own First Aid app. Within the app, you will get all kinds of first aid advice that deals with a variety of different situations including how to deal with asthma attacks, allergic reactions, burns, insect bites, and more.
You will also be able to look for even more specifics for a particular ailment including the ability to specify what you were bitten by whether it be a tick or a snake and receive tailored advice to that ailment directly within the app. You will even be able to find tips on how to effectively prepare for a trip and how to deal with emergency situations that may crop up.
You can take quizzes which allow you to test what you’ve learned and to help you learn more pertinent information about administering first aid. You will also be able to look for all of the hospitals within your area within the U.S.
What Knot to Do
When you are outdoors and when you are an outdoor enthusiast, you will find yourself needing to tie all kinds of knots for various reasons. However, the craft of knot tying has really kind of disappeared. With this app, you will be able to learn how to tie more than 70-knots in 6 different categories. This is easily one of the most comprehensive knot-tying apps you will find on the marketplace and it is completely free.
Are you looking to learn how to become even better than Bear Grylls at tying knots? If so, you will want to download this app immediately. This application will showcase different ways to go about doing so. You can learn how to do binding knots, bends, climbing knots, fishing knots, and more. This is the best app if you want to learn all kinds of different knots that you can use on your next outdoor trip.
You will be able to hand-off the task of figuring out what constellation you are looking at to this app. Simply using your phone’s compass will allow you to effectively line up what you are looking at and you can click to learn more about it.
You will also be able to do detailed searches for different constellations. You can read the reports it delivers which will tell you exactly what is visible that evening and it can help you find the optimal spot to go to in order to see it unobstructed.
The app is free but you can pay $2 per month if you are looking to get the premium feature of augmented-reality (AR) tours of various planets and moons.
Star Walk 2
Being able to look up at the stars and star gaze with your fellow campers is one of the best parts of camping. This app will give you detailed information on the stars. You will be able to explore the stars no matter if its day or night to find stars, planets, comets, satellites, and even view the International Space Station and see what’s happening on it at that very moment.
By checking out the “What’s New” portion of the app, you will be able to get updates on any upcoming eclipses and various other events using an AR feature that will provide a detailed overlay in the live view section. You will also be able to travel backward or forwards in time in order to see what the sky looked like or what it will look like on a specific date.
If you are the type of camper who would rather catch and cook your own dinner, you absolutely must check out Fish Brain. This is the world’s largest community-based fishing application that you can use to learn where and when you should fish. You can even share pictures of fish you caught and find different recommendations for the best bait you can use to catch it.
The app itself has a very large community of anglers which will allow you to connect with different users of the app and even message them directly through it. You will be able to follow specific types of fish or even methods of fishing to get updates.
The free version of this particular app has its limitations. However, if you are willing to pay for the premium features, you will be able to add very useful features like showing exact catch positions, a detailed fishing forecast that includes pertinent information, and more.
Like fishing, hunting is another activity that a lot of campers engage in. HuntStand is an app that you are going to want to have on your phone. It will give you the ability to map out hunting spots and it can even track weather conditions. You will be able to use it offline without Internet access. You can even use it to help you navigate your way back from hunting.
Along with this, it features a property ownership database that you can use to ensure you don’t end up trespassing. You will even be able to share maps with your friends. You will be able to get and use the app for free.
However, you do need to purchase the premium version if you want to get all of the features along with it. While it’s rather expensive, it is completely worth it.
This particular app has some of the most popular campfire songs; 200 to be exact. It can be fantastic for any family camping trip or boy/girl scout trip. The songs are well organized by type, alphabetical order, or by their respective tune.
This is a very simple, easy to use, and intuitive flashlight app. This particular app doesn’t have any user-interface, no settings, and no advertisements. You simply place the icon on your home screen or dock and tap on it to interact with it. Tapping on the icon will turn your flashlight on and tapping it again will turn it off.
A lot of phones might have this function built-in, but those that don’t will want this app. It’s free and doesn’t require any in-app purchases.
This specific app will give you details on plants and animals in your area. It has over 400,000 resources in the database.
This app offers offline maps, full GPS route information, and interactive features including topographical trail maps.
This is the best app if you want to listen to audiobooks while camping outdoors.
Tune In Radio
If you are looking to tune into local radio stations, this is your go-to app. You can listen to sports games on-the-go with it.
This app will give you the ability to find verified hot spots that you will be able to use while traveling.
This is a good app that will let you know if a surface is properly leveled.
A combination of these apps should provide you with everything you need to have a great time on your next camping adventure.
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