When you’re spending time outdoors, you might want to turn off your mobile phone, relax and enjoy nature, but before you pull the plug, you might want to use it to help you plan your outdoor activities. Here are some apps for those who love to get outside and get moving.
Whenever you’re planning something outdoors, it’s essential that you know what to expect from the weather. This great weather app will give you up to the minute updates on temperature, humidity, air pressure, weather and rain radars as well as a 7-day forecast so you won’t get any unpleasant surprises to spoil your time outdoors.
For all the ornithologists out there iBird beats carrying around a heavy book to identify birds with. This app removes the frustration from bird recognition and provides information on bird behavior, habitat, and ecology as well as hand-draw illustrations and professional quality photographs. The iBird Plus version also includes playable calls for 940 North American and Hawaiian bird species.
You’ll use this app every time you go hiking or camping. Search easily through hundreds of user-generated trail guides. Each one shows a GPS track on a map, elevation profile and accompanying pictures and sometimes video. Other features include tracking your route as you hike, listening to audio guides, plot your photos on your map, download maps to use offline if you’re out of cell tower range. EveryTrail is a great app for every hiker.
A fun outdoors activity, geocaching is becoming increasingly popular. You simply load the GPS coordinates into your smartphone, follow the hints and try to find the cache, usually on a trail or in the woods. You’ll find different geocache challenges ranging in difficulty. It’s a great way to have fun outdoors, and this Geocaching app will help you on your way.
My Nature Animal Tracks
It’s always exciting when you’re hiking the trails and you come across animal tracks. But if you’re not familiar with them, it can be difficult to recognize just what kind of animal made them. My Nature Animal Tracks takes the guess work out of track recognition. It allows you to search within different categories including track size, and shape to identify 46 animals found throughout North America. You can view images of tracks in the wild, images of animals and range maps.
GPS Essential is one of the most reliable GPS apps available. Its features include: managing your routes and showing them on maps, navigation, routes, trails, waypoints, sunrise, sunset, moon phases, climb course, and orientation of the earth’s magnetic field. Navigation values include declination, speed, latitude, longitude, altitude, and target time. You can also create turn-by-turn instructions between waypoints. Use the camera’s HUD (heads-up display) view to show your waypoints, take pictures and share them.
Whether you’re hiking, camping, horseback riding or kayaking, using these apps will increase your enjoyment outdoors.
Leo Bull leads an active life outdoors. He enjoys hiking, off-roading and has enrolled in rock climbing lessons. He writes about these activities and more.