April 18, 2014

9 Must-Have Apps for Outdoor Adventurers

Mobile Outfitters

Reasons to love the great outdoors: fresh air, falling leaves, the scent of wood burning in a bright, fiery bonfire, and… the opportunity to discover new mobile apps. (You didn’t really think we were that sentimental, did you?)

While we appreciate the wilderness and the peaceful serenity that comes with it, at our core, we’re techies. So naturally, when everyone else is focused on disconnecting, we’re set on finding the best apps to enhance our outdoor adventures.

This list will expand your horizons.

Sure, your device’s built-in camera will help you capture the scenery, the native notepad will provide you with a canvas for your daily journal, and the flashlight will brighten the path, but will they really up your level of outdoor acumen? Not so much. So while you’re prepping your pack, we suggest you add these nine, simple-yet-useful apps to your device’s repertoire to fully embrace your inner nerd in nature:

The “Honey, We Don’t Need a Map – I Got This” app:

Name: AllTrails
Why you need it: For when the trail markers fade. AllTrails is an extensive database of trails with distance, elevation, estimated time it takes to navigate, and track options. Take the popular route or blaze a path of your own.
Devices: iOS + Android
Cost: free

The “Some Call It OCD; I Call It Prepared” app:

Name: Camp & Hike Checklist
Why you need it: It will literally do your thinking for you when it comes to packing and preparing for your outdoor trek. Once you perfect your prep, save it as a master list and use it over and over.
Devices: iOS
Cost: $0.99

The “What Lives Here?” app:

Name: National Park Field Guide
Why you need it: You probably want to know what you’re cohabitating with. The Field Guide covers the plant and animals, from poisonous to endangered, in 100 national parks.
Devices: iOS + Android
Cost: free
National Park Field Guide

The “Gourmet Outdoor Chef” app:

Name: Coleman Classic Camping Cookbook
Why you need it: Because food is always top priority, indoors or out. This app helps you plan your meals and walks you through recipes. S’more burritos? You’re killin’ me, Smalls!
Device: iOS (Android alternative: Weber® Grills)
Cost: free

The “Was That a BEAR?!” app:

Name: MyNature Animal Tracks
Why you need it: So that you can tell who (or what) came before you. The app has a database of over 40 animals’ tracks or scat for you to match your observation up to.
Devices: iOS + Android
Cost: $6.99 (iOS); $4.99 (Android)

The “Wannabe Astronomer” app:

Name: GoSkyWatch Planetarium
Why you need it: You’ll be the most popular stargazer at your site when you turn your device into a telescope and identify the celestial beings simply by pointing it at that wide-open sky.
Devices: iOS
Cost: $3.99

The “Is Anyone Here a Doctor?!” app:

Name: American Heart Association First Aid & CPR
Why you need it: Because it’s likely you’re not traveling with your physician. This AHA app can literally be a lifesaver – it stores your medical information, and provides vital first aid, CPR, and other medical instruction.
Devices: iOS + Android
Cost: $1.99

The “I Swear I Don’t Have Separation Anxiety, I’m Just Good At Tying Knots” app:

Name: What Knot to Do
Why you need it: Because there are 24 different ways to tie a hitch knot, and unless you’re a recent Eagle Scout grad, we doubt you remember all of them. With this app and some rope, you never have to worry about loose ends.
Devices: iOS
Cost: free

The “For Anything Else You Want To Know” app

Name: US Army Survival Guide
Why you need it: If it’s good enough for the Army, it probably covers your butt out there. This 1,400-page guide runs the gamut of your potential outdoor worries and woes.
Devices: iOS + Android
Cost: $1.99 (iOS); free (Android)
Army Survival

Ready to get connected to improve your time spent disconnected? Try any and all of the above. One final recommendation: explore the app to acquaint yourself with it before delving into mastering the intricacies of your mobile device, including the hidden settings on an iOS device.

Happy tech-lovin’ trails to you and yours!

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