The Best Outdoor Apps for Campers

April 28, 2016

Convenient outdoor apps make ideal travel companions for camper smartphones

With so many apps on the market, it can be hard to separate the good from the bad, the useful from the junk. But don’t worry, we’ve compiled the top outdoor apps you shouldn’t leave home without. From survival skills to stargazing and navigation tools, here are a handful of pay-for-play and free outdoor apps you’ll want on your phone for your next foray outside. Consider this the official app store shopping list for campers!

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Pocket Ranger


If you’re looking for the best interactive maps and guides, look no further than the Pocket Ranger App series. Featuring advanced GPS mapping of the country’s top spots, these handy guides feature everything from self-guided tours to permitting information for anglers and hunting enthusiast to up-to-the-minute weather. You can even drop and share waypoints and photos right from the trail! The best part? They’ve got a dedicated outdoor app for every state – and they’re free!

 

Sky Guide Outdoor Camping App

Sky Guide


Keen on celestial sight seeing? In the olden days, stargazers had to tote around bulky telescopes and confusing, outdated constellation maps. These days you can pay $2.99 and download Sky Guide, an astronomy app available on iTunes. Simply hold your phone up and let the app tell you what’s staring down at you from the heavens, and beyond. The app, which has a night vision feature for the darkest of skies, also has a brightness filter allowing you to view the same constellations, meteors, planets and satellites during the daytime. Want to photograph the sun as it’s setting between two peaks? Use the cinematic time controls to discover its up-to-the-minute schedule along with the moon and tidal forecast.

 

MotionX-GPS Outdoor App for Campers

MotionX-GPS


The fact MotionX-GPS was named the #1 iPhone app by Backpacker Magazine and Best Outdoor app by About.com speaks volumes about its value. For $1.99, users have access to real time topographic maps anywhere in the world. The app even works at sea and features the same marine charts studied by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. With its tracking capabilities and elevation data, it’s also a tool to utilize for recording and analyzing your hiking pursuits. Cache maps and charts you foresee needing and you’ll be able to instantly access them, even when you’re far from a WiFi connection or the nearest cell tower. Want to show of or simply share the wealth? Use the app to check in on Facebook and share your favorite hikes with your friends.

 

iBird Pro - Outdoor App

iBird Pro Guide to Birds


Going bird watching but forgot your field guide at home? That’s no problem if you have this popular bird watching app available on iTunes. iBird Pro will set you back $14.99, but what you get for the money is an easy-to-use, encyclopedic resource containing nearly 1,000 species of birds. Use the app’s detailed drawings and professional photography for identifying the distant waterfowl you see on your paddle or the fearless finches that flock to the feeder in your backyard. Search parameters are incredibly specific and include beak shape, wingspan, silhouette and even foot color. The app also contains an extensive database of high quality sound recordings so you can compare and contrast chirps and calls. A Favorites feature even lets users sort their sightings into lists, automatically upload them to Dropbox and share them with other feather-minded friends.

 

Army Survival Outdoor App for Campers

Army Survival


It’s the kind of app you hope you never need. But for the peace of mind alone, the $1.99 price tag is worth it. The Army Survival app available on iTunes is like a digital, easy to digest, version of the U.S. Army Field Manual’s chapters on survival. The app features outdoorsy illustrated how-to’s on everything from building shelters to starting fires, crossing rivers and tying knots. It also comes in handy for identifying medicinal plants, locating water sources and recognizing SOS signals. Even if you never find yourself at the mercy of Mother Nature, it’s nice to head off the beaten path with life-saving knowledge just a swipe or two away.

 

KOA Camping Outdoor App for Campers

KOA Camping App


Your connection to nearly 500 KOA campgrounds, our free mobile app is a camping necessity. Find campgrounds near you, search by amenities (hello, swimming pool), or plan your dream destination all from the palm of your hand. Found your perfect campsite? Book directly on your phone, get directions, even store your Value Kard Rewards information to save on your stay! Plus, with our newest addition, Value Kard Reward Savings, this outdoor app lets VKR members save even more with 500,000 offers on everything from restaurants to retail.


KOA Author Katie JacksonKatie Jackson is a writer and media specialist based in Montana’s Big Sky Country. Living and working everywhere from New York to Nicaragua, Katie is no stranger to adventure. When she’s not traveling the world (or writing about it!) she’s busy chasing after a Leonberger named Zeus. Follow Katie’s travels on Instagram @KJACK0526.


Outdoor Apps for Campers