There are a lot of opinions about iPhone apps for camping. Some people are against it, but let’s be honest. You rarely go anywhere without your phone. Even a relaxing weekend of camping often includes technology. Cell phones, MP3 players, and the list goes on. It’s the reason that so many companies are coming out with portable chargers aimed at the camping market. When we talk about using iPhone apps for camping we’re never talking about Instagram or Facebook. We’re always talking about apps that can enhance the camping experience. For us that can mean everything from preparation to organization to education. Mobile phones are just computers that also make phone calls. When used properly we feel that they have their place in the forest.
We’ve compiled our list of some our favorite iPhone apps for camping. Some aren’t designed for camping – but have features that are ideal for our lifestyle. We’ve split them up into a few different sections. Hopefully you’ll find them useful. Do you use a great app while camping? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section at the end of the article!
Admit it. At one point or another, you’ve been unprepared for the weather while camping. Maybe you forgot your boots or umbrella – well now you have no excuse. Here’s one of our favorite weather apps, and why we think it’s perfect for campers.
By combining not just weather, but radar, forecasts and storm alerts – the Dark Sky app is a campers best friend. One of the coolest features of this app is the visual forecast. It predicts not just that it’s going to rain, but actually provides a countdown of when it’s going to rain (or snow/sleet/etc). The countdown feature is displayed across the entire app, giving you countdowns to sunrise and sunset – allowing you to maximize your time outside. The radar feature shows the storms in the area – and hopefully how you’ll avoid them. The app costs $3.99, but if you’re serious about your weather – this is a must check out!
It seems that every time my family heads out on a camping trip, we turn around about a mile down the road because we forgot something back at home. No matter how buttoned up I think we are, the “turn around” has become a ritual.
There are quite a few list apps on the market, and admittedly – the iPhone does come standard with “notes”. If you need a little extra help, we think we’ve got something that you’re going to love.
Wunderlist is one of those apps that you’re going to wonder how you ever lived without. There’s a free version which allows you to create lists that sync across all your devices. Start a camping packing list on your computer, add onto it on your iPhone. The free version also allows you to share lists with other people that you’re camping with. Wunderlist does offer an “upgraded” version called Wunderlist Pro for $49.99/year. This is where things really start to happen. Assign to-do’s to your list. For example, you’re cooking breakfast and the couple you’re camping with is in charge of dinner. Assign them the dinner to-do. In addition the Pro version adds conversations. It’s easy to add comments, feedback or insights to a task – especially when collaborating.
So, you’ve escaped the light pollution of the city. You’re sitting outside, finally able to appreciate the wide open space above you. Just then – your 4 year old son asks you to name the stars and constellations. This is the moment that memories are made from – don’t blow it! In addition to a telescope (a camping must-have) check out one of our picks for star gazing on your iPhone:
Night Sky 2
By simply pointing your iPhone at the sky, Night Sky 2 will enhance your star gazing efforts by identifying stars, planets and constellations. To make things a bit easier, the app even allows you to type in the name of the star, constellation or planet that you’re looking for – and it’ll point you in the right direction! To top things off, it incorporates a weather feature. This feature will help you decide wether it’s worth keeping the kids up to look at the stars, or if things are going to be a bust due to cloud cover or weather. At just .99 cents – this is a no brainer.
We came across a fantastic article on TechHive this week showcasing a series of apps designed for music festivals. If you’ve ever been to a large scale festival, you know both the joys and frustrations that come along with it. Often in large groups, cell reception can be almost non-existent. Meeting up with friends, catching your favorite act or even the weather are all considerations to plan ahead for. See the full article from Tech Hive here: www.techhive.com
If you’re attending a festival, and you use a smart phone (pretty good assumptions at this point) – you need to be using the official app of the fest. Just about every major festival (and some not-so-major) has its own app. Often they include maps of the venue, where to eat, performers schedules, up to the minute updates and specials just for app users. So, get in the loop!
Here’s a list of some of the more popular festival apps. If you know of any others, we’d love to know – leave a comment!
- Coachella Festival, Indio CA
- New Orleans Jazz Fest, New Orleans
- Summerfest, Milwaukee WI
- Lollapalooza, Chicago IL
- Austin City Limits, Austin TX
- Treasure Island, San Francisco