Wednesday, July 31, 2013

3 Smartphone Apps For Your Next Camping Trip

Once upon a time, you went camping to shrug off the modern comforts of technology and spend a couple days re-connecting with your wild heritage. But these days, most of us need to be reachable for personal or professional reasons 24/7. So, since you’re bringing your phone along anyway, you might as well let it provide you with a little 21st century assistance as you journey back into the heart of the natural world. 3 useful smartphone apps for your next foray into the scenic beyond are:

Allstays’ Camp & RV App

This little wonder will set you back $9.99, but considering how pricey some of the hardcopy campground archives can be, you’ll quickly realize the cost benefit. The Allstays app lets you find and research campgrounds all across the country, perfect for the trip navigator to use when scouting out your evening resting place. You can filter your results for a wide variety of options beyond the standard tent or RV searches, and it even lets you know about any low bridges along the route to the campground’s check in, perfect for those with a towering Class A who don’t want to scrape their roof on a graffiti-caked underpass.

National Parks App, by National Geographic

National Geographic’s app provides you with a thoroughly-detailed and interactive guide for dozens of national parks in the United States. It’ll cost you $1.99 per guide, but again, compare that cost to a floppy brochure available at the park’s entrance and you’ll quickly realize your savings. This app is particularly effective for diverse, far-reaching parks like Yosemite, where what you can see and do varies wildly depending on the time of year you visit. You’ll never get lost, or be at a loss for what to do next.

AllTrails Hiking & Mountain Biking App

If you’re looking for a daylong trek or biking trail to spice up your camping trip, this app from AllTrails gives you access to a network of user-uploaded info and images about thousands of trails across the country. This is the resource to have if you’re looking for advice and expertise about local favorites that might not get a mention in a larger archive.  And since it can be yours at no charge, there’s really no reason to not download this app.

If you’re a traditionalist who still spends a week in the woods without a modern day gadget of any kind, then I salute you. But if you need to be plugged-in anyway because of work or family responsibilities, you might as well take advantage of the many apps and tools that the smartphone can offer you to improve your time in the great outdoors.

Author bio:

John is a tech writer and blogger who names Yosemite as his favorite park of all time. He writes for gadget insurer Protect Your Bubble, a leading insurer of smartphones, tablets, handheld electronics, and everything else that you might lose in the woods.