10 Apps for Your Camping Trips

Its fair to say that camping trips are as prevalent today as they have ever been before, if not more so, ranging from family overnight trips to weeks away at a time. Nowadays, technology is an increasingly influential part of our lives and in recent years, largely due to the iPhone having brought highly sophisticated technology to the masses, these outdoors excursions have become greatly more technological.

Whereas before when high-tech pieces of equipment were left only to the professionals and regular campers, now anyone with an iPhone and a few bits of software can master the outdoors (or at least be significantly more prepared). Read on past the break to see what apps you should pick up for your next outdoors adventure.

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Clear

We’ve all done it, don’t lie! We’ve all gone on a trip and realised you’ve forgotten something important, like your iPod charger or all of your underwear. Now this forgetfulness can be a thing of the past with to-do lists, and what better than our favourite one of all, Clear.

Clear is simple, elegant and useful, making it just about perfect for planning on what to take on your next trip. You can create lists and add all your tasks with mere swipes of the fingers with its beautiful gesture orientated interface. Never forget something again.

Price: $2.99
Developer: Real Mac Software
Download: App Store

Clear is a great way to remember stuff.

Clear is a great way to remember stuff.

The Weather Channel

The weather is perhaps one of the most important things to check when going camping, or anywhere outdoors, really. It can turn from hot and sunny to cold and rainy in a matter of hours (or seconds if you live in the UK, amirite?) and if you’re not prepared for it then you could be in serious danger.

While there is a weather app installed on every iPhone, often you’ll find yourself needing more that what it has to offer. With great hourly details, humidity readings, weather maps and many more features, you’ll have a much better idea of what you’ll likely be facing come your trip.

Price: Free
Developer: The Weather Channel
Download: App Store

Detailed weather reports for your trip

Detailed weather reports for your trip

ViewRanger Outdoors

For the most part, it would be rather foolish to head out into the wilderness without a map, even if you think you know the place. It used to be the case that you would bring a folded up printed map and have to unfold it every time you wanted to check on your location, and through some ingenious patented design, you could never fold it back up the same way you unfolded it (weird!).

That’s where ViewRanger comes in. You can forget about having to keep finding yourself based on your surroundings, instead using GPS to locate your spot exactly. While this app may be considered at little Pricey at $14.99, there are numerous advantages over using a paper map or indeed the built-in Maps app. For example, not only can this app locate you exactly with GPS, but you can store maps offline in case of loss of signal, and the maps are far more useful for trekking that the default app as they include convenient contour lines. Perhaps one of its greatest features is the ability to load trails done by others, so you can find out before you go if there’s a specific route you should take

Price: $14.99
Developer: Augmentra
Download: App Store

Contour maps and preset trails are just a few of ViewRanger's great features

Contour maps and preset trails are just a few of ViewRanger’s great features

Camp Where

When you trekking out in the wilderness, darkness falls quickly and you want to be sure you know what the night’s plan is when nighttime does strike. Camp Where is designed to help you locate, and in some cases reserve, public camping grounds in the US and Canada by showing you local sites to your position.

With information on over 11,000 public campgrounds, you are very likely to be able to find a place near you to go pitch your tent. This could be a lifesaver, both figuratively and literally, and for the reasonable Price of $5, this should be on your iPhone if you are going camping.

Price: $4.99
Developer: Big Nerd Ranch
Download: App Store

Showing camp sites on the map or list to let you know where you can find a spot to sleep

Showing camp sites on the map or list to let you know where you can find a spot to sleep

Commander Compass

A compass is one of those basic tools that should always be taken out with you when you go exploring the outdoors, and with Commander Compass you can leave you bulky and simple real compass behind.

While the native Compass app might be enough to tell you where north is, Commander Compass offers many more features useful to camping such as extreme precision with milspec and gyro usage, as well as allowing you to track the position of locations and find out distances and elevations to your destination. While there is a slightly more feature-full version of Commander Compass, the light version is free, and overall a welcome improvement over the native compass.

Price: Free
Developer: Happymagenta
Download: App Store

Highly detailed and precise compass to make sure you're on the right track

Highly detailed and precise compass to make sure you’re on the right track

Project Noah

Have no doubt, even if you don’t go looking for it, wildlife will find you out on your camping trip, and when it does it’s great to be able to share this find with your friends. Project Noah is an app about discovering and sharing nature. There are three main aspects to it: spottings, discoveries and missions.

The former is for sharing your sightings of wildlife. So when you’re out and about and you catch sight of a grizzly bear, you can snap a picture of it, share it and then run for your life (tip: I have no idea what I’m talking about, maybe you should crawl up into a ball?). Discover, as you may have guessed, is all about searching for new animals; you can search for what kinds of animals and plants have been spotted near you and learn about them. Finally we have missions, which are organised groups looking for certain types of wildlife and you can join these a contribute your own sightings.

Price: Free
Developer: Network Organisms
Download: App Store

The homepage on the left and an example of a mission on the right

The homepage on the left and an example of a mission on the right

iSurvive Wilderness

This app is a bit like having airbags in your car; you don’t ever want to use them, but its reassuring to know they’re there. I say this not because its a bad app, but because it’s an app you’ll likely be using in an emergency — and nobody likes emergency. All right, I may have been a bit strong there. It may be advisable to actually go through this beforehand to have an idea of what you should do in an emergency, but the idea behind this app is that should something tragic happen, you will hopefully have the resources right on your phone to get you through the problem.

Inside the app is helpful advice, complete with detailed photo illustrations to provide you with information on setting snares, starting fires, first aid and many more potentially life-saving instructions.

Price: $1.99
Developer: New North Orleans Blade Works
Download: App Store

Drawings to help you understand the information

Drawings to help you understand the information

Trip Journal

Trip Journal is a fantastic app to track, document and share your camping trip with your friends. You can record the trip with GPS route tracking and have your photos and videos automatically plotted onto the map of your trip. You can also jot down any notes you want to remember about the places you’ve visited, either by writing in the journal or by commenting on the photos or videos.

Overall it creates a charming handcrafted package of your journey that you can easily share via Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and more options, allowing all you’re friends to see what you saw.

Price: $2.99
Developer: iQapps
Download: App Store

A map overview of the trip and showing comments on an image

A map overview of the trip and showing comments on an image

GoSkyWatch Planetarium

With light pollution these days it can be hard finding the stars at all when you live near a city, but when you are out camping in the middle of nowhere, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the beauty of the stars. One can often find oneself staring in awe for hours up at the stars, and sometimes it can be fascinating to learn about the universe. GoSkyWatch helps you easily and quickly identify and locate stars, planets, galaxies and whatever else is up there by simply pointing your iPhone to the sky.

It works almost like magic, without you having to touch buttons or type in anything — just point the phone at the sky and marvel. This app is a truly great one if you want to have a little (relatively speaking, there’s actually an enormous amount of data) bit more information about what’s out there.

Price: $3.99
Developer: GoSoftWorks
Download: App Store

Identifying star formations and details on planets

Identifying star formations and details on planets

Sunrise

You can’t have a beautiful starlit night without the sunrise following on soon after, and when you’re out in Mother Nature’s playground you wouldn’t want to miss out on something so beautiful, would you? Whether its because you are a photographer, painter or you just want to see those first rays of glorious sunshine in the morning, Sunrise is an app you will find essential to making sure you know when to be awake.

By default it shows the information for the current day and location, but you can calculate the sunrise any day, past or present, at any location around the world. Just don’t forget to set an alarm!

Price: $0.99
Developer: Adair Systems
Download: App Store

A specific app to make sure you catch the sunrise or set every time

A specific app to make sure you catch the sunrise or set every time

Conclusion

There you have it, a list of 10 apps to make your camping trip a bit more modern, and a whole lot better. If you have any apps you’d like to share with us please let us know in the comments below.