I use a few different apps for travel and outdoor adventures that help me plan trips, find my way, see the path of the sun, take photos and more. Here’s a list of my favorites that I use on most trips!
The Outbound Collective is an organization dedicated to sharing outdoor adventure information as well as tips and tricks for travels and adventure. There is a main desktop site as well as a mobile app. I use this app in 2 ways.
First, I use the app to plan trips. On the app, an “adventure” is a trail or activity that someone has logged in the app. These Adventures will list the activity, and tell you specific information like how long the trail is, the difficulty of the trail, and the exact starting location. You can search for Adventures in a specific geographic area, and find a list of trails, paddling locations, scenic spots, and more. If I know I’m going to be in a certain area, I will often check The Outbound to see what adventures other people have logged in that location.
Second, once I decide on a few adventures, I can read what other people have said about them. Each adventure allows reviews, and people will often tell you tips and tricks to make the most of the experience.
The Outbound also has blog type features called Stories, gear lists, retreats, and more. Anyone can contribute to the community, so you can log an adventure, review an adventure, or write a story.
This awesome app will not only tell you when sunrise and sunset is, but it will also tell you exactly where the sun will be in the sky throughout the day based on your live location. For example, you can open the app, hold up your phone to the sky, and the app will show you the sun’s path for the day. The app makes it easy to plan where you want to be for photographing the sunrise and sunset. Lumos takes the experience even further, and can tell you where the sun will be at any specified date in the future. So you if you want to photograph a sunset 2 weeks from now, you can plan where the sun will be. Pretty cool right? Lumos also does the same thing for moonrise and moonset.
All Trails is a must for hiking. This app uses GPS technology to show you trail routes, and then shows where you are on the trail route in real time. The GPS location ability is crazy accurate, and I’ve been able to use the app to get back on a trail when I lost it. You can also upgrade to premium and download maps to use offline.
Google Maps is obviously a must for navigation, but I love Google Maps when traveling to a different country. Before I leave, I will download the map for the city or area that I will be traveling to, and then I can use Google maps offline when in another country.
Of course, I also use Google maps to search for restaurants, gas stations, and ice cream along my driving routes.
This app is great because it allows you to control your camera’s shutter from your phone. This feature becomes important when you’re traveling alone, and have no one to take photos for you. I will carry my tripod with me, set up my camera, and then take photos of myself using my phone to trigger the camera shutter. I’ve also used this app to take group photos. VMU is specific to Nikon, but most major camera brands have a similar app. Your camera must have wifi capabilities for this to work.
Met getting ready to take a photo of myself using Nikon VMU
I enjoy reading for fun, but don’t like carrying around physical books, so now I download all of my books to the kindle app on my phone! I save space, and always have a book with me for when I’m waiting in lines, waiting for planes to take off, or just want to read. Kindle is free, and there is a library of free books as well as books that are free with Amazon Prime membership.
Lightroom is the primary program that I use to edit photos, and the mobile version is fantastic for quickly editing photos while traveling or on the go. You must have an Adobe account to get the app.
What are your favorite travel and adventure apps? Let me know!
I'm Abby, a traveling photographer and writer, and I'm most passionate about connecting people with the outdoors, and I started this blog because I believe in the power of visual communication to move people from awareness of the outdoors all the way to stewardship of natural resources.