02 Jun Round Up: Adventure Apps
Want to figure out what kind of bird is making that sweet sound, navigate a new area, or find out what that constellation is on a starry night? Whatever your area of interest, there’s most likely an app for it. Outdoor-related apps are numerous, covering a variety of topics. And the fact that they can all be stored on one pocket-sized device makes them pretty handy as well. Do these online tools mean that guidebooks are a thing of the past? Not necessarily, as they tend to skim the surface of a topic rather than delve in, and let’s not forget that cell service can be spotty, or even nonexistent, in many backcountry locations. But for outdoor lovers of all kinds, here are five terrific apps to add grit to your adventures.
Audubon Bird Guide: A guide to more than 800 species of North American birds, featuring more than 3,000 photos, audio clips of songs and calls, multi-season range maps, and in-depth birding information by expert Kenn Kaufman. Not sure what type of bird you’re looking at? Enter your location and the basics (color, size, etc.), and the Bird ID will narrow down a list. The app also allows users to keep track of birds they’ve spotted and upload photos. Price: Free
GyPSy Guide: This app provides guided driving tours of popular tourist destinations, featuring information about the history, geology, hikes, wildlife, cultural highlights, local tips, and directions along the route. GyPSy tours in our area include Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Glacier national parks, and each one can be downloaded for offline use.
Price: from $4.99 per tour and up
Star Walk 2: This interactive guide to the night sky uses a phone’s GPS to pinpoint the constellations hovering above. Point your device toward the stars in question, and the app follows the user’s movement, mapping out constellations in real time. For a kid-friendly version, try Star Walk Kids. Price: $.99 for one month, up to $9.99 for unlimited accesTrailforks: Originally designed for mountain bikers, but just as valuable for hikers, this app features interactive trail maps that include the latest trail statuses and conditions, topographic layers, points of interest, trail popularity, and more, with GPS tracking that shows users exactly where they are in real time. You can also download trail maps for use offline, track your rides, and contribute trail updates. Price: FreeFishbrain: Designed to help users catch more fish, this app enables anglers to find nearby fishing locations using a phone’s GPS, figure out which spots are the most (or least) popular, and discover the best times to fish different rivers. It’s also a social network for anglers, allowing them to give and get fishing advice and share pictures with a like-minded community. Price: Free