December 13, 2017

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Outdoor Vancouver, 10 best iPhone Android Apps for the Outdoors

10 Best iPhone and Android Apps for the Outdoors

Filed in Deals, Products and Companies by on March 16, 2014 • 1 Comment
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Sometimes the best part of getting outside is turning off your smartphone and getting away from technology. But there are definitely times where your iPhone or Android can open up new activities, or put needed information at your fingertips. Here are the 10 best smartphone apps for getting outdoors.

SIDENOTE: You do NOT want to rely on your phone’s GPS for backcountry navigation, with very few exceptions. Why not? There is a detailed list of reasons in this article.

 

10. Strava

Strava Top Ten Apps Smartphone Strava quickly became my favorite web-app for tracking all my running training. The website is very clean, provides great reports, and let’s you follow your friend’s training (and comment and leave ‘kudos’ on their workouts). Perhaps, the coolest feature of Strava is the ‘segments’.

Segments are user-created, user-edited, and designate a portion of route where users can compete for time. You can use segments to compare your own times, or to compare with other user’s times who have also completed the segment. Segments are a great way to see who is in your area, and to link to the type of routes other users are riding or running.

Best of all, after you upload your GPS file to the website, it will automatically see if you ran any segments and show you your overall standings in the leaderboard for that segment. The smartphone app for Strava let’s you record your run or cycle using your phone’s GPS and directly uploads the file to your account after the workout is complete. The app also lets you see your activity feed, your profile, and explore new segments. If you use Strava you can follow me here.

Strava App: iPhone | Android | Website Cost: Free (there is a premium upgrade to unlock extra features on the website).


9. iBird

For anyone who is a birder, and tech savy, this is a no-brainer compared to flipping though a book out of your backpack. But even if you’re not a birder, I can see where this app comes in handy. There’s been several times where I’ve been out hiking or trail running and have come across owls, which I think are amazing animals. But its frustrating if you don’t know the species. Having this app on your phone is the answer.

iBird App: iPhone | Android | Website Cost: Lite version is free, or $10 for pro on Android and $20 on iOS Also slated for release in 2014 is a Google Glass version.


8. Everytrail

Everytrail App

Everytrail is another website I use a lot. It is similar to Strava above, but geared towards hiking and walking, instead of cycling and running. The website allows you to comb through hundreds of thousands of user-generated trail guides. Each guide will allow you to view the GPS tracks on  a map, download the tracks, view the elevation profile, and most have accompanying pictures and or even video. (You can see the trip reports I have created here). A few features of the app:

  • Track your route with your phone’s GPS capability – see your route map drawn while you move
  • Listen to awesome audio guides that give you hands free info at key POIs along the way
  • Plot pictures taken with your phone’s camera on your map instantly
  • Download maps to use offline when data connection is spotty or to avoid pricey roaming charges (Pro Version only)
  • View stats while tracking (distance, speed, elevation and more)

Everytrail App: iPhone | Android | Website Cost: Free for lite version, or $4 for Pro version (needed to unlock maps for offline use, and to remove ads)



7. What Knot To Do

What Knot To Do iPhone

“What Knot to Do (in the Greater Outdoors) is your pocket guide to 70 must know knots in six categories. With this App you’ll always have just the right knot at the ready, with clear step-by-step tying instructions to meet any and every outdoor need”. There are quite a few knot apps out there but What Knot To Do rises to the top.  The knots are easy to find within their categories of bends, hitches, loops, bindings, stoppers, and specials. Each knot has some background detail about the knot, and explains when and where you’d most likely need to use it. Then there a several graphics that break out the process of how to actually tie the knot. A few features:

  • Glossary of terms with over 70 entries
  • Illustrated terminology examples
  • Introduction to knots, cordage and knot tying
  • Easy to follow step-by-step tying instructions

What Know To Do App: iPhone | Website Cost: Free Android Alternative: Knots Guide (Free)


6. Google SkyMap

With SkyMap you can point your phone into the night sky to identify stars, planets, constellations, and even meteor showers. The app uses your phones GPS and compass data to identify the stars you are looking at. Or, if you want to find a particular star or planet, you can do a search for it, and SkyMap will show you where to move your phone to locate it. Pretty cool stuff!

What Know To Do App: Android | Website Cost: Free iPhone AlternativeStar Chart


5. Learn to Camp

Learn to Camp App

Learn to Camp is an app developed by Parks Canada, and its surprisingly well done. It has four basic main areas; Camping Basics, Camping Checklist, Recipes and Cooking, and Find a Park. There is plenty of simple and basic information under the Camping Basics section. This information is not very detailed, but would be useful for newbie campers. The Camping Checklist lets you create a list of items you’ll need for your trip, which are added from pre-populated categories in the app. You can then cross them off as you’ve collected the items.

The app also shows you all the National Parks and general details about each site. This app is very handy. I wish they would team up with the Provincial Parks to add those parks into the app as well.

What Know To Do App: iPhoneAndroid | Website Cost: Free


4. The Backpacker Checklist

Backpacker Checklist App

The title of the app says it all. If you’re looking for a checklist that is more robust than the checklist built unto Learn To Camp (app #, above), then this is the one you want.

The Backpacker Checklist will help you:

  • Plan ahead for what to bring
  • Locate where to get your gear
  • Calculate how much your pack will weigh
  • Assist in eliminating stuff you don’t want/need to carry

What Know To Do App: iPhone | Website Cost: Free Android Alternative: Backpack Planner ($1)


3. GPS Essentials

Although you should not rely on your phone’s GPS (see side-note at the top of this post) for backcountry navigation, if you do want to record your tracks with your phone or otherwise use its GPS, GPS Essentials is hands-down the most feature-rich GPS app out there. The above video has  a nice review of the app. A few of the features:

  • Navigate, manage waypoints, tracks, routes, build your own dashboard from 45 widgets.
  • Shows navigation values such as: Accuracy, Altitude, Speed, Battery, Bearing, Climb, Course, Date, Declination, Distance, ETA, Latitude, Longitude, Max Speed, Min Speed, Actual Speed, True Speed, Sunrise, Sunset, Moonset, Moonrise, Moon Phase, Target, Time, TTG, Turn.
  • Show the orientation of the earth’s magnetic field, shows an arbitrary tracking angle and the current target. Also a marine orienteering compass.
  • Record tracks and view them on map. Export KML files and import into Google Maps, Google Earth and others.
  • Manage routes and view them on map. Import KML files from Google Maps, Google Earth and others. Create turn-by-turn instructions between waypoints.

GPS Essentials App: Android | Website Cost: Free iPhone Alternative: MotionX-GPS ($2.99)


2. My Nature Animal Tracks

It can be exciting when you discover animal tracks out in the woods. But if you haven’t studied tracks before, you’re left to guessing what tracks you are looking at. (This happened to me last year when I saw some cougar tracks in the snow).

The My Nature Animal Tracks let’s you easily identify the tracks you’ve found.  ”Search by track size and shape in seven different illustrated categories to identify over 46 animals across North America. View actual tracks in the wild, reference illustrated gait patterns, range maps, digital images of animals and listen to each animals vocalazation”.

My Nature Animal Tracks App: iPhone | Android | Website Cost: $5 Android, $7 iPhone


1. Geocaching

Geocaching is a really fun activity I’ve posted about before. The concept is very simple. You load the GPS coordinates for a ‘cache’ onto your handheld GPS or smartphone, use the provided hints, and go and try and find the cache, usually hidden in the woods or on a trail. There are different types of geocaches ranging in difficulty, but its the perfect way to have some leisurely fun in the outdoors, especially with kids.

Geocaching.com is the de-facto place to post and find new geocaches, and the smartphone app allows you to find nearby caches using your phone’s GPS. You can view hints, record your activity history, and more.

Geocaching App: iPhone | Android | Website Cost: $9.99 Android Alternative (Free): C:Geo

http://www.outdoorvancouver.ca/best-iphone-android-apps-outdoors/#comment-23504

Findmysoft.com, Aimal Track App Review.

Were very pleased to post the latest review of the MyNature Animal Track App. The app was reviewed by George Norman of findmysoft.com Thank you George!!

 

I’m a fan of the AMC TV series “The Walking Dead” and one thing that always impresses me is how Darryl (played by Norman Reedus, actor you may know from The Boondock Saints) can track animals and people in the forest. If that were me, and I’m not ashamed to admit it, I would be in a lot of trouble. My tracking skills are, well, less than spectacular.

Whenever I need help with something, I turn to software for a helping hand. There are apps out there for everything I can think of and that includes tracking animals in the forest. The MyNature Inc-developed and appropriately named app MyNature Animal Tracks is the one that will come to my aid in this situation.

When you’re out fishing or hiking or doing something else and you see a set of tracks, take out your iPhone, launch the MyNature Animal Tracks app and it will help you figure out what animals left those tracks, which way the animal is heading, and how long ago the animal left those tracks.

The developer advises anyone who wants to get the MyNature Animal Tracks app to ask themselves a few questions and if the answer to those questions is affirmative, then go ahead and get the app. Those questions are:
Are you looking for an easy and fun way to identify animal tracks and scat?
Did you always wish you knew how to identify tracks you were finding?
Do you want to make your time outdoors more educational and enjoyable?

You don’t have to be an expert to identify tracks in the wild; you just need the right app to help you out. That app is MyNature Animal Tracks. It is a user-friendly app with a large database that will help you identify what animals left the set of tracks you’re looking at and how long ago those tracks were made. If you’re an outdoorsy type of man who needs this sort of functionality, you’re very well advised to get the MyNature Animal Tracks app.

What we like

  • Easy to use
  • Nice interface
  • Large database with illustrations and beautiful photos
  • Sound files for an example of each animal’s vocalization
  • Doesn’t need internet access
  • Built-in ruler
  • Journal
  • Numerous rave reviews from the media and the users
MyNature Animal Tracks Editor’s Review Rating

MyNature Animal Tracks has been reviewed by on 08 Dec 2011. Based on the user interface, features and complexity, Findmysoft has rated MyNature Animal Tracks 5 out of 5 stars, naming it Essential

 

 

Nature Apps

This past week saw the addition of four more of our National Park Tracks, Trees & Wildflower Apps released for the iPhone. Yellowstone National Park, Glacier, Grand Teton and Grand Canyon National Park join Yosemite and Sequoia Kings Canyon in our growing list of Nature Apps.  The MyNature National Park App series are specific identification field guides for animal tracks, tree and wildflowers species found within each national park.  You’ll be able to identify over 30 mammal tracks, native trees and anywhere from 120 to 240 wildflowers depending on which national park your visiting.

Were proud to add the National Park series of nature apps to our growing list of available apps for your iPhone.  Our flagship app MyNature Animal Tracks which recently underwent a major update and the MyNature Tree Guide is currently in the shop where were updating that popular guide with a new, sleeker UI and adding a few dozen new species of trees to the list.

What’s in store for future Nature Apps with us?  Well, we would like to expand our National Park series with 1 or 2 new parks in the coming year. Within the next few weeks our newest app on Fishing Knots should be in the app store. That app will feature 13 common fishing knots and is a preview of what to expect in the MyNature Fish Guide which were hoping to have out by the Spring of 2012, just in time for Trout season!

We here at MyNature Inc. would like to thank you for your support over the past two years and we know that with your continued support and positive feedback we can achieve future growth in the field of Nature Apps and bring you exceptional content to help you enjoy your days in the field.

Happy Hiking  !!

Apps for the Great Outdoors

Much to our surprise we found out that our flagship app MyNature Animal Tracks was selected  by Apple for their “Apps for the Great Outdoors”  campaign.  This isn’t the first time Apple has featured our Animal Track app.  Last summer with the introduction of the iPhone 4 Apple had used the track app as one of their featured selections in their advertising campaign.  Were very pleased to be selected again and find it an honor to be in the spotlight, but more importantly that were helping people connect with the great outdoors and providing an education in nature.

Follow our tracks to the iTunes store and look for this icon. 

With the Mynature Animal Track app you’ll be able to tell the difference between Moose tracks and Elk tracks, Grizzly Bear scat and Mtn. Lion scat. The difference in shape of a Bobcat and Red Fox Track, read animal sign, how to make plaster cast and the best places to find tracks.

Enjoy the Great Outdoors !!

Arbor Day Sale

One of our favorite days of the year , Arbor Day is tomorrow and to help celebrate the occasion we’ll be once again having a BIG app day sale.  Tomorrow and tomorrow only!! all 6 of the MyNature Apps will be on sale for .99 cents, that’s a huge savings of $6.00 off our Animal Tracks and Tree Guide to as high as $9.00 off our National Park series.

Coming off our huge giveaway last week for Earth Day where we had more than 8,000 downloads total over a 32 hour period we wanted to once again offer a special to help promote an “Education in Nature”

If you ever wanted to tell the difference between a Moose track and an Elks track, or  Moose Scat from a Beavers (yes, their somewhat similar)  then you definitely want to stop by the App Store and pick up a copy of the MyNature Track and Scat App on Friday. We don’t skimp on our apps, we have all the mammals you would be interested in identifying included in our guide, over 45 total and each animal featured has a complete library of images including  illustrated track and gait drawings, multiple digital images of tracks in the wild, gait patterns, scat, animal sign, range maps, sound files and an image of the animal itself.

What Would Arbor Day be without a Tree? Pretty boring actually, but no worries we have over 200 trees in our Tree Guide that you would commonly find across North America. Did you know that we were in fact the first to offer a tree app that actually helped you identify a tree.  All you have to do is answer 1 or any combination of 15 easy to understand illustrated questions to give you a list of possible trees that match your answer. The more questions you can answer the more specific the search results will be and in many instances lead you to the exact tree. You’ll  be able to quickly tell the difference between a Red Pine and a Whitebark Pine, what the difference is between a Spruce and a Fir Tree. Identify a tree by the color of its bark or type of fruit. We didn’t skimp on this guide either, for every tree included in the MyNature Tree Guide you can view an illustrated drawing of the leaf or needle, a digital image of the leaf or needle as well as the fall color for many of the trees. We also have digital pictures of each trees bark, fruit, profile and range maps as well.  Were even planning a future update in the next few months and we’ll be adding roughly 24 more trees as well as a new user interface.

If your heading out to Yosemite or Sequoia National Parks this summer then you should definitely be here for Fridays big Arbor Day sale and save $9.00 on our Tracks, Trees and Wildflower app for those parks.  These are park specific guides, only the animals, trees and wildflowers that are found there are included in our National Park series.  We have the same great features from our Tracks and Tree apps combined with  Wildflowers for a very informative app on the flora and fauna of Yosemite or Sequoia National Parks. The wildflower section alone contains over 240 commonly found wildflowers. The only thing more knowledgeable than this app would be a park ranger!! Keep an eye out in the next month for this growing series of National Park apps to include the Grand Canyon, Glacier, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

Happy Arbor Day!!

MyNature Gives Big for Earth Day

Another Nature holiday has come and gone, Earth Day 2011 is over and with it our big App give away in celebration of  “An Education in Nature”  has ended.  I have to admit I was anxious to see the results of how many people took advantage of our Earth Day special.  I can honestly say I nearly fell out of the chair this morning when I saw the results, we gave a way a grand total of 6,663 apps in just a little over a 24 hour period.  The statistics are to me totally unbelievable that so many apps were downloaded in 1 day. Here’s the breakdown.

  • MyNature Animal Tracks                                  2,177 installs
  • MyNature Tree Guide                                         2,139 installs
  • MyNature Mammal Tracks                               1,006 installs
  • Yosemite Tracks, Trees & Wildflowers            950 installs
  • Sequoia Tracks, Trees & Wildflowers                  97 installs
  • MyNature State Tree Quiz                                     294 installs

6,663 total apps installed

What makes this even more incredible is the total retail value of that final figure. On any given day our Animal Track and Tree App retail for $6.99, the new National Park Apps will be listed at $9.99 each and our Mammal Track and State Tree Quiz sell for .99 cents each.  Here’s where I say Wow…… those totals have an incredible retail value give away of $41,914.53 !!!!

Now if anyone ever asks me what I did for Earth Day 2011 I can proudly smile and state that I helped 6,663 people with an “Education in Nature”.

Happy Tracking


Muskrats

The Muskrat is one of the easiest animal tracks to identify if you know what to look for. Muskrats live in and around the water and leave their tell tail tracks and sign to let us know they are around.

Muskrats have a long thick tail that drags behind them as they walk. The tail drag will show in mud or snow and is a sure give away of a Muskrats presence.  Their front foot has four toes and will measure right around 1 1/2 inches long while their back foot measures 2 to 2 1/2 inches long and has five toes.  Any time you see a set of tracks along a waterway with a thin line between them you can be pretty certain you found a Muskrat.   

Another tell tale sign of a Muskrat is their Scat. Muskrats deposit their scat on logs, stumps or rocks in or near the waters edge. You will always find them on an elevated surface. Their scat is pellet shaped when fresh but as it ages it begins to sort of melt together to form one large mass. Muskrats will often use the same site to deposit their scat in and you will find varying ages of scat like the ones in the picture above.

If you haven’t tried out the MyNature Animal Track  app yet look us up on the Droid or iPhone we now have a free  lite version. Not as good as the pro version but there is a demo in there to see what the full version contains.

Happy Tracking !!