Whether you like it or not, summer is on the horizon. It’s time to trade your skis for your tent and say hello to the long road ahead! Use this guide filled with outdoor apps to prep for an unforgettable camping season!
The driver of change in the skiing-to-camping equation is the sun. The weather report is your best friend year-round, helping you find the best pow-pow or sunniest campsite. If you’re in the mountains or on an island, conditions change at a moment’s notice—and different climates occur within miles of each other. Download the Dark Sky weather app, the most accurate source of hyperlocal weather data. This app uses GPS to pinpoint your exact forecast down to the minute, noting things like “light rain will begin in 23 minutes.” When you seek greatness in the great outdoors, this minute-by-minute, mile-by-mile information is critical.
If only there were a travel agent for campsites…oh wait, there’s Oh, Ranger! Park Finder. This app has a database filled with thousands of campgrounds in America’s National Parks, State Parks, National Forests, wildlife refuges and many more federal lands. Each listing includes details about over twenty different types of activities from kayaking to bird watching and lets you toggle search results based on what you want to do.
Hit The Road
Road trip bound? Better buckle up and turn on your Papago camera. Papago offers a range car electronics to keep you safe on the road, recording your journey for both sentimental and practical reasons. Record everything from zooming down the Pacific Coast Highway or use the cameras as parking surveillance while you sleep in your tent.
Don’t say you weren’t warned. Papago also offers fatigue warning, motion detection, and reminds you to turn on your headlights!
Want to feel as if you have Mother Nature all to yourself? Meet ViewRanger. An app that works where city-slickers’ mobile coverage can’t reach. If you stumble upon a special tree, rope together a tree swing or hammock with this handy Knots 3D app—it’s like a modern-day Boy Scout manual. Don’t forget to look up, keeping a keen eye for feathered friends with the Audubon Bird Guide.
All of that traveling probably worked up an appetite. If you’re only spending a weekend in the wilderness, a soft-sided cooler will suffice—and will be easier to toss over your shoulder. But if you have a week-long trip in mind, toss your salad into a hard-sided cooler. The Mammouth is touted as “the best cooler since the Ice Age,” keeping ice frozen for 7-10 days. Thanks to its air flow barriers, this cooler will keep nosey stouts out of your grub. And if you have a bear of an appetite, scavenge for more food—using the Wild Edibles app to ensure you don’t consume any poison apples.
Sit back, relax and gaze at the stars using the Star Walk app! It was created to help you see shapes far beyond the usual O’Ryan and Big Dipper suspects. While most campsites are far from metropolitan light pollution, hardcore stargazers should check out this list of International Dark Sky Parks. An IDA Dark Sky Park is a land “possessing an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment”.
When it’s finally time to sleep beneath the stars, it’s only fitting that you dress for the occasion. Choose a sleeping bag that transforms you into Chewbacca or Darth Vader! Selk’bag’s Star Wars-themed sleeping bags are designed in the human form with arm and leg sleeves for optimal comfort and warmth.
Now, get outdoors!
Annie’s based in Los Angeles but hails from Portland, Oregon. Sort of. She moved to six states by the time she reached middle school, and continues to move around the US and abroad – call her a nomad, but she prefers “Location ADHD.” After studying abroad in New Zealand, Annie circled the globe, graduated from USC, and circled the world once again. For one year she lived out of a backpack everywhere from The Philippines to Nepal to Slovenia to Norway. She’s a curry connoisseur and passionate explorer, taking the road less traveled, the “trail” covered in vines and swarmed in exotic bugs. Foreign lands feel like home, and Annie loves encouraging more and more people to utilize their passports and experience a new culture.