Going Camping? Your Smartphone is Today's Swiss Army Knife

Must-have tool for trailblazing, sky-gazing and more.

By on July 11, 2013

Gone are the days of the camp rucksack filled with old-fashioned contraptions and pesky paper maps.

Smartphones are quickly becoming a necessity for the modern-day camper. Through a range of tools, from basic apps that provide a digital compass or a flashlight to more elaborate apps like a GPS navigator, a survival guide or a cookbook, smartphones assist campers with their outdoor adventures.

For example, before the trip begins, apps like Camp Finder help outdoor enthusiasts locate more than 18,000 campgrounds to explore across the nation. After the location is selected, AllTrails finds nearby hiking and mountain biking trails. Users can choose, track and photograph their experiences through the app.

After the tents have been pitched and the trails have been blazed, campers are bound to have worked up some hearty appetites – the kind that s’mores alone can’t conquer. The Camping Recipes! app offers access to more than 100 recipes designed for cooking over a campfire.

Even the most basic of camping experiences, like stargazing, can be enhanced through technology. Sky Map, a free guide to the solar system, identifies planets, stars, constellations and satellites when users hold their smartphones to the skies above.

Since many campgrounds are in remote locations, network coverage is an important consideration. Mobile hotspot devices like 4G LTE Jetpacks provide high-speed connectivity for many devices at once so outdoor adventurers enthusiasts can access important information, share photos or even entertain the kids.

A time-honored tradition for many families, wireless technology is securing its place in the camping experience.