All the camping gear

Camping & outdoor apps I wish they’d make

“There’s an app for that!” or so we say these days, but is there really an app for everything?

Here are a few handy camping apps I’ve come across and some suggestions for others I wish they’d make.

Picture courtesy of Met Office

Picture courtesy of Met Office

I love the Met Office’s weather app because of its “feels like” feature. Nevermind that it’s meant to be sunny and 13 degrees, if it’ll be windy then that will feel like 9 degrees and that means we need additional layers. It also has fab pictures so you can see the weather overview at a glance. And it tells you what time the sun goes down and, crucially, comes up, so you’ll know what time you’re likely to be woken by the kids.


Pic courtesy St John's Ambulance

Pic courtesy St John’s Ambulance

Another must is the St John’s Ambulance First Aid app. A first aid kit is clearly a staple whenever you’re camping, but what if your first aid knowledge starts and ends with putting on a plaster? The St John’s Ambulance app takes you through some simple steps and tells you just what to do. Mimi has a severe nut allergy, and while I’d like to think that people would realise if she was having a reaction, it’s not guaranteed. If they were using this app they’d quickly realise what to do and be able to give the right information to the emergency services if that was necessary. Put it on your phone, you might just save a life.

An ultrasonic bug repeller – I’ve not tried one of these, but many versions exist. The idea is that the app emits high-frequency tones to discourage bugs from hanging around. Might not be so good if you have young children or dogs with you though, and I’m sceptical about what it will do to a phone’s battery. However, if it can get rid of those large clouds of flies which hang around under trees and don’t move when you walk through, I might be tempted to find the necessary memory to put it on my phone.

BC Tent Finder - allows you to add the location of your tent, then use the GPS in your phone to find it again. Genius if you’re going to a festival (or have had one two many at the pub!) It even has a built-in torch function to help you avoid those pesky guy lines. Try also Find My Way back.

Pic courtesy Sun Seeker 3D

Pic courtesy Sun Seeker 3D

Sun Seeker 3D – helps you work out where the sun will rise and set so you can chose the optimum pitch. No more wishing you’d camped in the other corner to catch the last of the evening sun. Not a cheap app at £4.99, but perhaps worth it if you camp a lot.

Cool additions to your app collection would also be a star map (I have StarMap 3D) and Plane Spotter which will tell you where a plane is going to and from if you point your phone at it.

Apps I wish they’d make

One which tells you the perfect spot for avoiding smoke from the fire, so you don’t play musical chairs all evening, moving to avoid the smoke and immediately ending up back in the plume as the wind seems to chase you around.

A real-ale-pub-campsite combo, so you could browse campsites within walking distance of good quality pubs.

A bird-song equivalent of Shazam. Hey, I’m awake with the dawn chorus anyway, may as well know which birds I’m listening to.

Do you have any handy apps which you use when camping? Or do you have a list of those you wish they’d make?

(All links to the iPhone version of the app, but most have Android versions available)


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