You might think that the wilderness and technology don’t mix, as it somewhat breaks the cardinal rule of legitimate camping. However, if you can allow yourself one small yet powerful piece of equipment that runs off a charge, your iPhone should be it. With the right mix of camping apps, you can navigate the woods, pitch tents, tie perfect knots, and even identify edible and harmful plants all from a device the size of your palm. Nobody has to know that your expansive camping knowledge came in part from a selection of savvy apps made especially for outdoorsmen.
The Survival Guide app by SusaSoftX is a must-have for any camper in the event of an emergency situation or even a minor problem. This free app covers the basic necessities and how they can be obtained in the wilderness, such as water, food, shelter, habitat, first aid, and wildlife safety. If you need to build a shelter and all you have is a sheet of canvas and some wood, the app can navigate you through the process. If you want to know how to purify water, it addresses the topic. It shows you how to build a fire, how to wrangle animals using traps and snares, and how to identify snakes if you’ve been bitten. The app also covers a wide variety of habitats and not just the typical wooded areas. It contains tips for desert survival and survival out at sea. The guide is so extensive you’ll never be without a reference for any survival scenario.
Before you set off on your camping trip, you must find a spot worth exploring. With the Woodall’s RV & Camping Copilot app, you can locate campground and RV parks all across the United States, categorized by rating and campground features. You can search by nearby grounds or input a specific city or state to show list or map results. Each area’s amenities and services are listed, showing whether the site has things like internet, swimming options, and whether it’s pet friendly. They are also rated so you can estimate from their scores how desirable a spot it is. Some of the sites come with photos and links to their websites for further reference, and every site comes with contact information.
If you’re stuck in a quandary out in the woods and you have to live off the land in terms of sustenance, the Wild Edibles app can help you to distinguish which plants are safe for consumption. Based on the books and superior flora knowledge of Steve “Wildman” Brill, the app contains a cohesive botanical glossary with photo representation for each plant from various angles for easy identification. Each plant bares its own extensive description, detailing similar plants, poisonous plants that might be mistook for harmless plants, and the plant’s medicinal qualities if any. It also provides detailed instructions on how to correctly harvest the plant and prepare recipes from it. The app is $7.99, a bit on the higher side, but could save your life in a certain situation. There is also a free “lite” version with trimmed down information.
Once you’ve gotten to the campsite of your choice, utilize the TrailBehind app to look up hiking trails and other adventures to do while in the area. Not only does TrailBehind allow you to browse areas to explore, but users can add detailed reports of their findings, which you can read beforehand to deduce whether or not you want to follow in their footsteps. Hiking, biking, camping, and rock climbing adventures are listed by their distance or plotted on a map for easy, visual interpretation. Each spot has a brief description of the area to help you locate it as well as general notes on the area. You can then press “Map it!” to begin your journey. Should you discover a new trail, you can add it to the app for other users to take advantage of. The app is free and formulated for apple products.
The Knot Guide app by Winkpass Creations, Inc. is a straightforward app providing instructions on how to tie over a hundred different knots, including binding knots, climbing knots, decorative knots, fishing knots, Navy SEAL knots, and many more. The instructions are shown using clear, explanatory photographs. Simply swipe to each step as you complete parts of the knot for further instruction. You can browse the knots by category or by its exact name and you can save your favorite knots for quick reference later on. The “knot lingo” feature allows you to study knot-making basic vocabulary, and after you finish tying a particularly complex knot, you can brag about it using the “knot here” feature, which posts your accomplishments. You can even upload a picture of the final product for others to gawk at. The Knot Guide app costs $1.99 on iTunes and is an effective tool for any camper needing to secure things using rope.
If you’re going to be outdoors with only a tent for shelter, you’re pretty much at the mercy of the weather gods. However, with the Accuweather app, you can at least be prepared for inclement weather and plan accordingly. Accuweather is known for being one of the most accurate weather apps. The Accuweather app syncs up with iCloud to give you the most personalized forecast based off of your settings and saved locations. You can view the forecast as a 15-day calendar or view the most current weather forecast from the built-in notification center. You can pin multiple locations on a map to see weather forecasts for each pinned spot, deducing which parts of your trail could be rained out. The app also send you alerts in case of severe or life-threatening weather conditions, such as large-scale thunder storms, tornadoes, and ice.
If you’re camping in a traditional sense, you’ll be fairly limited as to what you can eat outside of roasted weenies and s’mores. Unless, that is, you have the BBQ & Campfire Recipe Book app. The app contains a collection of recipes from Luke Cox’s book by the same name. Some of the recipes are simple campfire meals, while others are more complex dishes for the skilled chef working from a skillet over a hearth. Cooking while camping doesn’t have to be bland. The book details bastes, rubs, and glazes you can pair with meats to spice up an otherwise boring dish. It reads much like a kindle book, with arrows between the pages and an index to skip ahead to various chapters. The app is available for the iPhone and iPad for $4.99 on iTunes.
Out in the woods, mosquitos tend to swarm in thicker clouds, necessitating the use for smelly sprays like Deep Woods Off. However, with the Bug Spray app from Apptomic LLC, you can forgo the traditional bug spray and ward off pesky insects using your phone. The Bug Spray app emits a high-pitch frequency that effectively repels insects while remaining undetectable to most adult ears. There are three different pitches available just in case you find your ears are sensitive to one of them. You can activate a beeping feature which beeps every minute to indicate that the app is active, emitting the pitch. The app may be shrill to young ears, but it’s free, so you can always delete it if you find it to be less than agreeable.