Download these camping apps for trail ideas, campgrounds, discounts, and more.

A campsite on a rocky flat area at Mount Rainier with grey skies overhead
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The old days of outdoor-centric app toggling on camping trips often posed quite the inconvenience. Best hiking trails in the vicinity? There’s a unique app for that. Want to camp for free? There’s an app for that, too. Road trips, off-roading, dining, or community gatherings? Yes to all. So feverish could app oscillation become that weary digits increasingly subject to carpal tunnel could make the mere thought of tent set-up a debilitating one.

OK, perhaps it was never that bad. Still, app makers have, more so of late, been doing their best to streamline the adventure experience by consolidating the aforementioned features. One such platform to do so is the Outbound Collective, which announced in December the redesign of its app as a do-it-all platform for adventurers to both plan and experience that next bucket list item.

“Sometimes the biggest barrier to exploring a new place is access to reliable information,” Outbound Collective CEO Brian Heifferon said in a release. “Our new app unlocks the local knowledge of our community and allows users to explore new places with confidence. It’s a critical component in our mission of getting everyone outside.”

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Boasting 15 million users, the Outbound Collective’s free app uses an extensive network of community-driven data to provide information on adventures and camping across the globe. Detailed GPS trail data, as well as finite particulars of campgrounds, lodges, vacation rentals, and GPX-routed trail adventures, among other features, give users a streamlined, hand-held multitool to ensure each adventure goes off without a hitch.

There are, of course, additional apps taking the consolidation leap that we at Sunset are big fans of. Including the Outbound’s newest iteration, we tossed together a list of five of our favorites.

The Outbound Collective

As mentioned, the free, redesigned app from Outbound aims to be a travel app of many hats by consolidating every bit of the planning and adventure experience into a single platform. While rock-solid, service-specific platforms like AllTrails certainly have their place, the ability to crowdsource camping, map, and hiking data from the Outbound’s robust user list is sure to go a long way.

Highlighted features of the app include:

  • Over 500,000 community-sourced photos
  • More than 10,000 campgrounds, lodges, glamping destinations, and vacation rentals
  • Over 40,000 trail-based adventures featuring GPX routes
  • Detailed GPX trail routes and elevation statistics
  • Downloadable maps for offline GPS navigation

Download the redesigned app from the Outbound Collective on iOS and Google Play.

The Dyrt

A top-ranked campground search app on iOS and Google Play, The Dyrt saw its user traffic jump by 11.8 million visits in 2021. Its one million users enjoy a crowdsourced database of campground availability broken down by each state. Users can save preferred destinations and browse a vast collection of user photos, videos, and reviews to inform which of The Dyrt’s 44,000 listed campgrounds would make the ideal destination. A handful of the app’s functions are free, but for the best features, grab The Dyrt Pro for just $35.99 a year.

Highlighted features of the app include:

  • Searches filtered by preferences for tent, RV, cabin, or glamping accommodations
  • Map layers featuring park and public land boundaries that make it easy to locate free campsites
  • Interactive road trip planning tool
  • Discounts on campgrounds and outdoor brands
  • Contact information for all campgrounds and RV parks

Download The Dyrt app on iOS and Google Play.

National Park Service

We’d be remiss if we didn’t showcase the free app from the Park Service that, while in its infancy, is a trip-planner’s dream. This capable platform streamlines the visitor experience at any of the nation’s 423 NPS locations with information on hiking trails, lodging, dining, and more. Users can personalize their home screen at any time with favorite parks or bucket list items, and downloadable information keeps the app serviceable even in remote, cell service-free regions.

Highlighted features of the app include:

  • Interactive maps featuring points of interest along roads and trails
  • Self-guided tour instructions for popular and lesser-known destinations
  • Details on local transportation, food, restrooms, fees, passport stamp locations, and shopping
  • To-do lists featuring scenic drives, tours, museums, ranger programs, and other educational activities
  • Event calendars and news alerts

Download the National Park Service app on iOS and Google Play.

Sēkr

Sēkr is a free crowdsourcing camping app that from 2020 to 2021 saw a 492% and 1,530% increase in users and user sessions, respectively. This one-stop shop offers van conversion enthusiasts a platform to connect, share safe camping locations, arrange vanlife events, and more. The recent addition of a feature called Camp Share, meanwhile, is billed as the “Airbnb of camping,” and allows land and homeowners to make everything from privately owned lots and yards to driveways or even glamping set-ups available for reservations.

Highlighted features of the app include:

  • Extensive database of free, dispersed camp locations
  • Crowdsourced activity guide specific to each destination
  • Cell phone coverage maps and WiFi filters to accommodate the remote worker
  • Road trip and event planning tools
  • Native lands map overlay that shows historic locations Indigenous peoples have called home for millennia

Download the Sēkr app on iOS and Google Play.

Trails Offroad

Geared for off-roading with a side of camping, Trails Offroad offers a database of more than 2,300 off-road trails with intricately detailed, destination-specific guidelines for a chance to get off the grid and find that dreamy, isolated campsite. Each trail in the database, which can be accessed through an interactive map, is first driven by team members of Trails Offroad to give 4×4 enthusiasts the most up-to-date information. Offroad Trails offers a free, limited access plan. However, an all-access membership option is available for just $25 a year.

Highlighted features of the app include:

  • Photos, user reviews, and GPX track directions for each trail
  • Detailed technical ratings, waypoints, and printable guides
  • Local campsite information and regulations
  • Downloadable content so you can offroad offline
  • Blogs that discuss attractive destinations, trail etiquette, vehicle features, and personal stories

Download the Trails Offroad app on iOS. (Sorry, Android users.)