Roughing It Goes Digital

Greg Limeberry

Camping made Easier!

Summer is here and it is time to get out into the great outdoors and test your mettle when faced with the elements. Of course, when you do get out in nature, there is no reason to not have a little help from a smartphone or a tablet. After all there are apps available that can be just as useful to campers as a canteen or bug spray, and some even more so. The folks over at recombu have listed some of the best apps for campers.

Compass and Google Maps (iOS and Android, free)

Google Maps is the old standby for finding your way both on and off the beaten path. What you should remember to do before leaving civilization is searching out your destination on Google Maps and using the ‘Save map to use offline’ option. This way, you will still be able to see exactly where you are even without a wireless signal, so long as your GPS is enabled.  A compass app also helps, but you might want to invest in a physical compass in case you find yourself lost and unable to charge your phone.

BootPrint Pocket Survival (iOS, $0.99)

In the woods, losing mobile service is a common occurrence, but in an emergency it can be a real problem. The BootPrint Pocket Survival app tracks cell towers as you pass them, so that you will be able to find

This handy app records the exact location where your phone last picked up signal, in case you desperately need to call home and tell them to record Corrie or Britain’s Got Talent. It’ll even guide you to the golden spot using the iPhone’s built-in compass, so you don’t need to fiddle around with maps.

Army Survival Guide (Android, free) / Survival Guide (iOS, free)

These are actual military survival guides, free and downloadable to your phone or tablet. Frankly, most of the advice in these is going to be a little extreme for your weekend excursion, or even your extreme kayaking trip. But it doesn’t hurt to be prepared and this app will tell you everything you need to know about knots, purifying water, and making traps to catch a meal. It also has a good deal about evading enemy capture, if you find yourself in the situation.

Disco Light LED Flashlight (Android, free)

This app has a number of features including police light, strobe light and glow stick. While it may sound like it was designed so that users could carry a rave in their pocket (which it probably was) it could end up being very useful in a survival situation for attracting rescue vehicles.