Top Outdoor Android Applications

Top Outdoor Android Applications: "

Why is the little Android dude green? Because he loves the outdoors, that’s why. Hiking, camping, skiing, and a little geocaching for good measure. These top Android applications for the outdoors deliver real utility. And they’re mostly free.


This free geocaching app works great. It allows you to search for caches via a range of parameters: coordinates, address, geocode, keyword and much more. You can view them in an overhead map to make selecting your next cache simple and easy. Tap on the cache to get details, clues, etc. It includes a built-in compass and integrates with Google Navigation to provide turn-by-turn directions. As good if not better than any geocaching software out there.

Download from the Android Marketplace.

Campfire Games

Sitting around the campfire and looking for something to do? Pop open this app and you get a couple of dozen suggestions. Campfire Games provide written instructions for everything from classics like 20 Questions, I Spy and Thumper to some that I’d never heard of like the card game Winking Murder. Once you’ve played one of the suggestions, return to the app to rate it.

Download from the Android Marketplace.

Campfire Stories

Tired of playing games while the campfire turns to embers. Then it’s time to tell scary stories. Campfire Stories has what feels like an almost limitless number of classic ghost stories and other nightmarish tales. If you find one you like, the app has the built-in ability to share it via email.

Download from the Android Marketplace.

Dutch Oven Calculator

Ever cook in a Dutch oven? Looks simple, just fill the big cast iron pot with your favorite food, set it in the fire and come back later to eat. Well, it’s not that simple. You can use dutch ovens to simmer, roast, fry and, of course, bake. How do you control the temperature? This app takes the guesswork out of it. Pick the size of your oven, your target cooking temp, cooking method and the calculator does the rest, telling you how many briquettes to place on top and below the oven.

Download from the Android Marketplace.

Juice Defender

Most manufacturers built their Android phones around high-performance microprocessors and large high-resolutions screens. Those two components drain batteries like nobody’s business. For your Android phone to provide reasonable use in the outdoors, download Juice Defender. It has a number of standard settings and an almost limitless amount of custom settings to help you manage applications, control network connections and maximize battery life.

Download from the Android Marketplace.

Knots Guide

Ninety-two different knots including the old standbys like the Sheet Bend, Bowline and others. The interface is a little inconsistent. Some knots include illustrations. Others use photography. Despite that, it’s still a useful tool.

Download from the Android Marketplace.

Lacing Shoes

Who knew there were this many ways to lace your shoes: criss cross, over under, straight (European), straight (bar), army and the list goes on. Get six different lacing instructions with the free version. Upgrade and get a dozen more.

Download from the Android Marketplace.

My Tracks

From Google, this free application integrates with Google Maps and allows you to keep track of your hiking, walking, running just about anywhere in the world. Track time, speed, distance, and elevation. Add waypoints and share via My Google Maps.

Download from the Android Marketplace.

REI Snow Report

This is the best snow report application I’ve found. The interface is slick and easy to customize and navigate. It integrates with a program called AirMail that provides push alerts of overnight snowfall. Tap any of the summary screens for your home resorts and you get a full resort report, access to webcams, navigation via trail maps and the ability to see what other are saying about the conditions. Really well done.

Download from the Android Marketplace.

Route Central

In a new destination and want to get out for a walk, hike or run, this innovative application can help. It presents interesting routes with details and landmarks described along the way. The main application is free and it includes a number of routes around the U.S. But other routes, especially those in popular destinations like San Francisco and in international destinations, are extra. These range to around $4.99. You can also record your own route and share it via the application too.

Download from the Android Marketplace.

Runner’s World Smart Coach

Really simple, really well done. Answer a few straight-forward questions – race distance, weekly mileage, training level, etc. – and The Runner’s World SmartCoach creates a completely customized training program that helps you meet your goal.

Download from the Android Marketplace.

U.S. Army Survival Guide

The whole Army enchilada right on your Android phone. It includes every chapter including the Psychology of Survival, Basic Survival Medicine, Shelters, Water Procurement and Firecraft. It also includes chapters on survival in deserts, the tropics, cold weather and much more. You get the text and many illustrations.

Download from the Android Marketplace.

Thanks for reading this review of top Android applications for the outdoors. Written by Matt K.

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