These days I think it is fairly safe to say that most people have either an Iphone or an Android phone.
Although running off to the outdoors is meant to be an escape from the trappings of modern day living, mobile phones have made outdoor pursuits easier and safer. With the ability to phone for help in even the most remote of places, letting people back home know you are safe and well will also be a comfort to those left at home. I haven’t seen a phone without a camera for many years and this means you can share your travels and experiences without extra expense or having to bring more gear + weight. Let’s not forget about the humble GPS now being built into phones as standard.
So what can you get? Well the answer is some of the most useful to the most useless stuff you can think of in order to save you time finding out what the bad apps are I’ll bring up a shortlist of ones that I’ve found useful then you can build on that.
Animated knots by Grog – iPhone
I used this to learn a few knots, it has a step by step animation guiding you through the procedure of making various knots. This is handy for me as I often forget and it’s good to use as a double check for your knots. No one wants to fall off due to sloppy knots.
The website actually holds loads of info on knots but with this app you can take it all with you. You have to pay a small fee for the app but the website is free so it all balances out. The great thing is it does knots for boating and other applications, nice.
Best Knots – Animated Knots -Android
Not as flashy as the Iphone app but this gives you 18 knots and hitches for a measly 67pence
Climbing Grade Converter – iPhone
Not a bad little one this converts 13 different grade systems including bouldering grade. This
takes the thinking out of the grade system and leaves you think more on you routes. The only real downfall I can see is that it doesn’t do UK trad grades but it give plenty of other options so we will let the developers off.
Climb Grade Converter – Android
A simple app similar again to the Iphone but alas, significantly more basic. This app will convert and compare the grades based on the UIAA, France, Sachsen and USA systems most of what you need really
Google Maps – iPhone, Android & others.
There are many many GPS applications on the net but google maps is free and particularly useful for getting you to your destination especially now they have added navigation and voice commands you can’t loose.
Google Sky Maps – Android
This is a rather awesome app. It uses gps oin your phone in order to display how the sky should look at night. It helps you name the stars and can point you in the direction of the best view of your chosen star/planet/constellation . How awesome is that?
Everytrail lets you track your trip and plan your route by connecting to the everytrail database. As you progress you can upload pictures, geotag and share your trips with the online community. Great for boasting or just keeping in touch.
Compass for when google maps isn’t working right.
Compass for 3G – iPhone
Nice little app fairly simple to use and allows access to the time. This compass app has a GPS accuracy icon just so you know that you’re not fooling yourself.
Compass – Android
Well there really can’t say much for this imaginatively named app. It’s a compass and it works well. Does what it says on the tin.
Well that’s just some recommendations to get you started I will be continuing with further investigations in this area and promise to review more must have apps for the outdoor pursuits.