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Smartphone Apps for Outdoor Lovers

Jill enjoys cooking, abstract painting, stewardship & learning about gardening through the MD Native Plant Society.

Backpacking, camping, cycling, fishing, foraging, geocaching, skiing—no matter what outdoor activity you're into, these apps can make the experience a little bit better.

Apps for Outdoor Lovers

Lots of apps include excellent information & services for hikers & backpackers.

Lots of apps include excellent information & services for hikers & backpackers.

Maps, Compasses & Trip Planners

Get on track & stay there with these handy apps.

A mountain hiker's view of the Gauley River in WV.

A mountain hiker's view of the Gauley River in WV.

1. BackCountry Navigator PRO $9.99

The Navigator PRO app functions as a compass and trip planner. It allows you to access free maps online, download them and view them both offline and on an SD card. You can also search locales anywhere in the world, mark waypoints, save and share trips, and calculate the length of a journey.

2. Backpacker GPS Trails Lite **FREE**

iPhone, Android

Backpacker GPS Trails, designed specifically with backcountry hikers in mind, is a database of over 3,500 wilderness adventures in the U.S., courtesy Backpacker magazine. The lite version of the app has several cool features—a digital compass, calorie counter and multiple ways to record trips. The pro version, which offers even more features, costs $9.99.

3. Camp and RV $5.99


The Camp and RV app provides info (including amenities, rates and discounts) regarding over 24,000 campground and RV parks.

4. Campwhere $4.99


Campwhere provides details on 9,500 local, state and national North American campgrounds that are car-accessible. Listings include driving directions via Google Maps, reservation information, number of campground sites available and details on the types of facilities available.

5. Digital Altimeter **FREE**


If you're in an area with good cell phone reception, the Digital Altimeter app will provide a digital reading of your altitude.

6. Elevation Pro $0.99


Using GPS technology and U.S. Geological Survey data, Elevation Pro tells you how far you are above sea level. It also allows you to share the information on Twitter.

7. EveryTrail **FREE**

iPhone & Android

EveryTrail is a database of more than 400,000 trails throughout the world. Besides getting GPS-enabled directions to (and along) the trail, EveryTrail includes commentary on must-see points of interest, complete with photos and audio.

A commercial-free, pro version is also available for $3.99. It features video guides, downloadable maps and additional extras not found in the free version.

8. Gaia GPS $12.99

iPhone & Android

Like Backpacker GPS Trails, Gaia GPS is for those who hike in the wilderness. Gaia GPS works with the maps you've downloaded to your mobile device, allowing you to navigate new terrain, save your routes and track your progress in real time—with or without cell phone service and/or access to the internet.

9. GPS Cycle Computer Pro $1.99


With the GPS Cycle Computer Pro app, you can record your cycling routes as well as the distance, speed and elevation of your ride. You can even keep track of the calories you burned. Organize your data into graphs if you like. You can also share info about your cycling trips via Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

A free version of GPS Cycle Computer is also available.

10. MapMyHIKE **FREE**

iPhone, Blackberry & Android

This free app allows you to save their favorite trails electronically and keep track of your hiking buddies. MapMyHIKE also allows users to track their hike in real time, monitoring speed, distance, elevation—even heart rate—and share the details on Twitter.

11. MyTopo Maps **FREE**


With the MyTopo Maps app, you can view more than 60,000 aerial, hybrid, street, terrain and topo maps of the U.S. and Canada. Search through My Topo Maps' 10 million+ trails, lakes, rivers and other locales as you plan and save trips.

How to Download Maps Offline

12. Outdoor Compass **FREE**


The Outdoor Compass app helps users stay on course and find landmarks.

13. Pedometer **FREE**


This app counts your steps. Great for fitness enthusiasts, it allows you to approximately measure distance and speed.

14. Trip Journal $2.99

iPhone & Android

With the Trip Journal app, you can geo-tag all of your destinations to include photos, videos, commentary and blogs. Trip Journal works with Open Maps as well as Google Maps, allowing you to display your current position and your itinerary. Plus, you can share Trip Journal data through Facebook, Flickr, Picassa and YouTube.

A free version, Trip Journal Lite, is also available.

Best Offline Maps & Survival Guides


Weather Trackers

No matter where you roam, these apps can help you keep abreast of the weather conditions.

15. AccuWeather **FREE**

iPhone, BlackBerry, Android

Using GPS technology and Google Maps, the AccuWeather app provides up-to-the-hour local weather reports anywhere on the planet.

Cool features include the ability to store 15 forecast locations at a time, 24-hour and 15-day forecasts, and information about the potential for sunburn, allergy attacks and insect bites at any location.

For $2.99, the AccuWeather Platinum app has even more bells and whistles.

16. Go Weather **FREE**


GO Weather is a very basic weather app. Although it doesn't offer radar and live updating, it does provide a weekly forecast as well as weather updates approximately every half hour.

17. 1Weather **FREE**

1Weather can provide weather data from multiple locations. High/low temperatures, weekly forecast, the chance of precipitation, radar and severe weather alerts—all are attractively displayed, as are the times for the sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset.

18. WeatherBug **FREE**

iPhone & Android

WeatherBug provides day-to-day weather info. It can also track severe weather and send you alerts when dangerous conditions are imminent in and around your region. Another cool feature? Playable radar maps.

19. The Weather Channel **FREE**

iPhone & Android

The Weather Channel app tells the temperature, humidity and UV index. It also provides hourly, 36-hour and 10-day forecasts as well as severe weather alerts. Includes radar maps, videos and more.

First Aid & Emergency

These apps are good companions for first aid kits as well as tool kits.

20. Bike Repair $3.99

iPhone & Android

If you have this app and a well-stocked tool kit, you'll be well prepared to face most of the common mechanical problems mountain bikers face. The Bike Repair app includes step-by-step video instructions on how to fix a derallier, change a multi-gear bike's rear tire and over 50 other common bike problems.

21. First Aid Reference $0.99


The First Aid Reference app provide procedures and tips for treating burns, strains/sprains, fractures, fainting and other common ailments.

22. Go to Aid **FREE**

From minor scrapes to serious injuries, when accidents happen in the great outdoors, they usually require immediate action. Go to Aid provides accurate information on dealing with all sorts of medical problems, including respiratory trauma, bites and stings, cuts and wounds, breaks and sprains, poisons and more. It also comes in a premium version for $4.99.

23. PetTech Petsaver $4.99

iPhone & Android

The Petsaver app provides first aid info that will help you care for ill or injured dogs and cats, including methods of CPR.

24. U.S. Army Survival Guide PRO $0.99

iPhone & Android

Have a question about how to survive in the wilderness? You can probably find the answer using U.S. Army Survival Guide, a 1,400-page app adapted from a real U.S. military survival manual.

Red Cross App for Droid

Packing, Picnics, Menus & More

From a stroll in the woods to a lakeside barbecue, every outdoor event will run just a little bit more smoothly thanks to good planning—and these awesome outdoor apps.

Picnickers relax by the water on St. Clement's Island, MD.

Picnickers relax by the water on St. Clement's Island, MD.

30. Backpacking Planner Checklist $1.99

iPhone & Android

Designed to help backpackers create to-do lists before setting out, the Backpacking Planner Checklist app is pre-populated with 100+ items. Add, save, delete items, tasks and lists.

31. Camp & Hike $0.99


Don't leave home without everything you need for your next outdoor adventure. Make a list—with the Camp & Hike app.

Camp & Hike allows you to prioritize items on your list. It will even track the weight of each item as it's added to your list. And you can share your lists with others. The app provides premade checklists, too.

32. Campfire **FREE**


With the Campfire app you can (virtually) enjoy the cozy warmth of a campfire via your smart phone. That's right! Campfire lets you load a fire into your phone so that you can get that outdoor feeling any place, any time—even while you're stuck inside, planning your next big outdoor adventure.

33. Camping Planner Checklist $0.99


Specifically for campers, the Camper Planner Checklist app comes with 225 tasks and items which you can add to. Make your own lists and save them or delete them. You can event set Camping Planner Checklist to remind you of unfinished tasks.

Tour of the uPackingList App

34. 101 Camping & Outdoor Recipes $0.99


The 101 Camping & Outdoor Recipes app offers easy breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert recipes for outdoor cooking. Great for new cooks.

35. Picnic Recipes $1.99


The Picnic Recipes app has 5,000+ recipes made from readily available ingredients.

36. uPackingList $0.99

iPhone & Android

The uPackingList app lets you create packing lists for all sorts of trips, from picnics to sightseeing tours. Includes a catalog of 300 items and tasks. It even tracks your packing progress!

37. Picnic Recipes $0.99


The Picnic Recipes app is a recipe database of easy, portable foods. It has a shopping list function that makes organizing any outing easier. You can even email recipes to friends.

38. Sole Survival **FREE**


Never sure when to throw those old hiking boots or tennis shoes away? Then you need Sole Survival. Just enter the shoe type, date first used and other details, and Sole Survival will tell you when it's time for a new pair.


Apps for stargazing, birdwatching, foraging and appreciating nature.

An evening walk along the river in Pipestem Resort State Park, WV.

An evening walk along the river in Pipestem Resort State Park, WV.

39. Wild Mushrooms of North America and Europe **FREE**

Don't go mushroom picking without this app! It provides detailed pictures and descriptions of over 1,500 mushrooms native to North America and Europe.

40. National Parks: Tracks, Trees & Wildflowers $4.99 each


MyNature helps you identify animal tracks, trees and wildflowers with apps for these national parks: Glacier, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Sequoia & Kings Canyon, Yellowstone and Yosemite. Includes info on the most common native trees and wild flowers as well as the tracks, signs and scat of large mammals.

41. My Nature: Tree Guide $6.99


This tree identification app lets you determine a tree's identity through a series of questions and answers. You may also browse the Tree Guide app's extensive database, which Includes more than 500 color images of trees as well as detailed descriptions of each.

42. iBird Pro 2 $4.99


Identify birds quickly, either by sight or by song, with iBird Pro. The iBird Pro app features written descriptions and pics as well as song and call recordings. (A free iBirdlite app is also available.)

43. Google Sky Map **FREE**


With the GoogleSky Map app, you can ID planets, stars and constellations using your smart phone.


44. MyNature: Animal Tracks $6.99

iPhone & Android

Search the Animal Tracks app database by track size or shape. The app contains pics of 46 North American animals and their actual tracks, as well as illustrations of their gait patterns and maps that show the ranges in which they live. Includes sound recordings of their calls as well.

45. Scats and Tracks of North America $6.99


The Scats and Tracks app includes pics of the scats, tracks and signs of just about every North American animal you can think of. Allows you to visually compare evidence to determine species. Also includes maps, descriptions, a built-in ruler, a glossary of terms and loads of color photos as well as a sightings log that you can share online.

46. Star Chart $0.99


Night or day, Star Chart calculates the current location of every star and planet visible from Earth and identifies sky objects. It accurately depicts more than 5,000 stars: the sun, the moon and all the planets of the solar system plus all 88 constellations. Features the artwork of 15th-century astronomer Johannes Hevelius.

47. Star Walk $2.99


Point your cell phone at the sky, and Star Walk will give you a gorgeous lesson in astronomy. It's that simple—and very beautiful.


These apps will help you reel 'em in and cook 'em up!

48. Fish Recipes **FREE**


Not sure what to do with your catch? The Fish Recipes app can help. It includes lots of recipes, including broiled mackerel, boiled salmon and baked halibut.

49. Fishing Tracker Mobile**FREE**


The Mobile Fishing Tracker app records your location using Google Maps and GPS tracking, so you can save your favorite fishing locations. You can also record other data, including details about your catches, and send pictures via Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

50. My Fishing Companion Pro $2.49


With the My Fishing Companion Pro app, you can record, save and share everything about your fishing trip, including details about your catches, your location—and even the weather. You can also look up the forecast for your location, so long as it's in the U.S.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Jill Spencer


Andrea on July 28, 2014:

I use Altimeter GPS... it's free and works very well for me! try it!


Jill Spencer (author) from United States on May 05, 2014:

Thanks, Mary! It was a lot of work, but the apps were interesting to research. I was only going to write about 25 of them at first, but there were so many good ones, I included 50. Thanks for the share & votes! --Jill

Mary Hyatt from Florida on May 04, 2014:

Wow! You really put a lot of time and effort into obtaining all this great info. One of these apps could save a life!

Voted UP, etc.etc. and shared.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on September 16, 2012:

Thanks for the vote, Pavlo! (:

Pavlo Badovskyi from Kyiv, Ukraine on September 16, 2012:

most of these apps can be useful . Voted up.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on September 16, 2012:

Hi GoodLady! Thanks for commenting. The mushroom app above does ID common mushrooms in Europe, but I haven't seen an app that's specific just to Italy. Maybe someday! Take care--and thanks so much for sharing the hub. Jill

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on September 16, 2012:

Super resources here. Just great, love it. Pinning and bookmarking and voting. Wonder if there's a mushroom identifying app for Italy?!

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on September 15, 2012:

Hey Glimmer Twin Fan! Restaurants? How come you're not cooking over a campfire or foraging for food? lol Thanks for commenting!

@GoldenThreadPress -- Apps are sort of addictive, aren't they? Nice to hear from you! --Jill

GoldenThreadPress on September 15, 2012:

Love them apps! Didn't know what we did without them. Great Hub!

Claudia Mitchell on September 15, 2012:

What a useful hub! Love the campwhere app. Of course, we use Yelp to to help us find restaurants in the are...I know, not very outdoorsy, but it helps.

Jill Spencer (author) from United States on September 15, 2012:

Hey Faith Reaper. Next time, you'll have to get a smartphone! They really are amazing. Glad you stopped by. (: Jill

Faith Reaper from southern USA on September 14, 2012:

Very interesting, informative and well-written. Loved the photos! The only problem is I still have a "dumb" phone. Have not switched yet. But I will file this away for future reference. Voted Up In His Love, Faith Reaper

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