Top 15 Outdoor Apps

Top 15 Outdoor Apps

Be sure to download these apps before your next outdoor adventure.


Using technology in the great outdoors may seem strange but there are great apps for Android and iphone users to keep you safe and prepared.

An easy way to find trails near you, whether you want a gentle hike, a mountain bike track, or a place to fly-fish. You can create your own trails with GPS tracking, photos, and text, and save them for later or share them with others.

Platform: Android | iOS FREE

First Aid – American Red Cross
This app contains basic first aid information for burns, injuries, or other issues that can happen while outdoors. A “Learn” mode lets you read about  injuries and basic first aid treatments, and the “Emergency” mode provides immediate first aid instructions and a one-button shortcut to call 911.

Platform: Android / iOS FREE

MapMyHike GPS Hiking
Want to track your hike or cycle? This app is geared toward workouts and details your route, your average pace, distance covered, calories burned, and more. You can record hiking routes and share them easily. You can also find popular local routes and compete with others to record the best times.

Platform Android | iOS FREE

Chimani National Parks
This is the perfect app to help you plan your next tour of a national park. This provides you with maps and up to date news all 59 national parks. It also provides apps to some of the most famous parks like Grand Canyon and Yosemite where you can hear audio tours, find hiking trails and points of interest.

Platform: Android | iOS FREE

Looking to take some high-quality pictures or video on your iPhone or iPad? This is a professional nature photography app and is user-friendly. It allows you to set the focus, exposure and white balance points when taking photos. You can also edit photos afterward to adjust exposure, brightness, saturation, contrast and color temperature, as well as crop, filter and rotate pictures.

Platform: Only iPhone | iPod Touch | iPad. $2.99.

Project Noah
Stands for “Networked Organisms and Habitats”. This app allows you to explore and document wildlife on your phone. We love this app because its main purpose is to protect nature and educate people about wildlife.

Platform: Android / iOS FREE

SAS Survival Guide
Want to know basic survival tips? This app will teach first aid and help you know which plants are edible, medicinal, or poisonous. You can also signal with Morse code. You can also download 16 instructional videos for survival.

Platform: Android / iOS $5.99

GPS Trip Journal
Google awarded this the #1 Travel ap. It’s great for documenting details of your trip with photos and notes. You can share your adventures with others.

Platforms: Android / iOS $2.99


MotionX GPS
Track  your location while you hike, geocache, run, cross country ski etc. The best part is you can map out your trip first and then download various topographical maps – quite helpful when there’s no cellphone coverage.

Platform: iOS $0.99 (Android alternative Backcountry Navigator PRO GPS for $9.99)

Be prepared for sprained ankles, sunburns, poison ivy and cuts. This app takes you through how to respond in an emergency step-by-step and it has three different tabs to separate treatments for humans, cats or dogs.

Available on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. $4.99.

This is an awesome high tech treasure hunt app for the entire family. Because there are hidden treasures based on GPS locations make sure you geocache as a group.

Platform: Android / iOS $9.99

MyNature Animal Tracks
Perfect to keep kids engaged in the outdoors. This  app identifies animal scat and footprints when hiking (only in North America). Images and illustrations are clear and the app includes a journal that works online and offline

Platforms: Android, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. $6.99.

Star Walk
Perfect astronomy app that can be used on a nighttime walk. Look up at the night sky and hold your device to the skies while it maps out what you’re seeing. Search for constellations or planets and it “guides” you to them.

Platforms: iOS $2.99


National Parks by National Geographic
View beautiful National Geograohic quality photos and get detailed information about national park information including maps, guides, tips, and “park secrets”.

Platforms: iOS FREE

DisneyNature Explore
Some app’s activities are intended for kids to do outside with a parent on a mobile device; others can be done inside or outside. Through exploring the habitats and lives of five realistic, animated animals kids learn about wildlife behavior and nature.

Platforms: Android / iOS FREE

Backpacker GPS Trails Lite
If you get lost easily this is the app for you. This is perfect for trail navigation and works in remote places like national parks, wilderness areas, and backcountry spots without relying on data and cell signals.

Platforms: Android / iOS FREE

Knot Guide
You’ll probably need to tie a few knots while camping or hiking.  This app is a great way to make sure the knots you tie aren’t going to slip at inconvenient times.

Platform: Android / iOS FREE

One more tip: Switching your phone to Airplane mode will help you conserve your battery when you’re off the grid.

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Mary Edwards
I live with my twin girls and husband at the base of the Rocky Mountains in Salt Lake City, Utah. In the summer I like to run, hike, and camp. In the winter I like to snow shoe, cross country ski and cozy up to a stack of novels. My family delights me with their love, humor, and desire to go on outdoor adventures with me from catching butterflies to dipping toes in rivers, to making s'mores up the canyon. I earned a Master of Professional Communication at Westminster College and was marketing manager for the Utah Symphony & Opera Deer Valley Music Festival and Program Director at Brighton Girls Camp. Both opportunities fueled my love for the outdoors.

One thought on “Top 15 Outdoor Apps

  1. I would also include Spyglass into this list. Using augmented reality, the app overlays compass, GPS and location info on top of visuals captured by an iPhone camera or the map itself. It can measure distance, sizes of objects, your speed, altitude and potential arrival time to the target. You can use it as a waypoints tool, sextant, compass, rangefinder, speedometer, inclinometer and more. https://itunes.apple.com/app/spyglass/id332639548?mt=8&at=11lLc7&ct=c

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