I was introduced to the term “Glamping” a few months ago and I’m still debating its pros and cons. For those few people who may not be in the know, Glamping is basically luxurious camping. I’m sure most active travelers would love to have a posh experience out in the wilderness with gourmet dinners, fluffy, goose-down pillows and champagne a bubblin’, but it’s just not for me. Personally, I like to rough it a bit when I’m outdoors. I actually enjoy burning my own hotdogs, pitching my own flimsy tent and swatting away my own pesky mosquitoes, thank you very much!
However, I must admit that I’m not always such a traditionalist when it comes to hiking and exploring the great outdoors. As much as I love the idea of disconnecting and getting back to nature, I’m always going to err on the side of safety and organization. And these days, few could argue that one of the many wonderful uses of App technology is the piece of mind they give us when we find ourselves in an emergency and sometimes, solitary, situation.
So, whether you’re looking for national park adventures with a group or looking to trail blaze in your favorite state park, I recommend leaving the cappuccino frother at home, but never go without these outdoor apps when exploring the many beautiful parks, natural landmarks and hiking trails the U.S. has to offer.
1. The National Parks Field Guide is a free, interactive field guide for nature lovers. This is the perfect outdoor app for anyone looking to explore not only the beauty of more than 100 natural parks, but also the natural wildlife in the area. Nature enthusiasts are able to spot the many birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians in their natural habitat. The guide also helps identify native trees and wildflowers. Available for iPhone and Android.
2. Every Trail let’s you find and organize hiking trips, perfect for anyone looking to improve their boomer fitness level. This app lets you explore different routes, make notes, upload photos and videos then lets you share them with your friends. Available for iPhone and Droid. Free and $3.99 Pro Version.
3. All Trails is a free outdoor app that offers detailed routes through more than 40,000 trails in North America. This is a great app for anyone looking for hiking possibilities, but it’s also quite popular with bicyclists, fisherman, trail runners and snowshoers. Available for Android.
4. iWalk lets you track distance and speed as you’re hiking. It’s a valuable tool for anyone who’s trying to lose a little weight and wants to keep track of their calories burnt as well as increasing endurance and stamina. It’s great for solo hikers, but also has community sharing options for posting tips and encouragement. Available for iPhone 3G, 3GS and iPhone4 only. $9.99
5. IMedjet is a free app that includes an emergency medical treatment guide as well as storage of personal medical information. The app version of Medjet’s medical consultation benefit and mobile medical information storage is incredibly useful for anyone who has a special condition and might not be able to alert rescuers to their individual needs in a moment of crisis. More importantly, the first-aid techniques and medical information stored on the application is not dependent on a cell-phone signal or Internet connection. Available for Android, iPhone, iPad and iTouch
Do you have favorite outdoor apps to add to our list? We hope you’ll share them with us in the comments.
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Presently living in Madrid, Nicole enjoys the guilty pleasure of forcing her cute Spanish husband to take her to various European cities in order to explore beautiful cities, profound history, and distinct cultures that can be found throughout Europe. Her travel articles and photos have been published in various publications as well as her own blog, Pass the Ham. And of course, she's currently enjoying her new post as assistant editor at My Itchy Travel Feet.