5 Great Mobile Apps for the Outdoors

5 Great Mobile Apps for the Outdoors
Whether it's running, sailing, birdwatching or hiking that you enjoy, there is a mobile application available that can enhance your outdoor activity. Applications or "apps," for short, can be easily downloaded to your mobile device, allowing you to access useful information literally at the palm of your hands. You can do things like track your running mileage or identify birds by using an app on your next outdoor excursion.


If you enjoy hiking, AccuTerra On Demand Maps and GPS Tracker by AccuTerra Intermap is a useful application. This app provides Global Positioning Satellite or GPS-powered terrain and trail maps that encompasses over 5 million square miles. Maps have zoom-in capabilities and contain continually-updated trail and public land information. With accurate GPS location and colored maps, hikers with this app can easily navigate terrains and make route decisions based on elevations and distance. You can choose your next hiking destination from more than 220,000 miles of trails and thousands of picnic areas, trail heads and campgrounds. Features include recording unlimited hikes, taking unlimited geo-coded pictures linked to your hiking adventures and uploading of tracks and photos to social networking sites.

Wildlife Viewing

Those who enjoy wildlife viewing can download apps like iBird Explorer Backyard, Butterfly Collection and MyNature Animal Tracks. iBird Explorer Backyard features more than five hours of audio bird calls and songs derived from Macaulay Library Lab of Ornithology. The app is an interactive guide to bird species found in North America. You can browse through illustrations, facts, photos and bird calls to help you identify 149 North American bird species. Features include searchable bird species by alphabetical, state, province or taxonomy. Bird lovers can read about bird behavior, habitat information, diet and egg color.


Surfers can easily access up-to-date surf condition reports by using the Oakley Surf Report app powered by Surfline. This app provides useful surf information like tidal reports, wave heights and swell direction. It also allows you to monitor the weather and view two-day forecasts. View surf conditions for thousands of beaches and bookmark your favorite surfing locations. You can also search for new surfing spots and find the best surfing beaches near your location. Interacting with other boarders in your area is also available with the Oakley Surf Report app.


Runners can get more out of outdoor running with the RunKeeper app by FitnessKeeper. This app uses GPS technology to track fitness activity including your mileage, time, pace speed and calories burned. RunKeeper also maps and records your running trails, making it easy to track your activity and progress if you are training for a race. The app allows you to get the support of your friends and family and share your progress by posting your activities to social networking sites. This app also tracks other activities like bicycling and walking.


Apps designed for water recreation are also available. Boaters can sail the seas with the help of iNavX Marine Navigation by GPSNavX, or Charts and Tides by Navimatics Corporation. The Charts and Tides app provides charting for marine navigation that works well as a companion to boat navigation systems. This app can enhance your boating experience by providing you with secondary navigation for backup and alternate views. It also provides comprehensive point of interest (POI) data to help you pinpoint locations and see objects ahead on your path, such as marinas and bridges. This app supports standard National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA vector charts for data accuracy. You can expect regular chart data updates, which ensures you have the most recent navigation information.

Article Written By Rona Aquino

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.