Best apps for campers: Part 2

By: David Cook, Photography by: CAMPER crew


Let’s take a look at part 2 of our best apps guide - you are guaranteed to find one that helps make your next camping trip that little bit easier.

TOOLS

VMS

VMS Map Explorer

Claiming to be the world’s first offline 4WD navigation app using real time 3D topographical maps, VMS is easy to use in terms of locating your position relative to landforms revealed by NASA’s Shuttle Radar Topography. Includes 2500+ maps available to download plus the option to purchase more. Vic, NSW, Qld topo maps, Westprint and iTopo maps included. Other maps subject to variable charges because of state data charges. 1000 searchable points of interest, 180,000 searchable Australian cities, towns, regions and landmarks. Includes adjustable height exaggeration to enhance landforms, can record track logs, add waypoints and create routes following 3D terrain or streets.

Cost: $99.99

Rated: 7/10

FLASHLIGHT

Flashlight

One of many flashlight apps. We like it for its adaptability – adjustable screen and LED light, customise the colour, SOS mode, adjustable strobe effect and more. Keep an eye on battery consumption. This one is only for Apple but there are numerous other options for Android.

Cost: Free

Rated: 8/10

SUNRISE SUNSET TIMES

Sunrise Sunset Times

For those wanting sunrise and sunset times to the minute, this app will give you first and last light times for where you are, not the nearest city. It also lets you know how much daylight is left in a day, or how long until first light, dates of the equinox and solstice, plus much more. This one is for Apple only, but similar apps are available for Android.

Cost: Free

Rated: 9/10

NO MORE MOSQUITOES

No More Mosquitoes

One of a large number of apps claiming to keep mosquitoes at bay with an "ultrasound" (that can't be heard by most humans, though many who can hear it find it annoying) that simulates the sexual call of the male mosquito, causing repulsion to the already fertilized female mosquitoes, the ones which bite. Such repellers, which can be purchased separately, are widely thought not to work but as the app is free (if you don’t mind the ads) and non-toxic it’s worth a try – some users report success.

Cost: Free

Rated: 6/10

NIGHT SKY

Night Sky

Night Sky gives you all you need to know about the sky and stars above. Just point your phone to the sky to identify stars, planets, constellations and even satellites. Available in Lite (free with ads) and Pro (paid) versions. The Lite lacks some features but is still excellent. Features New Sky View with a new level of detail, new colourful atmosphere and animations; 3D Earth View to explore the globe in 3D graphics; Night Sky Community to engage with fellow stargazers and astronomers; World Traveller to explore the sky from anywhere in the world from wherever you are; Stargazing Conditions to give you the coming week’s viewing conditions; and the Latest Night Sky News with coming eclipses, all annual celestial events, and even stargazing events local to you.

Cost: $1.99

Rated: 8/10

THINGS TO DO

NATURE NEAR ME

Nature Near Me

Created by the NSW Government to help people explore NSW’s unique natural places. Use the map to view different types of environments like old growth forest, rainforest, woodlands, grasslands, great spots to see animals, marine sites, whale watching locations, great views, rivers, wetlands and more. Plan your nature journey and create your own itineraries to access sites when your device is out of range. Set alerts to be notified of approaching natural places of interest, and share places using social media. Highly rated when first released but many now report unworkability. Most states create similar apps for their regions.

Cost: Free

Rated: 7/10

AUSTRALIA FREE

Australia Free is a guidebook to Australia for the budget-conscious traveller. It brings you the best free places to stay (including campsites), things to do and sights to see. Based on the bestselling book of the same name, the app has all the content for $6 – a whole lot cheaper than the $55 book.

Cost: $5.99

Rated: 8/10

COOKING

CAMPING & BBQ RECIPES

Camping & BBQ Recipes

This app is typical of many offering camping recipes. Recipes cover breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. There are recipes for different techniques including over a campfire, camp oven and foil cooking, plus cooking without utensils, base camp meals, trail food and more. Mark recipes as favourites, add comments, add your own recipes and share with Facebook or email. Requires largish memory chunk of 60MB.

Cost: $1.49

Rated: 8/10

DUTCH OVEN HELPER

Dutch Oven Recipes

Americans refer to camp ovens as Dutch ovens – although this has a markedly different connotation in Australia! Great for calculating the number of heat beads needed to cook in your camp oven when you can’t have an open fire to get coals. Choose the temperature, oven size and cooking method and it will give you the number of heat beads on top and beneath your oven.

Cost: $1.49

Rated: 9/10

SAFETY

EMERGENCY +

Emergency +

Emergency + is a national app developed by Australia's emergency services and and industry partners to help people call the right number at the right time, anywhere in Australia. The app uses your phone's GPS function so callers can provide emergency services with their location information. Emergency + also includes SES and Police Assistance Line numbers as options, so non-emergency calls are made to the most appropriate number.

Cost: Free

Rated: 8/10

FIRES NEAR ME

Fires Near Me

The official NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) app for emergency warnings and incident information. Provides information on incidents across NSW attended by the NSW RFS and other agencies. The NSW RFS recommends users to not rely solely on the information provided in the app, and utilise other communications channels such as the public website (www.rfs.nsw.gov.au), the information line (1800 679 737) and the media.

Cost: Free

Rated: 8/10

NATIONAL BUSHFIRES

National Bushfires

The latest bushfire news, incidents, warnings, fire danger ratings and fire district forecasts for all states of Australia. Bushfire incident maps updated from the latest fire authority feeds. Satellite Hotspot map to identify possible fires picked up by orbiting satellites. All data sorted by state to ensure the quickest ready access to relevant, up to date information. Critical information such as emergency radio broadcast frequencies and bushfire safer places is stored on your phone for quick access without mobile internet connection. New features and performance improvements being added regularly.

Cost: Free

Rated: 8/10

SAS SURVIVAL GUIDE

The latest bushfire news, incidents, warnings, fire danger ratings and fire district forecasts for all states of Australia. Bushfire incident maps updated from the latest fire authority feeds. Satellite Hotspot map to identify possible fires picked up by orbiting satellites. All data sorted by state to ensure the quickest ready access to relevant, up to date information. Critical information such as emergency radio broadcast frequencies and bushfire safer places is stored on your phone for quick access without mobile internet connection. New features and performance improvements being added regularly.

Cost: Free (lite), $9.99 (full)

Rated: 8/10

Check out the full feature in issue #119 of Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Subscribe today for all the latest camper trailer news, reviews and travel inspiration.