The iPhone is quickly becoming an indispensable travel tool, replacing the need to carry several gadgets every time you go on a trip. On the Travel Gear Blog we’re going to outline some of the ways you can turn your iPhone into the ideal piece of travel gear.
For many people, camping is the ideal way to get off the grid and away from technology and the modern world. But if technology can help make your camping experience a little better, that’s okay, right? All of these apps will help your camping pursuits – some just in the US and some elsewhere in the world – right down to providing you with a selection of ghost stories to tell over a campfire.
And if you’re still hoping to detach while you’re out in the wilderness, just switch your phone to airplane mode – when you’re not using it to navigate from one campground to the next, that is.
Camping Apps for the iPhone
The Campgrounds Premium app includes information for 5,000 campgrounds in the United States, and will use your phone’s GPS cabability to show you which ones are closeby. You can also search by zipcode if you’d prefer to keep the phone in airplane mode.
Go Camping: Worldwide
Want to take your camping act on the road, so to speak? The Go Camping app has more than 850,000 listings for campgrounds all over the world. Search by country and town or zipcode, and then see the results on a map. Or you can use your phone’s GPS capability to see the campgrounds closest to you. Additionally, the app contains camping tips and trip-prep checklists. The app was developed by a company in England, so it comes with English spellings and extra dry wit.
Like most manuals, the Camping Manual app isn’t anything pretty to look at – but it’s crammed with all kinds of basic camping information. Learn how to choose the right sleeping bag and tent, what clothes to bring camping, what to bring in a camping first aid kit, how to set up camp and start a campfire, fun camping activities, and how to cook in a campground – among other things.
Every experienced camper was a newbie at one point, but you don’t have to go through years of camping to learn what the terminology means. This Camping Glossary app gives you camping and outdoor recreation terms at your fingertips.
The Campwhere app has information on more than 9,500 public campgrounds in the US and Canada, and makes special note of any campgrounds with on-site hiking, trekking, or other outdoor activities. Note that these are only “public” campgrounds – on state-owned or nationally-owned land – not private campgrounds.
Camp & RV
The Camp & RV app gives you three ways to look up campgrounds around you – by city name, by highway, or on a map. The app has loads of data in it – more than 13,600 campgrounds, including private and public – so it’s a big one to download. But once it’s on your phone, most of its features can be accessed offline.
Rest Stops Plus
Part of many camping trips is a road trip to get there – and that means occasionally being on the lookout for rest stops. The Rest Stops Plus app will take some of the guesswork out of finding the next rest area. There are more than 2,000 places included in the database, and it’s constantly being updated with user reports.
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The iCampsites app allows users to locate campsites throughout the entirety of Europe. You can look up what’s nearby by using your phone’s GPS, or simply filter by a city or town name. The information comes from an online database created by nearly 50,000 users, and even after you download the app you’ll get regular updates with new campsite reviews.
Campsites and Caravan Parks
Caravanning is a popular pastime in the UK, so the Campsites and Caravan Parks app is just for use in the UK. It includes almost 3,000 sites in its database, which you can search using your phone’s GPS to find out what’s nearby or by looking up a location. One note is that they only include campgrounds that have websites, which is supposed to help you access the information you need more quickly – but it does mean that the app isn’t a complete guide to the UK’s campgrounds.
iCamp: The Ultimate Camping App
The iCamp app has a few features that campers will likely find useful – including the ability to create prep, shopping, and trip costs lists, so you can keep track of what needs to be done before you go on your trip. It’s definitely not the “ultimate camping app” as it says in the name, however.
The TentFinder app seems to be the kind of app everyone camping out at a multi-day music festival should have – add GPS bookmarks to the app for the location of your tent, the stages you want to go to, the beer garden, and the toilets. Then when you’re overtired or tipsy the app can guide you wherever you need to go. The app includes a handy flashlight if you don’t already have one on your phone.
The TentSpotter app is essentially the same thing as the TentFinder app listed above, only this one’s free. It doesn’t appear to be as comprehensive, however, or allow multiple bookmarks, so it’s probably worth the $1.99 to get the broader app.
It’s quite likely that by this point you already have a flashlight app on your iPhone. But for an added bit of fun, the iLantern Flashlight app gives you the look and – here’s the cool part – the sound of an old-fashioned lantern. The sound file is an actual recording of a mantle lantern, so it doesn’t sound electronic, and you can turn off the sound if you get sick of it.
Knots, Splices & Ropework
The Knots, Splices & Ropework app is a bit of retro fun, and if you’re training a would-be Boy Scout then it’s practical, too. The app is the complete 1917 book by A. Hyatt Verrill, and even if you aren’t going boating and don’t expect to find yourself in a situation where you’d need any of these knots, attempting to learn them is as good a campfire activity as any.
The BBQ & Campfire Recipe Cookbook
Man cannot live on hot dogs and s’mores alone. No, really. With The BBQ & Campfire Recipe Cookbook app you’ll get all kinds of recipes that are specifically suited to cooking out over a campfire or a barbecue.
eBook: The Boy Scouts Book of Campfire Stories
If you’re not interested in learning to tie various knots while sitting around the campfire, perhaps you’d like to hear or tell stories instead? The Boy Scouts Book of Campfire Stories eBook contains 12 stories that are designed to “hold the interest of boys in their early teens,” but are likely to be enjoyable for the whole family.
100 Horror Stories, Sounds & Scares
Most memories of stories around the campfire are of ghost stories – so what better app to have on your next camping trip than the 100 Horror Stories, Sounds & Scares app? There are 100 full-length novels, novellas, and short stories included in the app, and an arsenal of creepy sound effects to choose from to punctuate any story with an extra freak-out factor.
While the Camp Fire app won’t help you roast marshmallows, it definitely won’t start any forest fires, either – and it’s a sweet way to remind yourself of fun camping memories when you’re stuck back at your desk. It comes complete with sound effects mimicking a real campfire, too.
RV Camping Apps for the iPhone
If RV camping is more your style, then the RV Companion app is the one for you. It lets you track all the necessary information – including trip-prep, to-do lists, and campground information – in one place. The app even has a built-in level to help you make sure the camper isn’t off-kilter.
The mobil life app is Europe-based and all about RVing on the continent. It’s produced in conjunction with Europe’s biggest RVing magazing, promobil. Find out what RV campgrounds are nearby your location in Europe and what facilities are on site. It’s primarily for use in Germany, although it does have the “most important tourist regions of Europe” covered, too.
iExit Walmart Overnight Parking Locator
Camping out in a Walmart parking lot may not be everyone’s idea of fun, but since most stores do allow one free night of RV camping it’s something to be aware of – especially if you’re stuck somewhere too far away from an RV campground when it’s time to stop for the night. The database includes locations for all Walmarts in the US and Canada, as well as user reports of how tolerant store managers were of RV camping in the parking lot.