In today’s world of smartphones and worldwide internet access, technology truly is a beautiful thing—especially when you’re traveling!
Gone are the days when you had to pull out the old, paper map from the glove box. Use technology to your advantage when you travel this summer.
Check out our list of the best camping apps to use on your next camping adventure!
1. Google Maps
If you use an Android device, odds are pretty good that you’ve already got this app. But even if you love another navigation system, it’s still a good idea to have Google Maps in your back pocket, just in case.
The best part about this Google Maps is that it gives you the best route in real time. This takes into account traffic, construction, and road closures. And if you’re planning to drive through any major cities, it’s important to know when the traffic is not on your side.
Also, if you know you’ll be out of cell service range, you can download a custom map. Use this when you’re hiking in the backcountry or camping deep in a national forest. You’ll get the same clarity, zoom, and functionality that you get with normal Google Maps, no service necessary.
If you’re planning to walk or take public transportation, you can change the features on this app to give you the best route. Plus, you can search for a whole bunch of other items while you’re on your route. Look for nearby gas stations, food, and entertainment and add those stops into your navigation.
Google Maps is available for both iPhone and Android users for free.
No matter what kind of rig you have, you’ll always need fuel if you plan to travel. And fuel prices vary from state to state, or even from one side of town to the next. That’s where GasBuddy can help.
Use this app to find the lowest gas price in your area. It lets you know when the gas station down the road might save you a few dollars.
It’s also a helpful tool if you have a diesel truck or RV. It allows you to search by fuel type. And it lets you report prices too. If the station you stop at doesn’t have a price listed on GasBuddy, report the price so other travelers can find it.
This app has other features too. You can find parking, identify fuel-wasting driving habits, and even set the app to alert you about recalls on your vehicle. Plus, there’s a feature called GasBack that can save you even more money with exclusive offers.
It’s free for both iPhone and Android users.
If you’re planning to do any dry camping or boondocking, Campendium is a great app to have in your arsenal. Use it to search for public land, RV parks, and even overnight parking. You can also search for dump stations near you.
Narrow your search by certain amenities like full hookups, pool, and laundry availability. Each search includes information on rig size, prices, and hookups. It also includes reviews from other campers.
Plus, every search shows a cell coverage rating for all the major wireless networks. So you can plan your visit around areas that offer the best cell coverage.
Campendium is free and the app is only available for iPhone users. Android users can use the website through their browser.
4. Night Sky
Night Sky doesn’t serve a functional purpose, but it’s a ton of fun when you’re out camping! Hold up your phone to the night sky and the app identifies planets, constellations, and clusters.
Click on objects, like planets or satellites and check out a 3D version. Plus, there’s a Siri shortcut so you can hold your phone up without launching the app and get all the information you need from Siri (iOS 12).
There’s a planetarium feature that lets you search for the nearest planetarium. And you can program your upcoming camping trip into the app to give you a tour of the sky based on your trip. Then you know when to look up when you’re waiting to spot meteor showers or the ISS flying overhead. It’s even got a detailed map of the Moon!
This app is available for iPhone users only. It’s free with limited functionality and costs $1.99 per month for the premium version, which has more detailed information and augmented reality tours.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive overview of national campsites, the Recreation.gov app is what you need. This app lists all campsites located on government land throughout the country.
You can search for a certain destination or you can choose from sites in your current location. And there’s helpful information like pictures and customer reviews to help you make your decision.
Click on a campground in your search to see which sites are available. The app gives you a ton of information about each site including whether it’s back-in or pull-through, amenities available, and the types of equipment allowed. Plus, it tells you whether the site is shaded, allows pets, and gives you check in and check out times.
Book the campsite right from the app. After you’ve booked, see a list of all your upcoming reservations and cancel or change them in the app if necessary.
The app is free for iPhone users and is coming soon for Android users.
We touched on this briefly already, but cell phone coverage is a big deal if you’re traveling. The app lets you check out the cell phone coverage maps of all the major providers in one place. So you can compare where you’ll have coverage with different providers.
This is a useful feature, especially during travel days. Getting from point A to point B is made more difficult if your navigation system isn’t working. Use the Coverage? app to figure out the best route that keeps your cell signal strong.
The great part is, you don’t need “coverage” to use it! The app works without a cell signal so you’re always plugged into where you’ll get the best signal next.
This is an especially helpful app when you’re camping in national forests or parks. It gives you the most up-to-date information on where you’ll have cell coverage within the park.
Coverage? is available for iPhone and Android users for a $2.99 fee.
You won’t find campsites on Yelp, but you’ll find a ton of other useful stuff with this helpful app. Search for dining, entertainment, or services wherever you are in the world.
If you have pets, you may need an emergency vet service while you travel. Or find the best place to get coffee on a travel day. And there’s always the possibility that you’ll need a mechanic during your trip. Yelp can help with all of these things.
Search for restaurants near you. Get maps with route instructions with each search. Find out about the prices, if it’s a kid friendly place, and check out their menu all within the app.
Read reviews and leave your own reviews after you visit a place. Plus, there are a ton of entertainment options to choose within the app. Find local farms, local museums, and information on festivals in the area.
Yelp is free for both iPhone and Android users.
Do you have other camping apps that you love? Leave them in the comments below to help out your fellow campers! And check out our website for all the camping gear you’ll need for your next outdoor adventure.