January 11, 2023 3 min read

A person checking a paper map and a camping app

Going for an adventure to the great outdoors is often about disconnecting from the busy everyday life and setting smartphones aside. However, some applications on your phone can actually take some stress off your shoulders, so it’s worth considering using them throughout your journey.

We’ve collected the best free camping apps that will help you every step of the way: from packing to selecting a campsite.

The Best Free Camping Apps for Smooth Travel

Below are our top app picks that are guaranteed to upgrade your camping experience:

1.    Weather Forecast - My Radar

Temperature zones on a map

Is it a good time to go on a camping trip? Find out by checking the weather forecast. However, just a regular app won’t do - after all, you don’t want to stumble across unexpected surprises like rain or wildfire.

MyRadar ranks among the 10 best camping apps for iPhone, Android, and Microsoft users. Equipped with a hi-tech and high-definition weather radar, it supplies you with all the information you need, including:

  • Current temperature
  • Weather forecast
  • NOAA weather alerts
  • Hour-by-hour precipitation forecasts
  • Direction, speed, and severity of storms
  • Disaster warnings
  • Nationwide AIRMETs and SIGMETS

With this app at hand, you’ll know exactly what to expect from your upcoming adventure.

2.    Getting Ready - PackingList

Items prepared to be packed for a camping trip

With nearly 5,000 reviews and an overall rating of 4,7 stars, the Packing List app wins the hearts of users with its simplicity paired with functionality.

This enables you to create various lists for every type of trip. For instance, you could have separate “camping ” and “fishing trip” lists and include categories like clothing, food, and toiletries. It works as a checklist, so once you’ve packed the item, you can click the box next to it.

It’s a free app, available only for iOS, that can be upgraded to a premium version that provides you with additional features, such as specifying the quantity of items and iCloud syncing.

3.    Finding a Campsite - Recreation.gov

A tent and hammock at a campsite

Once you’ve done the main preparations, it’s time to pick a destination. The Recreation.gov app has a large database of campgrounds across the country, featuring locations from RV parking to tent sites.

All you have to do is enter the area you are planning to visit, alongside your arrival and departure dates,  and the map will pin the campsites nearby that match your criteria. You have an option to select towns and cities manually or to opt for location tracking to check sites in the surrounding area.

Blue pins stand for available campsites, while the yellow ones show which spots are booked. You can either call an agent to make a reservation or do it online via the application. It is the best app for finding campsites for Androidand iOS users.

4.    Boondocking - Campendium

An RV parked in the mountains

Campendium is one of the best free camping apps for Android, providing users with great insights on where to stay overnight for free and what to expect from such locations. While it’s fairly easy to pick a national forest or BLM land on a map where you could park and sleep for free, you won’t really know what the place is like until you arrive there.

That’s where Campendium comes in, offering information about aspects like:

  • Cell service
  • Site size
  • Toilet availability
  • Presence of RV hookups

Besides, you’re sure to find the reviews section useful, as you can get even more detailed information directly from people who visited a location.

5.    Watching the Stars - Night Sky

Stars over a campsite

While Night Sky isn’t one of the extra practical campsite apps, it’s worth installing for your upcoming camping trip. It is a free application available for iOS users that love to stargaze. After all, when is the better time to marvel at the stars when you’re out in nature and away from light pollution?

After using your phone’s compass to align the screen with what you’re seeing in the real night sky, the app will give a mini astrology lesson, explaining what you’re witnessing - a star, planet, or just a satellite. This app can also help you find a specific constellation and assist you in determining the places with the best star visibility. If you upgrade to the app’s premium version, you’ll also get excellent AR tours of planets and moons.

You’re All Set for Your Next Camping Adventure!

Now you have everything you need for your upcoming camping trip. You can be sure about the weather, pack efficiently, find the best campsite for a low price, or park at a good location for free, and watch the stars when you get there. Sounds like an experience of a lifetime!

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