Tech Meets The Outdoors


Outdoor enthusiasts know that there are always adventures to be found in the great outdoors. Many of which can be enhanced by using various smartphone or tablet applications. Whether one is spending their outdoor time hunting, camping, hiking or geocaching, there is an application out there for everyone.

1. AllTrails – Hiking & Biking.


This application is designed for Android and iOS, and won’t cost a penny. It’s designed for those who spend their free time hiking, biking and the like. The application contains more than 50,000 trail guides which can be fine tuned for trails nearby, or a certain location one may be traveling to. All Trails also allows the user to view topographic maps, photos, and reviews – along with being able to save a trail offline for use when a cell or wireless reception is unavailable.

2. BackCountry Navigator.

Designed specifically for Android users this free application is an excellent resource for off-road backcountry maps. This application collects information from a whole host of free and paid sources for offline use. A user is also able to add or import different GPS waypoints, record a track, or display various map layers and sources. The application can also collect maps from free sources such as OpenStreetMap and Open Cycle Map when needed.

3. Cairn.512x512bb

When it comes to pursuing the great outdoors, safety is key. Which is why Cairn provides information on where one could receive a mobile signal on a map (while also logging their location), and it also allows the user to leave a trip plan with family and friends. This way, if one is ever overdue from a trip home, the uploaded contacts are alerted and will be given a map of location data from the most recent place the user was tracked. Additionally, it provides the user with the ability top plan to travel to places with more mobile coverage.

4. MotionX GPS.

Suitable for iOS, this 99 cent application is a navigation and GPS-based designed specifically for the outdoor sportsman and fitness enthusiast. MotionX has a whole host of downloadable maps available online, along with numerous search options for finding different tracks and destinations. It should also be noted, there are track recording and waypoint functions which allow the user to define their own routes, or gives the option to follow a pre-determined one. The application also tracks the users time, speed and distance traveled while also providing offline map storage. This allows the user to go into the backcountry, without worrying about getting lost.


A modern version of the Letterboxing game, Geocaching is a 21st-century treasure hunt, where players are anyone and everyone. The object of geocaching is to locate the “secret” location, leave a treasure in said place while taking another. That taken “treasure” will then be the “deposit” for the next treasure chest location. There is no time limit on this game and can be played at 2 or 92. It is simply a great way to get out and about, all while enjoying the great outdoors. The app (which is available for Android and iOS) takes advantage of a smartphone’s GPS features and map applications in order to provide a searchable database of geocaches. The application will also provide the user with recommendations for beginners, listings of nearby caches along with a multitude of other features.