There's no greater way to recharge your batteries and disconnect from your hectic city life, than dusting down your sleeping back, pitching a tent, and sleeping under the stars. Camping is fun! It's the perfect fresh air-filled holiday for the kids, and it's cheap if you're counting the pennies.
Plus, if you're a spur of the moment kind of guy or girl, then you can forget trawling the net for flights and hotels: just pack up the car and get yourself on the road. Camping holidays make for perfect spare of the moment trips - and let's face it, they always turn out to be the best ones.
We've selected the 13 best Android apps to make planning your next outdoor adventure as stress-free and easy as a round of Kumbaya around the campfire.
Pack the tent pegs and toilet paper: Camping Trip Planner
The most stressful part of going camping - apart from losing your mind trying to get the tent up - has to be the packing. Camping Trip Planner promises to get you Boy Scout-ready for a successful trip. This packing buddy comes pre-populated with a ton of great packing lists and 220 camping items, so you'll never forget the tent pegs (or toilet paper) again.
Decide where to pitch your tent: ACSI Campsites Europe
ACSI Campsites Europe is a huge compendium of 8,500 campsites around Europe, listed and reviewed annually. Each campsite included features all the info you'll need, contact details, and handy reviews from other campers.
Highly accurate, Compass is easy to use and easy to figure out (great for dummies like me). It utilizes GPS tracking and the Maps system in your device to always keep you on track, and can be set up for both the true North Pole or magnetic north. Groovy.
Let's face it, for 50% of your camping trip, you're gonna need a flashlight at the ready, not least so you don't trip over all the guy ropes on the way to take a whiz in the night. So why not jazz things up a bit? Color Flashlight lets you go traditional, use your LED light, add color, disco balls, candle light, and more. You can even set it to be an emergency flasher when you need it. Camping just got psychedelic.
Don't settle for a cold can of beans: Camping and Outdoor Recipes
With Camping and Outdoor Recipes, you'll be amazed at the number and variety of dishes you can make on a open fire (or a two-ring gas burner). This bright and simple cooking companion provides you with 101 delicious, and easy-to-prepare recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, from charcoal baked bananas to spaghetti carbonara. Because a happy tummy makes a happy camper.
If you're sick of doing the dirty in a ditch, you'll need to know where the nearest, cleanest facilities are available. SitOrSquat ranks nearby restrooms in terms of cleanliness. Sometimes kind (and sneaky) folks even upload photos of free toilets so that you can judge for yourself before you make an unnecessarily grody pit stop.
Map out your adventure: MAPS.ME –Offline Map & Routing
It's likely you'll be without data coverage when you're roughing it in the great outdoors, and even more likely you won't get a Wi-Fi signal. MAPS.ME covers 345 countries and islands, letting you quickly download maps for any of those locations for easy offline browsing, with nearby places of interest helpfully pointed out to you.
ViewRanger combines maps with hiking and cycling trails, giving you the right starting point (and the confidence) to head out on an adventure without fear of getting lost. It has a built-in compass, so you always know where North is, and tips from other explorers, so you'll never miss the best view points or head down the wrong path.
"The tent was just after that big tree. Or was it that other big tree?" When you're roaming around in places unknown, you're sure to get separated from the pack. Wave promises to reunite you with your buddies quickly, by simply viewing a contact and requesting to see their location. When they accept, it generates a live, private map for you to track each other’s live movements.
If you're going for a real back-to-basics approach, then this app's got your back. Survival Guide has everything you need to know about surviving in the wild. We're talking army techniques on foraging for food, water, and shelter, plus procuring everything you’ll need to make it, even if you’re armed with nothing but your phone.
You've climbed trees, stood on top of a cow, and hiked around the miles: but that damned WhatsApp message just won't send. You need Wi-Fi. Free Zone finds Wi-Fi hotspots within range, places them on a map, and even provides passwords for some of them (and no, they're not hacked; particularly lovely users share them with the community).
Squeeze out every last drop of juice: DU Battery Saver丨Power Doctor
DU Battery Saver makes the bold claim of saving and boosting battery life by up to 50%. Whether that's strictly true or not, we still love it. Find out at a glance just how long your battery will last, check which apps are consuming the most juice, and kill them straight from within.
Star Walk makes smart use of augmented reality technology, allowing you to explore the night sky by pointing your device at the stars, planets, satellites, and constellations above. Tap on each element to get more info to discover a timeline of the sky. See how things looked 1000 years ago and how they're lining up for tomorrow. Post pictures from your virtual planetarium and let your friends learn about the night sky.