Upventur 2017 best of: Apps

 

Unplugging from an always-connected world can be liberating and refreshing, but let's face it, without a phone in this current world, we're simply lost. These were the apps that lent us a hand and gave the outdoors a new perspective. Let us know some of the apps that you used in the outdoors this year. It's true what they say, that there is an app for everything, so here are our five favorites. 

 

Hipcamp

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If you have not heard of Hipcamp, it is like the Air BnB for renting out camping spots; get on the app, pick your location and rent out a space for the night. It is less glamorous than a three-story condo, but for campers, it makes finding a place to set-up a breeze. The information on campgrounds is robust enough that you should get an idea of what the site is like, offering information like availability of bathrooms, and types of activities.

Why you should use it:

It makes camping way easier than it needs to be, you can secure your spot weeks or months ahead and find the place you want instead of settling for whatever campground you can find. And it is way cheaper to camp than to stay at a hotel, obviously.

 

All Trails

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Hikers, trail runners and all other individuals who use trails love this app because it is such a useful resource. Type in your location and find out where the nearest trail is, how long it is, and reviews left by fellow hikers. The pro version allows you to save maps for offline use and even print them out, and If you are feeling like a trailblazer, you can draw your own trail.

Why you should use it:

Unlike trail running or mountain biking, to hike all you need to do is put one foot in front of the other and go at whatever pace you like. Just have fun and enjoy the outdoors.

 

Fitbit

When it comes to fitness tracking, Fitbit is the obvious choice, and with many different varieties of its trackers from the Alta to the Ionic, one thing has remained constant; the Fitbit app. As I mentioned on the Best of Tech 2017, I was not entirely in love with the Blaze, but the app itself I enjoyed thoroughly. Of course, it tracks, but it is the way the app presents the information like the sleep tracking, for example, it shows the time asleep, but breaks it down further by stages.

Why you should use it:

Maybe you are not a hardcore fitness person, but seeing your weekly stats might motivate you to improve next week’s, or to challenge your Fitbit friends to a friendly competition. Track your water, steps, stairs, sleep, and exercise—you may learn something about yourself.

 

Geocaching

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Geocaching in its most basic form is about hiding something somewhere and then sharing the location for others to find. You can check out this article I wrote to learn more about geocaching. The geocaching app is straightforward, either type in your location to find geocaches or upload your own. Once you have found one you can add it to your log for others to see.

Why you should use it:

It is a good reason to step outside, and while some of these are challenging find it is a good way to flex those detective skills you didn’t know you had. If you really like it, you can upgrade to the premium membership that adds more features such as sorting and looking for premium caches, your choice.

 

Strava:

Website

Strava is not a new app, but it continues to dominate in the exercise tracking market. Track your cycling, running, mountain biking just by having your phone, or one of the many compatible Strava watches and fitness wearables. Like with most other apps there is a premium version with more detailed stats and options, but the free version provides enough information for beginners.

Why you should use it:

Whereas Fitbit tracks steps and heart rate, Strava captures your routes and has a robust social media platform baked into the app. With speed, time and elevation tracking, Strava pushes you to do better next time and provides the stats in a clear design to get you motivated.