As summer, thankfully, grows closer everyday, it’s time to start planning some epic campouts!
Despite a long and cold winter for much of the country, summer is finally within sight. And with the warm weather comes the height of camping season.
For both beginner and seasoned campers, new technology is always making access to the great outdoors easier. Apps for smartphones cover everything from packing lists, first aid, maps, and of course, campsites.
These six apps are the best of the best for discovering new campsites, learning more about your favorite areas, and even booking specific sites.
Check out these six impressive campsite apps then get outdoors!
Backcountry Navigator TOPO GPS
Before you can set up your campsite you have to get to it first! That’s where Backcountry Navigator comes in handy. This best selling outdoor app for Android devices allows you to download topography maps for the US and abroad from a variety of sources and save to your device for offline use. Specific trail overlays such as equestrian, whitewater, and ATV trails are available as are Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land boundary maps (helpful for hunting season!). GPS waypoint functionality also ensures you’ll never get lost while finding that hidden campsite.
Camp and Tent
Camp and Tent stands out as the app only for tent camping – no distracting RV parks here! Camp and Tent allows you to search over 21,000 tent campgrounds in the US and Canada and gives detailed maps, information, reviews, and more for each site and area. Camp and Tent’s database includes everything from public lands such as national parks to private campgrounds and even primitive hike-in, boat-in only sites that many databases omit. This is a must-have app for serious campers or anyone just wanting to get away from it all.
Chimani National Parks
This award-winning app is a must download for anyone traveling to one of the 59 National Parks. Chimani contains everything you want to know on over 400 National Park Service units. Users can even create a passport and get it “stamped” for each park visit! Another neat feature is a National Parks Service news feed so you can stay updated daily on whats happening in the parks. Learn more about the history of your favorite park, find a new campsite, or visit a totally new park with Chimani.
Military Campgrounds, FamCamps and RV Parks
Military Campgrounds is the most extensive database of campsites and RV parks for current and former military members and their families. Filters, user reviews, photos, and GPS weather are all included on this advertisement-free app at no-cost as a thank you to those who served. Most of the app features are also available off-line if you’re in an area without service or WIFI (which hopefully you will be when camping!). Also included are over 165 campsites in the “Tents for Troops” program which provides two nights free of charge for active duty, Reserves, and National Guard servicemen and their immediate family.
Oh, Ranger! Parkfinder™
Oh, Ranger! Parkfinder™ is a partnership between the American Park Network, Ford, and LL Bean – so you know it’s good! Oh, Ranger features an incredible database of public lands in the US with every single national, state, and local park as well as all national forests and all federally-managed recreation destinations included. Details on every location and a huge amount of activity filters ensure you’ll find everything you could ever need for your next camping outing on this app.
Recreation.gov Camping offers all the filters you would want in a campsite finder and stands out with day-of reservation abilities. The app allows you to reserve campsites directly in-app for both future and last minute trips – perfect for spontaneous getaways! Photos, driving directions, a call center, and more are also available.