Outdoor Apps

During my camping trip I decided to use the opportunity to test a variety of different outdoor applications, so I downloaded a fair few to my android device to give them a whirl. Please note I am not going to guarantee that these are the best outdoor apps, as I just chose some at random to test the functions. But by these reviews you may come across a new potential for what android applications can do for your outdoor expeditions.

First of all I used OruxMaps, this has more features than you would ever need, and is completely free with no advertising! You can select the area you will be exploring and download for offline use, which I found especially handy in the non signal areas. It tells you your altitude, average speed and shows the path you have followed. The units can be altered for example I changed Kilometers to Miles. I didn't track the full route as I wanted to reserve my battery, but for the part I did track it did very well! The detail on the map really depends on the map you choose to use, but for the one I was using "OpenStreetMap CycleMap" it was quite satisfactory. Definitely worth purchasing a spare battery, or extended battery pack if you make these sort of expeditions regularly, as GPS kills your battery, especially when checking the screen all the time to make sure you are going the correct way. Please don't use this application as a substitute for a paper copy of a map, but use it as well as, it can be a big help and help with figuring out the amount of climbing and the distance.

Heres the next app which went off in my pocket whilst we were walking over the moorland, we all got our waterproofs out, and had put them on before it started to pelt it down (useful application!).

Rain alarm does just what it says, a small vibrate pattern will go off in your pocket warning you that it is about to rain. 

So the other walking group asked where we were, and as soon as I had a signal I used this next application to send them a link to Google maps with my exact GPS location for them to see. This also displays the coordinates and I believe is very useful. Even in an emergency situation this could be used to send your exact location so that the emergency services are able to find you so much faster.

Fantastic app to send your location using any form of messaging applications, including sms text message, email, Facebook etc... 

Finally we arrived at the campsite and we got the tent set up and unpacked our bags, and then went off to play a few games of cards in the barn. When I came out it was dark and there were quite a few stars out (with hardly any light pollution it was great) I had just the right app so I could identify the stars and planets in the sky.

The video below demonstrates just how it works. What a brilliant application!

Yeah so it was dark, and how do I see in a dark tent when I was wanting to get into my sleeping bag and go to sleep? Well there is an easy answer for that, use the torch on your android device.

This is a great little app, which has a widget to activate the flashlight, or simply make the screen bright depending on if your device has an led flash or not. Another useful feature is that it can convert text to Morse code flashes, which could be useful communicating from the ground in an emergency.

Here's a few other applications which I didn't actually use but the explorers out there could find useful, or have fun with:

Find Pubs & Bars, finds the nearest to your current location.

Find and post any good wild-camping spots using this application, so you can find the best place to spend your nights camping.

Compass app useful if you prefer using the paper maps, and want to check the correct direction.

Click to download

This enables you to view geocaches posted by people around the world, and can be hidden anywhere (street, town, woods, moorland etc...) Read more about what geocaching is all about by clicking this link.

Click to download

Hope that you all find these outdoor applications useful and use them wisely! Don't forget that you can't solely rely on your android device for navigation, but it certainly can be a big help!

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