As pure as we would like the outdoors to be, it will never be the same because of the world we live in. Even in the backcountry people carry their phones, solar-powered batteries, and smartwatches. Gadgets are useful, and you can expect a write-up on that soon enough, but with the IFTTT app, you can automate some tasks that will help you get outdoors.
IFTTT, which is short for If This Then That, was founded in 2010 and it links apps together to automate tasks. For example, you could connect the ESPN app to your Hue lights and create an applet that makes the lights flicker or turn a specific color when your team scores. There are many combinations with more companies and apps jumping on board every day. Here are some of our favorite ones for the outdoors—you can tweak all of these to your preference.
All images were screen captures from IFTTT
If you own a Fitbit, but you find yourself never completing any of the challenges or meeting your goals, maybe you need some motivation. By connecting Fitbit to Qapital, you could create an app that transfers a certain amount of money from your checking to your savings every time you meet your daily step count. This is a great way to save some extra cash for plane tickets or that brand new pair of boots that have been on your wish list for a while.
If you are more of an athlete and like to time and analyze your runs or bike routes, then this might be better suited for you. This applet is similar to the one above, but instead this one focuses on completing an activity. Let’s say you are having a challenging time with a particular mountain biking route and you can’t seem to finish. With this applet, once you do complete it, you can send some cash over to your savings and save up for some better wheels or a sick-looking helmet.
If you are like most people and use your smartphone as your primary camera, then this applet is perfect for traveling. Instead of having to go back later and having to sort your photos, you can set your phone to place all vacation photos in a separate folder. The app works by placing any photos you take in a specific location to a folder. The app does need your location data, so be mindful of that.
You come home from work and decide that you will go on a run later, but mid-run you realize it has gotten way colder than you expected. This applet will notify you if the temperature goes above or below your designated variable. In the Summer you may want to know if it will top 100 Fahrenheit while you are hiking, or if it will drop into freezing temperatures in the winter.
This will come in handy and will let you know if you need to bring extra layers. I use this applet all the time because I almost never check the weather, but I get a notification if it will rain tomorrow based on my location. This could make a lot of difference if you are cycling or participating in most outdoor activities. Alternatively, you can also tweak this applet to send you a weather report every morning, which includes the highs, lows and some other minor details—mine comes as a push notification.
The New York Times is a highly-esteemed publication known for hard-hitting news, political coverage, and overall award-winning journalism but they also have a great travel section that most people do not know about. This applet will save all new articles into a folder for future reading. This is a great way to catch up on reading when you are somewhere without internet access like an airplane or your grandma’s house. You could also tweak the applet to save to Pocket.
This applet is a game changer if you are eyeing a piece of gear that’s just slightly out of your budget. For example, I am in love with the Sony Alpha mirrorless camera series, but the $1000 price tag is out of reach at the moment. Luckily, Best Buy is constantly updating their prices on lots of products, and the Sony α7 goes on sale sometimes. The applet will update you—through email or SMS depending on your preference—when the price of the item changes, so you never miss out on a sale. You can set the applet to alert you on any Best Buy product, like a GoPro or DJI drone.
If you are looking into purchasing used gear like a bike or a snowboard, this applet will alert you when new search results appear on eBay. Every time that a new result goes up you will get an alert so you can bid early and get what you are looking for. I set up this applet to alert if there were any new results for North Face tents under $300.
A few years ago everyone was posting through Facebook and linking the same post to Instagram and Twitter, but it got stale and boring, so people stopped. However, there are times when you do want to share a post on different social socials. This applet shares your tweet to Facebook when you use a particular hashtag of your choosing—like #Upventur. If you are on vacation and don’t want to waste your time posting on multiple social channels, this is a more convenient way of doing it.