2022 Top Ten Outdoor Apps

Wild Outdoor Adventures’ Top Ten Outdoor Apps

The best outdoor adventure apps of 2022, for outdoor enthusiasts of all types and ages

            Nature and technology normally exist in two different worlds. From time to time, they collide. If you want to find the best outdoor adventure, there are countless outdoor apps to assist you. No more having to find a hidden gem of a hiking trail or having to track the Rocky Mountains to find the optimal camping spot. Technology puts the best nature experiences at our fingertips. With so many apps available for download, the purpose of this blog is to identify the top ten apps you will want to download if you are a nature lover. Continue reading for Wild Outdoor Adventure’s top ten nature apps and a summary of their best features.

  1. Gaia GPS – This app has over a million downloads to date. It is the number one app for Backpacker. Gaia GPS has something for everyone. There is a free version that has routes for casual day hikers and for only $39.99/year the outdoor world is your oyster! There are off-road trails, high-resolution satellite imagery, and weather maps. If you are an expert hiker and outdoor enthusiast you can pay for an upgrade to the $99/year version which adds Outside + functionality including Trailforks Pro, 4×4/cycling roads, backpacker, skier, climber, and trail runner content from well-known publications. There are even virtual courses you can use to improve your outdoor skills including intro to GPS, basic map and compass skills, and backcountry skiing. Best of all you can stream Warren Miller videos and OutsideTV.
  2. Alltrails – With over 3.5 million downloads, this is the hiker’s best friend. You can view over 200k trail maps, navigate while you are on the trail, and log your hiking activities. Alltrails has the largest database of hiking trails on the market. Mountain bikers and trail runners can also use the app. There are filters so you can find the dog and kid-friendly trails for your whole family to enjoy nature together. You can record your pace, distance, elevation, and max speed. Not only does this app have the best hiking information on the market but you can feel good about your purchase as the company donates a portion of its annual revenue to organizations that protect and increase equitable access to the outdoors. The maps are downloadable so when your Wi-Fi is not working you still have access to them. There is information about pollution levels, air quality, pollen, and the weather. There is a lifeline option you can use to safeguard your safety as well. You can try the app for free for 7 days to ensure you like it and after that, it costs only $2.50/month! What a deal!
  3. Cairn – When you are enjoying outdoor adventures, safety is non-negotiable. With wildlife, natural disasters, and dead zones for Wi-Fi, you must plan and use tools to keep yourself and your family safe. Cairn is an app that makes the top ten of most outdoor blogs. Atlas and Boots rank this app as “the ultimate hiking safety app.” The technology identifies where there is phone coverage on the trails and even breaks the information down by carrier. One of the features allows you to share your route with someone you trust, with an estimated time of return. If you go missing or if something happens and you do not return at that time it signals an alert. Your contacts can always see your GPS location and are sent valuable information they will need to know if a rescue is needed. It is a fantastic app for rock climbers, horseback riders, hikers, campers, skiers, off-roaders, hunters, cyclists, and fishers/women. This is an app that everyone will want to download and there is a free 30-day trial. After the trial ends, you will be charged only $26.99/year. Well worth it for peace of mind!
  4. Recreation.gov – Recreation.gov is a database of all outdoor recreation areas and national parks. Using this app you can find the best campsites, buy passes (like fishing and hunting passes), access your reservation information, and enter lotteries for high-demand experiences. It is a fantastic app to download if you are planning a road trip or camping excursion. If you are looking for a tour guide, caves to explore, or want to find a special event for the holidays this is the app for you! You can leave and read online reviews using this app, have access to your reservation information even offline, and save your favorite places.
  5. Geocaching – If you want to feel like a kid again and go on a wild outdoor treasure hunt, then download Geocaching! No matter where you are on this Earth, there is a geocache for you to find. Geocaches are creative containers that you hunt for using the app. Hints and tips lead you to a hidden “treasure”! There is a whole online community, and you can share photos from your adventure with others. Find mysterious bonus items and earn souvenirs. The annual membership is only $29.99 for endless fun and entertainment! Great for families, kids, college students, and anyone with a youthful heart.
  6.  Spyglass – Gracing our top ten list is a visually impressive app called Spyglass. According to Outdoormagic.com Spyglass has outdoor adventure tools built right into your phone. No need to carry bulky binoculars, compasses, GPS, a waypoint tracker, a speedometer, a gyrocompass, an altimeter, a sun/moon/star finder, a gyro horizon, a coordinate converter, a sextant, an inclinometer, an angular calculator, and a camera! This app has all those features, even the ones we do not understand, built right into it. For the sophisticated outdoor adventurer, this app is an all-in-one tool for your next escapade. The app uses 3D augmented reality and lets you know exactly where you are always. It has offline and offroad information. While online reviews report the app can be glitchy, the concept is cool, and it has the functionality of many apps in one.
  7. SkyView – This next app brings the night sky to life for our campers out there. It has almost a 5-star rating and over 2.5 million downloads. It is simple to use and makes stargazing a snap! You simply point your phone up at the night sky and you can identify constellations, stars, planets, satellites, and more. Discover distant galaxies and have fun at night without watching TV or movies. For the scientist in you, download this app and learn something new each day!
  8. Animated Knots – If you were a boy scout or girl scout you may have learned a knot or two in your younger life. For campers, boaters, fishers, and rock climbers, this app teaches you over 195 knots. For only $4.99 knots are organized by activity and type, and you can even save your favorite knots. Outside Magazine raves this app is “insanely great!” It has step-by-step animations to make even complicated knots easy to tie. The app compares knots and gives the pros and cons of each different type. If you are looking for a great party trick, download Animated Knots today!
  9. PeakVisor – In Colorado, we see mountains every day. But how many of us know anything about the peaks we gaze upon each day? For the curious types, PeakVisor has a delightful collection of 3D maps and all the information you could want on mountain identification. Impress your friends and fill your mind with interesting facts about mountains. With a database of over a million peaks from all over the globe, the app labels mountain peaks with great accuracy. It is like having a mountain encyclopedia in your pocket. The app has a 5-star rating and millions of downloads. For us Coloradoans, this is the ultimate app!
  10. iNaturalist – The final app we are recommending is a unique app developed by the National Geographic Society. The purpose of this app is to help track biodiversity. It encourages the user to capture and record unusual plants and animals and share that information with real scientists. Become a “citizen scientist” and help researchers study biodiversity while you are out enjoying a hike, a camping trip, or fishing in the mountains. Over 400,000 scientists use the information shared by us common folk to study biodiversity. You can learn about the world around you while capturing your observations. For anyone enthusiastic about wildlife and nature, this app is a must-download for you.

This rounds out Wild Outdoor Adventures’ top ten outdoor apps. With so many apps available for download, we hope that our list offers some helpful suggestions for your next outdoor adventure. Wild Outdoor Adventures brings outdoor enthusiasts together for a common purpose. Remember that we offer advertising opportunities for local businesses and charge less for advertising than any other local platform. If you are looking for things to do outdoor, outdoor gear, or are a local business wanting to connect with your ideal audience, Wild Outdoor Adventures is the “go-to” website! For more information, you can contact us by email at woameet@gmail.com. Make this summer the best one yet and get yourself outdoor to enjoy the beautiful world we live in. Life is an adventure, a wild outdoor adventure.


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