Mobile Apps for Any Outdoor Adventure

Please join me in welcoming Whitney Adams as a guest blogger for Brian’s Backpacking Blog.

The great outdoors is a place where people can go to get back to nature and not have to worry about emails, phone calls, or anything work related. However, there is a way to incorporate technology into your outdoor adventure. Smartphones seem to have an app for just about everything, including getting back to nature. There are lots of apps that aren’t meant to take time away from your camping or fishing trips, but instead, they enhance the experience and keep you safe.

First Aid – American Red Cross
The American Red Cross has an app for First Aid so that you can have advice from experts in emergency situations. This app guides you through different emergency situations with step by step instructions. There are plenty of pictures, videos, and animations to help you learn and preform first aid. The app is also tied to 911 so you can call EMS at any given point in time while using the app.

If you are going hiking, camping, fishing, boating, or even stargazing, you can never be too careful. The First Aid app has content that is available offline and doesn’t require internet or phone reception. You can get this free app through iTunes and Google Play.

Camp Finder

When you can see that it is getting to be too dark and it’s time to look for a place to set up camp, let your smartphone help you out. The Camp Finder app has over 17,000 locations to set up a tent and call home for the night. This app will help you find the nearest campsite, and will also give you directions using GPS. You can also find reviews and photos, and save your favorite campsites. This app is great when you have had a long day and want to find somewhere to rest your head. Camp Finder is available for iPhone and Android and costs $2.99.

MotionX-GPS

No matter what your adventure is, you will probably need a map. The MotionX-GPS app has 9 types of maps to choose from, including topographic maps. You are able to see your precise location within the map because it uses your phones GPS. Using this app you can mark points for different locations such as camp grounds, the end of your hiking route, or your home. This app can also be used as a compass with True or Magnetic bearings and different options for coordinate displays. Not all who wander are lost, especially if they are using the MotionX-GPS app. It is only available for iPhone and is $0.99.


The Weather Channel
The Weather Channel app lets you stay one step ahead of the weather. The app easily gets the current weather conditions for your area based on your phones GPS. You are able to see the day’s hourly weather forecast, daily forecasts, and the 10-day forecast with easy to use interface. You can also see live maps in motion to check if there are storms coming your way. You can even get alerts for your area such as flood warnings, heat advisories, and severe weather. It doesn’t matter what outdoor activity you have planned for the day, the weather is always a factor. This is a free app and is available for most 4G phones.

Army Survival

Whether you are going hiking or camping, this app is the ultimate survival guide. The Army Survival app by Double Dog Studios has information from the U.S. Army field manual. You can find helpful information about poisonous plants, medicinal and edible plants, how to build a shelter, and much more. The Army Survival app helps keep you safe while you are out, and could even help you survive if worse comes to worse. This app costs $1.99 and is currently only available for the iPhone and iPad. For Android users, there are similar apps such as the U.S. Army Survival Guide by Miloroid.



Whitney Adams is a freelance writer for AndGeeks.com. Whitney’s articles tend to delve into the more technical and complex problems that society struggles with when it comes to technology. She loves breaking those problems down and offering clear, bite-sized solutions for the average user. When she’s not online or surfing Pinterest, Whitney and her camera enjoy taking walks around her quaint home town and exploring the antique markets.

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  • http://twitter.com/nhandberry Nathan Handberry

    I’m a tech guy for a living so I tend to leave my smart phone in the car when going into the wilderness, part of the allure of the outdoors being unplugged. That said I’ll probably download the first aid app as that sounds very handy.

  • David

    Check out “Topo Maps” for the iPhone, download 7.5 minute topo maps free, lots of other features. I paid $8, I’m a cheapskate and it was worth it.

  • Shawn Amison

    I have most of these apps already on my Android phone. US army survival guide for Android, TWC, and first aid. As for mapping software there are several options available for free.Backpacker GPS Trails Lite (or Pro with more features) has maps and other features. My favorite mapping application has got to be Locus Free. You can save maps for availablility offline so you don’t need a data connection.You can use several different map sources such as open source maps, Mapquest, and other topo maps for other countries.There are many plugins available for download from Play store as well to add functionality such as geocaching. Definitely recommend trying out Locus maps free. There is also a pro version available with more features.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christine.white.393 Christine White

    Thanks Brian, I’m with Nathen on leaving the gadgets behind, but my hubby is a huge Cinn Reds fan and doesn’t leave ph behind in season.

  • Sean dziedzic

    I have one big problem with all these apps, where I tend to go hiking and everything I rarely have even a bar of service, can these all operate some other way?

  • StormKingHiker

    I, too, refuse to bring my phone (or anything technological, with the exception of my GPSr) with me when I go out. I enter the woods to escape from the world. I don’t want any texts, I don’t want any phone calls. I want the exact reason i am out there — peace of mind; quiet; and those who I am with to do the same.
    That being said, where I go (the Catskills, and the Adirondacks), cell reception is non-existant. When i get back to my car, the phone is normally dead from searching for hours/days.

  • StormKingHiker

    I, too, refuse to bring my phone (or anything technological, with the exception of my GPSr) with me when I go out. I enter the woods to escape from the world. I don’t want any texts, I don’t want any phone calls. I want the exact reason i am out there — peace of mind; quiet; and those who I am with to do the same. That being said, where I go (the Catskills, and the Adirondacks), cell reception is non-existant. When i get back to my car, the phone is normally dead from searching for hours/days.

  • quilteresq

    I took a wilderness first aid course, and I downloaded an app that allows you to take notes on any injury – the app used by professionals. SOAP notes. For more info: http://people.ehe.osu.edu/dgranello/files/2009/04/soap-notes.pdf

  • quilteresq

    I took a wilderness first aid course, and I downloaded an app that allows you to take notes on any injury – the app used by professionals. SOAP notes. For more info: http://people.ehe.osu.edu/dgranello/files/2009/04/soap-notes.pdf

  • Rene Yoshi

    Thank you so much! My daughter and I like to get away and often find ourselves where there is little to no service, but we do take our phones for emergency purposes.

  • Shawn Amison

    Check out Locus Free for Android if you have an Android phone. You can download portions of maps for offline use so all you need is a gps signal. No data signal is required. I use this feature all the time. Locus also has a paid version with more features. I’m not aware of anything for iPhone though.

  • Shyra

    Wow! Thanks a lot for the share of these apps. They are indeed very cool and useful. Love it! Check my page at http://www.MyCamperTrailer.com.au/

  • Whitney Adams

    Some of these apps let you pre-download the information so it can be accesses offline/with out 4G reception.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Well you should definitely turn your phone off if you leave it in the care anyway, or if it’s a smartphone put it on airplane mode to stop it from constantly trying to acquire a signal.

    I occasionally carry my iPhone with me on trips, not because I can’t live without it, but because it’s a handy tool to have in a pinch and if I’m in an area that’s likely to stil have some cell reception. The intent of this post is not to say you have to take a smartphone everywhere and here’s how – rather that if you want to, and some people do, here are some useful apps that you might like to take with you. YMMV of course, just some good info for the app minded :)

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Thanks Shawn for the great feedback and additional app mentions. Really appreciate you taking the time to reply :)

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    David, I’ve heard a lot of good things about Topo maps. Dave Cutherall from Gossamer Gear is a big fan of that app on his iPhone.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    As a tech guys, I’d love to hear what you think about these apps and whether or not there are any other ones that you would recommend.

  • Knotty

    The iPhone is so many things to me; camera, reading, games, GPS, communications, reference. Even though there’s rarely cell coverage on the trail, it’s a worthwhile tool. The addition of the Red Cross First Aid app is just another reason to this device with me.