In August, I loaded up my car with climbing gear, hiking boots, my new tent, my old, beat-up sleeping bag, my recently shaved dog and everything in between. We spent the better part of the last month road tripping from Myrtle Beach, north along the East Coast to Quebec, west to Montreal and back down south, along the Appalachian Trail. After three solid weeks on the road, I’ve come to appreciate my smartphone’s knowledge of the weather, sense of direction and ability to Google, “free camping [insert state here].” I also downloaded an embarrassing amount of iPhone apps throughout my trek. Here are the five I found most useful, that no adventurer should be without:
AllTrails is the best hiking app on the market. Users vote on, review and contribute pictures from various hikes. Think of it as the Yelp! of hiking. With a wide variety of trails across the country, paths range from easy to difficult (and trust me, they mean difficult- many of the tougher climbs require technical climbing). Both mountain bike and hiking trails are featured, but hiking definitely dominates most of the database. The app features length, type of trail and all kinds of details, like if you should bring your dog or not. The best part is the option to search for trails around you, making AllTrails perfect for road trips and even discovering new hikes near home.
This is awesome for finding good fishing spots nearby and what kind of fish users are catching. Users share tips for snagging the biggest catches in the area and demonstrate what type of bait to use. As far as apps go, it’s a bit on the excited side of notifications, but the information is incredibly useful and I’d highly suggest using this app if you’re looking for a new fishing spot.
Slow Shutter Cam
Slow Shutter Cam’s simple to use and perfect for capturing starry night shots from your iPhone.
Those who travel with boats will love Launch Sites. It shows spots to launch kayaks, canoes and paddle boards all over the country. It has an extensive selection of over 17,000 launch sites across the U.S. Plus, fellow users report any fees, facilities and overall reviews of the launches.
Those desperate for a place to pitch their tent need look no further than Woodall’s iPhone app. Don’t let the name scare you. Although Woodall’s is primarily meant for RVs, there’s plenty of information about tent pitching too. Users filter their results based on location, pet availability and swimming sites. My only complaint is that most of the sites are in the $20+-range. I’d suggest checking out www.freecampsites.net before looking on the app, but it’s great in a pinch.