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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

10 Best iPhone Apps for the Outdoors

These applications might not qualify as the 10 Essentials, but they're pretty sweet to have on the trail nonetheless.

by: Logan Kugler

PAGE 1 2
Motion X (Courtesy Photo)
Motion X (Courtesy Photo)

6. GoSkyWatch Planetarium: Enjoy the night sky even more with this app, which gives you information on (and close-up photos of) whatever celestial body you point it at. ($5.99,

7. Sunrise: Determine the exact time of sunrise, sunset, and twilight before and after each based on your precise geographical location. ($0.99,

8. Backpacker Checklist: Make sure you have everything you need with this thorough checklist. This app lets you add essential items to your custom list, along with their weight and info on where you can find them (e.g., where they’re stored at home or where you need to buy them). ($0.99,

9. GoToAid: Clear, nicely illustrated instructions for medical emergencies from minor cuts to broken arms. It also includes first-aid instructions for pets, in case Fido falls sick as a dog. ($2.99,

10. US Army Survival Guide: Deal with anything nature throws at you, Army-style, with this thorough survival reference. Chapters on food- and water-finding skills, shelter, and firecraft join appendices on plant and animal identification to cover just about any situation you might run into. ($1.99,

PAGE 1 2

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Jun 25, 2013

Haha, love these comments. I am mostly anti-electronics as well. I have used MotionX GPS basically just for being able to upload a track, check elevations and mileages, and check out the track in Google Earth once I got back home. I love that kind of stuff post-trip. I didn't use my phone on the trail other than to turn the track on and off. I did have turn off everything I could on my phone and also had it off at any time when we were stopped for more than a few minutes to save battery and barely made it 3 days! I'll be getting a small battery pack for next trip for this purpose. I also heard GaiaGPS was quite good but obviously a battery sucker won't work for me.

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Teena Jain
Jun 06, 2013

WeatherRun is the latest addition to the tracking apps. It provides live weather updates along with tracking. Outpace the weather and hike with WeatherRun.

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UtilityPRO App
Jun 02, 2013

An app I like is UtilityPRO. It has a lot of important features rolled into one survival / utility / camping app. Pretty handy. Their website is

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Aug 22, 2012

Peaks gets totally panned on reviews at the appstore. How could Backpacker recommend it?

Aug 15, 2012

To everyone that thinks apps do not belong in the wild. Did you drive to the forrest or did you walk while wearing homemade mocasins? Did you eat out or go to the supermarket instead of killing your dinner by hand ?

Mar 29, 2012

Brutal List

Feb 04, 2012

Another great outdoors app is GPS kit. It is the best GPS app I've seen, check it out,

Jan 26, 2012

Wow, big surprise that no free apps were included in this list. The longer I read this magazine, the more I realize that its basically an advertisement medium for products. Aren't the owned by cosmo now?

iTrack Wildlife
Nov 15, 2011

Check out iTrack Wildlife:
It's an incredibly thorough guide to animal tracks of North America.
There's a demo video here:

iTrack Wildlife
Nov 15, 2011

Check out iTrack Wildlife:
It's an incredibly thorough guide to animal tracks of North America.
There's a demo video here:

Oct 11, 2011


Way Home Finder

Sep 27, 2011

I've been backpacking for 125 years and god d@amnit, I go to the forest to get away from electronics and gadgets and smartbeepers. And electricity. And those damn kids! You know, the kids that think they're all smart and all when you try to order something over the phone and they ask if you have the internet. Of course I don't have the internet, it requires electricity!

Anyways, you should always use a paper map and compass, not a phone or electronic device. The fact that your phone can hold a map / topo, compass, sunrise / sunset data, star data, First Aid info, survival guides, camera, notes, GPS, phone for emergencies, etc. is besides the point. If it requires electricity, it's bad! You can't use electricity in the forest because then you're not truly "getting away"! I go to the forest because I enjoy being an over-critical ass in the confines of nature, so get over yourself!

Aug 20, 2011

I'd like to recommend GPSies+ (free) with over 850.000 GPS tracks on the maps of OpenStreetMap. Good for cycling, running, trekking and so on.

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