When we’re outdoors, we’re all about disconnecting from screens. It’s an important part of soaking up all of the wonderful health benefits that the outdoors have on us. That said, we won’t turn you down if you tell us there’s a smart phone app that can identify birds and plants. Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of mobile apps out there that can add a bit of fun and education to the outdoor experience. Here are 5 smartphone apps you should keep on hand for your next outing:
For the hiker in all of us, AllTrails helps you find everything from trails in your local parks and arboretums to short thru-hiking trails across national and state parks. One of our favorite features is the difficulty rating system, letting users rank trails by Easy, Moderate and Hard. Users can also make comments and post pictures from their visit to the trail! These reviews are usually super helpful for finding out if a trail is kid-friendly, pet-friendly or often crowded. It’s a wonderful app if you’re feeling like hitting a trail in a pinch!
Made by iNaturalist in collaboration with the California Academy of Sciences and National Geographic comes Seek. This app is one of the most powerful citizen science platforms, using cutting edge image recognition technology to identify over 165,000 species of plants and animals. It’s a great family-friendly app that can finally help you out when kids or others in your group ask what a certain plant or bug is every 10 seconds. Seek identifies everything from plants and fungi to wildlife, and keeps record of all of your findings.
When it comes to deciding what features you want to be tailored to your outdoor experience, The Dyrt has the best info. It’s similar to AllTrails in its user reviews, but instead of trails and hiking, they’re talking campsites and campgrounds. With reviews of over 42,000 campsites across the country, and user-submitted photos and videos, The Dyrt also details activities to do in the area of your campground (and also makes note of which campsites people like the most). You can even book a reservation straight through the app, which means now is the time to lock in dates for summer 2023!
Packing List Checklist
This one is more of an honorable mention for handling logistics surrounding planning your adventure, but Packing List Checklist may just become your new favorite mini-tool. Ditch your Notes app and organize every component of your trip right at your fingertips. Its extensive categorization capabilities will totally eliminate last-minute hassle and uncertainty as to what you need and whether or not you’re forgetting something. A huge plus for overlanders, and adventurers in general, separate your lists by activity or function; repair kit, tools, tents and sleeping pads, food and drink, fishing gear, camp gear (hint hint, our Blue Ridge Chair).
Another hit with overlanders, Boondocking helps you locate dispersed campsites that don’t have extensive amenities. User-generated listings and pages for free campsites across the country are available, with GPS and direction features as well. It’s also worth noting that most sites listed on this app won’t have electrical or sewage hookups for RVs. If you’re prepping for an off-grid leaning adventure, download Boondock on iOS devices today.