I’ve got an early case of spring fever. I miss being out in the back country, but at least I know spring itself is just under a month away. If this sounds like an odd topic for a tech blog, just bear with me. See, there are tons of iPhone apps that make it easier than ever to enjoy outdoors activities. I’m always on the lookout for new suggestions, and find them in some of the oddest places, it seems. I even found a great list on a site dedicated to crossbows. So, I decided it was time to put together a list of my favorite five outdoors apps.
Keeping Up With the Basics – SAS Survival Guide
First, it’s important to make sure you have an app that will help you in survival situations. You could carry around a survival guide, but why do that when you can just load it onto your iPhone? The penultimate guide to surviving any situation Mother Nature can throw at you is the SAS Survival Guide. Available for USD$5.99 on the App Store, this baby has the full text of John “Lofty” Wiseman’s bestselling book, along with videos, photo galleries, a survival checklist, a sun compass, and a Morse Code signaling device.
Tracking Your Fitness While You Enjoy Outdoors Activities – MapMyHike
If you want to really make the most of your time in the great outdoors and use it towards your fitness goals, you should map your hikes. With MapMyHike, that’s an easy thing to do. The app gives you feedback and statistics on how hard you’ve hiked, along with suggesting new workout routes that others have used. You’ll get information on your pace, how far you’ve hiked, the calories burned, elevation changes, and more. It also synchronizes with Garmin, Fitbit, Jawbone, and more. You can download MapMyHike from the App Store for free.
Keep Track of Your Group
There aren’t many all-in-one apps for outdoors adventures that I like, but GEO-PAK Hunt is definitely one of them. It provides you with weather information, solunar data, wind speed and direction, and much more. It can even pull in information from your trail cameras. Even better, this tool is an offline mapping app that uses a proprietary technology to help you keep track of where every member of your group is located, in case you get split up. GEO-PAK Hunt is free to download from the App Store, but many of the features require you to subscribe to the service at $19.99 per year.
Keep Out a Weather Eye
Even before I walk out the front door, I check this app. It’s essential to know what Mother Nature is up to, so I always keep up with the latest forecast. AccuWeather is superior to just about every other weather app available, because of how it functions. The app draws in weather information not only from the government, but also from independent weather stations. In other words, it’s a crowdsourced forecast from real people near where you’re hiking, not from the airport 20 miles away. AccuWeather is a free download on the App Store, with in-app purchases to remove ads.
What Outdoors Trip Would Be Complete Without Stargazing?
Finally, the evening winds down and you’re still in the outdoors. This is the perfect time to find a meadow and lay back to view the stars. In the old days, you might carry around star maps and try to figure out what planets and other celestial bodies you were looking it. You don’t have to do that anymore. Thanks to Star Walk, you can just point your iPhone at the sky and get an augmented reality map showing the position of the stars and planets as you’re looking at them. Star Walk costs $4.99 on the App Store, but it’s totally worth every penny of it.
Enjoy Some Time Outdoors
Some parts of the country are already enjoying spring-like weather. If that’s you, take advantage of it and get out for some hiking. If you use one of these apps, or another one, let us know in the comments how it worked out for you and what your favorite was.