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Camping Apps—Education, Entertainment, and Exercise

Want to make the most of what you see on your travels? Looking for a way to pass the time when it’s too inclement to continue your trip? Want to keep in shape while on the road? We’ve put together a list of apps that can help you learn as you go, have fun when the weather won’t cooperate, and make the most of your stops with some exercise! In addition to the description, we included a few benefits — all courtesy of the app stores.

Camping Apps

Education

iNaturalist

(iNaturalist, LLC) — iNaturalist is a social network for sharing biodiversity information, connecting people to nature, and generating scientifically valuable biodiversity data from these personal encounters. iNaturalist helps you identify plants and animals with visually similar suggestions and verification by dedicated contributors. iNaturalist is a joint initiative of the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society, both 501(c)3 nonprofits in the United States.
Benefits: Take or import a photo and view the top 10 most visually similar species matches and tap through to get more information before creating an account. Set the privacy to obscured (only general location is shared) or private (no location is shared at all, but much harder for others to help identify). The locations of species at risk from disturbance are automatically obscured. Join any of the tens of thousands of projects around the world on iNaturalist to draw attention to and collect data about particular species or places.
Ratings: Apple 4.7 stars, 3K ratings | Google Play 4.2 stars, 6,786 ratings
Pricing: Free


Merlin Bird ID

(Cornell University) — Merlin Bird ID helps you identify birds with ease, with personalized results of birds to expect based on the time of year and your location or your choice of regions around the world. Merlin shows the birds near you that match your description, photo, or sound recording without having to scan through hundreds of possibilities. It’s the most fully-featured and global bird app available, and the only one enabling both sound and photo identification powered by AI.
Benefits: Merlin Bird ID includes a digital field guide with more than 80,000 photos and sounds, as well as Expert ID tips, range maps, and photos. Powered by eBird and the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to deliver the most accurate results based on millions of sightings, photos, and sounds from bird watchers across the world. The app includes Sound ID so you can record the birds you hear, and watch real-time results show up on the screen to help guide you to the correct identification.
Ratings: Apple 4.8 stars, 35.4K ratings | Google Play 4.6 stars, 15,422 ratings
Pricing: Free


Nature Passpor‪t

(IslandWood) — Nature Passport helps kids, families and classes play, explore, and learn outdoors. Designed by experts in outdoor play and experiential education, the app uses simple games and lessons to encourage kids to think, move, observe, collaborate and create in nature.
Benefits: Nature Passport can be used in any environment, from backyards to city parks to beaches and woods. The app contains team-based activities with interactive widgets that allow users to record their experiences and observations. Activities can be filtered by type of environment, season, duration, and difficulty.
Ratings: Apple 5.0 stars, 1 rating | Google Play 3.7 stars, 11 ratings
Pricing: Free (Offers in-app purchases)


Star Chart

(Escape Velocity Limited) — Star Chart provides a high-tech window into the whole visible universe. The app uses state-of-the-art GPS technology, an accurate 3D simulation of the visible universe, and the latest high-tech functionality to calculate in real-time the current location of every star, planet, and moon visible from Earth and shows you precisely where they are; even in broad daylight.
Benefits: Star Chart automatically starts tracking your movements to match the sky when the device is held up to the sky or by using finger gestures. Accurately depicts all the visible stars of the northern and southern hemispheres – a total of approximately 120,000 stars! The app includes a Time Shift feature to move forward or backward in time up to 10,000 years.
Ratings: Apple 4.6 stars, 19.8K ratings | Google Play 4.5 stars, 165,742 ratings
Pricing: Free


Star Walk 2: The Night Sky Map

(Vito Technology Inc.) — Star Walk 2 enables you to explore the night sky through the screen of your device, journeying through thousands of stars, comets, constellations, and other celestial bodies.
Benefits: Map of the sky in real-time with 3D models of constellations and other sky objects. Touching a clock-face icon at the upper-right corner of the screen allows you to select any date and time and watch the sky of different periods.
Ratings: Apple 4.7 stars, 53.6K ratings | Google Play 4.6 stars, 21,871 ratings
Pricing: $2.99 (Offers In-App Purchases)


Entertainment

Disney+

(Disney) — Disney+ is the streaming home of your favorite stories, with unlimited entertainment from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. Watch the latest releases, Original series and movies, classic films, and TV shows with new stories added every week.
Benefits: Access to new releases, timeless classics, and past seasons of your favorite TV shows. Offers GroupWatch, a way to watch Disney+ together, even when you’re apart. Includes unlimited downloads on up to 10 devices. Over 100 titles in 4K UHD and HDR
Ratings: Apple 4.4 stars, 277.8K ratings | Google Play 4.3 stars, 1,407,295 ratings
Pricing: Free to download, requires a subscription (starts at $7.99 a month)


Google Play Books

(Google LLC) — Google Play Books has all the ebooks and audiobooks books you love. With millions of titles available. When you’re finished, find your next favorite from recommendations personalized just for you.
Benefits: No monthly subscription required. Navigate chapters with real chapter titles – not track lists. Pick up where you left off on all your devices, including in the car. Preview free samples from our catalog of millions of books.
Ratings: Apple 4.5 stars, 9.1K ratings | Google Play 4.1 stars, 1,856,667 ratings
Pricing: Free

Bonus: If you’re a booklover, be sure to check out Libby and Hoopla. Both are apps that allow you to download ebooks and audiobooks for free with a library card.


Hulu

(Hulu, LLC) — With Hulu, you can watch thousands of TV shows and movies, exclusive Originals, past seasons, current episodes, and more. If you’re an existing Hulu subscriber, you have the option to watch Live TV for sports, news, and can’t-miss events on the device of your choice.
Benefits: Get personalized recommendations every time you watch. Create up to 6 profiles so everyone can keep track of their shows, movies, networks, and more. Track your favorites by adding shows, networks, and movies for quick access across your devices. Watch at home or on the go—all on your TV, smartphone, or tablet
Reviews: Apple 4.7 stars, 1.4M ratings | Google Play 3.9 stars, 477,806 ratings
Pricing: Free to download, requires subscription service (starts at $6.99)


Netflix

(Netflix, Inc.) — Netflix has award-winning series, movies, documentaries, and stand-up specials, and with the mobile app, you get Netflix while you travel, commute, or just take a break.
Benefits: Create up to five profiles for an account, giving different members of your household their own personalized Netflix. Enjoy a safe watching experience just for kids with family-friendly entertainment. Preview quick videos of our series and movies and get notifications for new episodes and releases. Save your data. Download titles to your mobile device and watch offline, wherever you are.
Ratings: Apple 3.8 stars, 297.3K ratings | Google Play 4.3 stars, 12,272,334 ratings
Pricing: Free to download, requires subscription service (starts at $8.99)


Pandora

(Pandora Media, LLC) — Personalized listening experience that continually evolves with your tastes. Create stations from your favorite songs, artists, or genres, search or browse to find recommended stations for your mood or activity, and discover podcasts that speak to you. Download today and get instant access to your favorite artists and podcasts, while staying up to date on the most recent singles and releases. From rap and pop to rock and country, play your favorite artists and stay up to date on today’s top hits and releases. Start streaming all of the current global hits and enjoy your own personalized music experience.
Benefits: The new voice mode lets you search, play, pause, skip, adjust volume & thumb up music with a simple voice command. With Podcasts on Pandora, find your favorites and listen to personalized recommendations that actually make sense.
Reviews: Apple 4.8 stars, 8.4M ratings | Google Play 4.2 stars, 3,328,178 ratings
Pricing: Free (Offers In-App Purchases)

Bonus: There are lots of music apps! If Pandora isn’t your style, you can also check out Spotify, iHeart Radio, Amazon Music, or SiriusXM.


TED

(TED Conferences LLC) — Get personalized recommendations that match your unique interests, or browse TED’s library of thousands of inspiring, informative, transformational videos for free.
Benefits: Browse the entire TED Talks video library, with subtitles in over 100 languages. Listen to episodes of the acclaimed TED Radio Hour podcast, a co-production of NPR and TED, and Sincerely, X, where we dive into ideas shared anonymously. Log in to your TED profile to sync saved talks on all devices and download video or audio of talks for offline playback.
Reviews: Apple 4.6 stars, 8.6K ratings | Google Play 4.5 stars, 210,143 ratings
Pricing: Free


YouTube

(Google LLC) — See what the world is watching — from the hottest music videos to what’s popular in gaming, fashion, beauty, news, learning, and more. Subscribe to channels you love, create content of your own, share with friends, and watch on any device.
Benefits: Browse personal recommendations on Home, see the latest from your favorite channels in Subscriptions and look up videos you’ve watched, liked, and saved for later in Library. Create or upload your own videos directly in the app. Engage with your audience in real-time with live streaming right from the app
Reviews: Apple 4.7 stars, 23.1M ratings | Google Play 4.2 stars, 125,687,439 ratings
Pricing: Free (Offers In-App Purchases)


Exercise

AllTrails: Hike, Bike & Ru‪n

(AllTrails, Inc.) — AllTrails helps you discover the best hiking, running, and biking trails around the world with more than 100,000 hand-curated trail maps, along with reviews and photos crowdsourced from millions of hikers, mountain bikers, and trail runners.
Benefits: Find a hike, mountain bike ride, or trail run that’s perfect for your fitness and experience level, then filter by dog-friendly, kid-friendly, and wheelchair-friendly trails. Turn your phone into a GPS activity tracker and follow your trail so you don’t get lost. Easily save your favorite trails to run, hike, or bike
Reviews: Apple 4.9 stars, 611.1K ratings | Google Play 4.4 stars, 55,952 ratings
Pricing: Free (Offers in-app purchases)


Gaia GPS Hiking, Offroad Map‪s

(TrailBehind) — Navigate, track, and explore with Gaia GPS. Designed for backpacking, day hiking, camping and overlanding, backcountry skiing and mountaineering, and backroads exploring. Also used by hunters to build custom hunting maps by cross-referencing game management units with public and private land parcels. Gaia GPS is the preferred nav app for outdoor professionals, enabling them to quickly route to GPS coordinates, view recent wildfires, and share maps, tracks, and waypoints with your team to get boots on the ground faster. Guides can mark routes, campsites, and water sources, and share hard-to-find approaches and descents with clients and fellow guides.
Benefits: View your route using comprehensive topo maps and backpacking map layers, plus up-to-date weather forecast overlays. Use the intelligent routing tools to plan trips, mark campsites and points of interest, and measure distance, altitude, and elevation change. Backcountry skiers and mountaineers can apply slope-angle shading, and use the 24-, 48-, and 72-hour Snowfall and Precipitation Forecast overlays to create custom backcountry skiing maps, plan tours, and avoid avalanche terrain.
Reviews: Apple 4.8 stars, 21.1K ratings | Google Play 4.5 stars, 8,117 ratings
Pricing: Free (Offers in-app purchases)

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