3 Great Apps To Connect Technology And The Outdoors

3 Great Apps To Connect Technology And The Outdoors

Technology will likely always going to be part of our lives. Although I encourage people to unplug and turn off devices as much as possible, it doesn't mean there aren't great apps that let you enjoy the outdoors in greater ways than we used to have available. Of course, it's a great feeling to explore and be lost, but sometimes the reality of life means we've got to use our time outdoors to the fullest.

One of the best activities to escape (the walls of your house and screens) is to get as far away from cell phone reception as possible to reconnect with nature. Yet ironic as it may be, one of the best ways to enjoy and connect with nature is to download some applications that make exploring both easier and more enjoyable.

100,000+ trails, 20 million explorers, endless memories.

The beauty of nature doesn’t need to be hard to find. All trails goal is simple - build the largest collection of hand-curated trail guides, so you can explore the outdoors with confidence. Anytime. Anywhere. This app even has a free (and actually useful) version of the app - the paid version is worth it (and no I'm not getting a referral plug).

All trails truly is a groundbreaking application. They've managed to discover trails less than 30 minutes from my home, in every direction. Before downloading, I had no idea about these beautiful trails. My favorite and often times most useful part of the paid version is the ability to download and store maps of trails I go on.

If you're out in the back country, miles away from any sort of establishment, getting lost can have drastic consequences - hence the reason we've created products like

No matter where you are, find your perfect hike, bike ride, or trail run. Filter by length, rating, and difficulty level. Conveniently find dog or kid-friendly trails. Great views are taps away. Be aware of the details before you go so you don't find yourself in an unmanageable situation.

The app lets users browse hand-curated trail maps as well as trail reviews, photos and activity recordings contributed by a community of hikers, mountain bikers, trail runners and more.

Find Your Adventure

The app for your true-outdoors types, you know, the ones who go deep off the grid. Let's always try to be honest, Gaia GPS is essentially a level up when it comes to keeping track of which way you came from - and where you're going.

The updates on the GAIA maps are epic - sharp and legible. It's easier to use, faster, and more reliable. One of my favorite features is the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Maps. They are the most trusted and highly-rated maps for America's top outdoor destinations.

All that aside, one of the best aspects is being able to use the maps using minimal battery. Typically, if my phone is running with the map up and no cellular, it will last days - if not weeks. To be clear, you don't need Wi-Fi or cellular reception for the GPS to work, not like most places you'll be heading have either of those anyway.

Everything has a price, but when it comes to value, Gaia exceeds expectations. The app has different tiered pricing plans, but for the offer on the top plan, it's worth every penny!

Identifying Plants Has Got Easier Than Ever

If you're like me, you might be strolling down a long path to the middle of nowhere and out of nowhere comes a beautiful looking plant or flower I've never seen in my life. Now, if I'm in a place with cell phone service, I can take a picture and instantly find out everything about that plant or flower.

I'm not using the word everything lightly. I mean everything; from origin location and when the plant was discovered, the family of plants, if it's poisonous to touch or eat, etcetera applications, and so on. Leafsnap is truly the worlds' largest electronic encyclopedia for plants. You are even able to shoot mushrooms or cactae!

One drawback is that if you're not online or with service, you're not able to instantly id the plant. The feature is apparently in development. You're able to store photos within the app on offline mode, which automatically update with the information as soon as you get service or Wi-Fi.

LeafSnap can recognize 90% of all known species of plants and trees, which covers most of the species you will meet in every country on Earth. Talk about a simple way to avoid a ton of itchy problems.

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