Apps for the Best Summer Camping Trip

Apps for the Best Summer Camping Trip

Going on a camping trip this summer?  Don’t forget to bring along your iPad/iPhone loaded with some of these great apps, many of which are fully functional offline.  You’ll for sure have a better-planned, safer, and more fun experience.


If you’re new to camping, these are a great starting point.  Even if you’re an expert, they can serve as useful reminders and make your planning more efficient.

  • Parks Canada Learn to Camp – Ideal for first-time campers, this app includes sections on camping basic, checklists, camp cooking and Canada’s national parks.
  • Camping List – Preloaded with everything and anything you might need on your next outing, this app allows you to create and check-off lists so you never again forget to pack a crucial item.  The exhaustive list is pre-grouped into intuitive categories, but you can add items if needed.  You can also save lists so you don’t have to start from scratch again next year.
  • Camp and RV – This app is invaluable if you’re not pre-booking your stops before leaving home or need to change plans for whatever reason.  With over 30,000 private and public camping sites in its database from parking lots to resorts, you should be able to find somewhere to set up camp with the amenities you want even at the last minute.
  • The Coleman Camping Cookbook & Meal Planner – If you’re intimidated by cooking outdoors, this app offers excellent recipe ideas.  It can even meal plan your entire trip and will generate the appropriate shopping and equipment lists.


Nobody plans to get hurt or lost on their vacation, but these things can happen so it’s best to be prepared.  This is especially the case if you’re going someplace remote where it will take more time to reach or be reached by medical assistance or search and rescue.

  • The Red Cross First Aid App – This official app by the Canadian Red Cross provides simple step-by-step instructions to guide you through a variety of first aid scenarios.  Videos and animations are also included to illustrate proper responses and techniques.  The app is no substitute for a first aid course nor is it a full manual, but it will walk you through the immediate steps that should be taken in an emergency.
  • Survival Guide – Should you become lost or separated from your gear, this app provides instructions on finding food and water, creating a shelter, signalling for help, etc…
  • Accuweather – Rapidly changing weather conditions and being poorly prepared for bad weather are two major causes of camping-related mishaps.  This top-rated and easy-to-interpret app will keep you apprised of current and upcoming weather patterns so you can make informed decisions about what to wear, what activities to avoid and so forth.


Once you’ve set up camp, you’ll probably want to explore the surrounding areas via some recreational activities like hiking, biking, fishing, etc…

  • AllTrails: Hike, Bike and Run – This app has 50,000 curated trail maps with photos and reviews.  You can follow along on the map as you go and record your progress.
  • Geocaching – An outdoor activity in which participants use GPS and other navigation techniques to hide and seek containers of trinkets at specific locations all over the world, geocaching has become increasingly popular since the early 2000s.  This app will identify any geocaches near you, help you navigate to them and allow you to log and share your adventures.
  • Fishbrain – Summarizing the collective wisdom of more than 3 million fishing and angling enthusiasts, this app will direct you to the best fishing spots.  It also has a personal catch log section where you can record your successes.

Flora and Fauna

If you’re paying attention, there’s a lot to see and learn about in the wilderness.  And for city dwellers, viewing the night sky is a whole different experience from what you’re accustomed to.

  • MyNature Animal Tracks – A comprehensive field guide for identifying animal prints and scat (a.k.a. animal poop), this app includes searchable categories, full colour images, animal vocalization audio clips and range maps of animal distributions across North America.  The app also includes a journal area where you can record your observations, a built-in ruler and tracking tips.
  • Merlin Bird ID App – One of the easiest-to-use bird identification apps, this app has you answer five simple questions to generate a list of possible matches to the bird you’ve seen.  Alternatively, the app will identify your bird from a photo if you’re lucky enough to snap one.
  • SkyView – This comprehensive app turns your device into a virtual telescope.  Pointing your device at the sky, the program will generate an augmented view of the stars, planets and constellations for the section of sky you’re viewing.


Gathering around the campfire at night is the ultimate and quintessential camping activity.  Who doesn’t like roasted marshmallows or s’mores along with songs and scary stories?

  • Fireplace HD – If regulations nix having an actual fire, you can build a fake one with some lights and coloured paper/plastic and at least enjoy some realistic crackling flame noises with this neat app.
  • Campfire Songs – With this collection of 201 classics by, they’ll never know you weren’t actually a Scout!
  • Joe Kwon’s True Ghost Stories – With new stories submitted all the time by users around the world, you’ll never run short of tales with which to freak out your tentmates.
  • Anti Mosquito – Once the sun goes down, pesky mosquitoes come out to feast.  Keep them at bay with this app, which emits high frequency noises that mosquitoes dislike but are inaudible to the human ear.

Best wishes for a safe and fun camping trip this summer!

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