- Sep 21, 2017 at 3:58 pm #3492391
I know there have been similar threads in the past, but this arena seems to move fast. I would like to hear what Apps people like to bring hiking in the backcountry for entertainment, safety, or to enhance the outdoor experience. Here’s what I got (with notes and requests):
<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Enhance the Outdoor Experience</span>
Sibley Birds – by far the most expensive app I own, but it is a really great bird book and the same price as the book I’ve purchased several times. Great for identifying birds.
I’m looking for similar apps/e-books for plant, tree, mammal, snake, fish, mushroom,… identification
<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Safety</span>
SOAP Notes – a free App from NOLS. If you have taken wilderness first aide training, it is an app to help you take notes and go through protocols like they taught in the class.
I’ve been looking for a first aid manual to bring backpacking. In particular something that discusses over the counter medication. WFA talked about using resources you have at your disposal. Often times in the backcountry that is OTC medication, there isn’t many resources that I have seen.
<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Entertainment</span>
Games that do not require internet access is becoming more and more difficult. They usually end up costing a couple bucks but are worth it in my mind.
LIMBO – “Dark, disturbing, yet eerily beautiful” (from the website) is an apt description for this game.
Brain It On! – a puzzle game. There is a free trial, but pay for the full version before you walk into the backcountry.
Google Play Books – I’ve bought a couple books from Google. I would like to hear if there is a better App for books (and why)Sep 21, 2017 at 5:25 pm #3492407
Katharina LångstrumpBPL Member
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
I don’t use it while backpacking but the best app I have found to ID plants in the wild is Leafsnap. There are others but most of them are from the UK and have more to do with identifying plants in other people’s gardens than being out in the woods and wondering what you are surrounded by.Sep 21, 2017 at 6:21 pm #3492418
Minipedia allows you to carry the text of the entire Wikipedia in 6 or 8gb for offline viewing. You can look up information related to geology, first aid, whatever without an internet connection.Sep 22, 2017 at 7:00 am #3492511
Austin MacriBPL Member
I just came across the CAIRN app that I am going to try next time out. It looks pretty good, can download the map of where you plan on hiking, send out your plan to contacts, and most interestingly see where you can have cell reception.Sep 22, 2017 at 7:05 am #3492513
MJ HBPL Member
I don’t use it while backpacking but the best app I have found to ID plants in the wild is Leafsnap.
Thanks. I had no idea something like that existed, but it looks really useful.Sep 22, 2017 at 7:12 am #3492516
Diane PinkersBPL Member
@dipinkLocale: Western Washington
I use Washington Wildflowers. There is also an Oregon Wildflowers, and some other states as well. Pretty user friendly.
CornelLabs Merlin bird ID app for birds
Skyview by Google for stargazing. has been locking up recently, so may have to look for something better.Sep 22, 2017 at 9:34 am #3492536
Some great suggestions. The Cornell Merlin Bird ID looks like a great app for free compared to the $20 I spent on Sibley. LeafSnap looks cool but is data intensive so not for backcountry use.
The Wildflower Apps look pretty cool. There are quite a few different ones (three for North, South, and Central California). I’m probably going to install this, but I’m trying to figure out if it needs data to work?
I had no idea about minipedia either. Very nice.Sep 22, 2017 at 12:18 pm #3492583
John WBPL Member
OsmAnd for offline maps. It is an OpenStreetMap-based android app that lets you download your region and use it for navigation without Internet connection. There also is a “mapc2mapc” Windows app that lets you calibrate and convert paper map scans to the app’s format.Sep 22, 2017 at 4:42 pm #3492627
I enjoy using Peakfinder. You have to download area information while you’re near the area and still have internet availability (I downloaded area info while in Bishop, CA, and then used the app offline during a recent trip in the Sierra). Launch the app, point your phone at a mountain, and the app will tell you the name of the peak if it has one. Touch the name, then touch the bird symbol, and the app then takes you to the ‘birdseye view’ of being on top of the mountain, identifying other peaks you could see if you were standing on top of it. Very cool.
I also use Sky Guide on iOS. Point your phone at the sky and it tells you the constellations you’re looking at. It’s got some neat features – track satellites, track stars through time, etc.Sep 22, 2017 at 10:29 pm #3492684
David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Minipedia is good to keep on you at all times in case you go through a time portal to a past era. Then you bet on all the emerging industries, etc. It’s served Elon Musk really well.
Medicine for Mountaineering has good info on OTC and RX medicines and isn’t afraid to tell you when and how to use them. If it’s not available in electronic form, you can always snap photos of the pages and store them in a separate album on your phone.
I don’t have one, so I don’t have an opinion, but one of the star-finding / IDing apps would be a cool way to spend some evening hours. Point it at the night sky and it will tell you want stars and constellations you are looking at.Sep 25, 2017 at 11:31 am #3493093
Medicine for Mountaineering is available as an e-book! It looks very informative.
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