There’s an app for everything today, including your overlanding adventures. When you’re out in the middle of nowhere and need a map or guide to different parks, wouldn’t it be convenient to open your phone to find exactly what you need? There are several free and low-cost apps you can download to your phone, so you are ready for all adventures.
The best overlanding apps include Maps.me and Cairn maps, so you always know where you are and where you’re going. You want to share your vacation photos, so Instagram is an app you need. If you’re going to another country, you may wish to download the SimpleCurrency converter before you go.
There are as many apps for your adventures as the adventures you take, and if you are anxious to get started, let’s get going!
Free Overlanding Apps for Your Phone
“If it’s free, it’s for me!” You can download the following apps to your phone for free, and most are available through the Google Play Store for Android, while iPhone apps are available through Apple iTunes and the app store.
Most of the following apps are made for both android and apple phones, but be sure to check before you get your heart set on a particular app.
If your favorite app is not available for your phone, chances are there are similar apps that will work. Do a simple Google search if you can’t find one quickly.
Maps.Me for Maps at Your Fingertips
Maps.me gives you maps at your fingertips that you don’t need an internet connection to access. You can use it to navigate where you’re going or plan your route from point A to point B and beyond.
It supports multiple stops and shows you several destinations that you might be interested in along the way. And it promotes travel around the world.
While Google Maps is helpful for many applications, it doesn’t come with travel guides like Maps.me does. Download travel guides to assist you in your trip planning, or get discounts on hotels when you book through the app.
You can make your bookmarks, which saves your favorite spots, and you can be more informed about the local attractions by reading short Wiki descriptions ahead of time. Everything is available offline, so you’ll never be without information and maps.
When you’re traveling across the country, you want an app that will show you where the best free and paid campgrounds are, where hotels and restaurants are located, and where to refill your propane tank.
iOverlander shows you all these places and add new locations for other travelers that you found interesting.
Almost everything can be accessed offline except for the map. You can even record your adventures and share them with your friends and family if you want to.
SimpleCurrency Converter to Convert Currency in Other Countries
If you’re overlanding through Europe or heading to China and need a fast currency converter even when you’re offline, the SimpleCurrency Converter has your back.
It converts 160 currencies in about 250 countries using the last known exchange rates. It has a built-in calculator, historical exchange rates, and custom exchange rates, among many other features.
The app is completely free, including ad-free, so it won’t clutter up your phone with useless ads that you don’t want. There are also no in-app purchases, which gives you the entire app features for free forever.
Cairn Maps for Safety
Traveling by yourself in the wilderness may not always be smart, but if you have the Cairn app, you can do it more safely. Download maps to use while offline, set ETA alerts for contacting people if you don’t arrive at a certain point at a certain time and find cell service based on where others found it.
It also allows you to be found via the tracking feature if you can’t contact anyone right away, whether or not there is cell service where you are. But you must download the map of the area you will be in before you leave so that it will be easier to find you.
Dive Mate for Underwater Adventures
Are you into scuba-diving at locations while overlanding? Then you’re aware of the many log entries you need to make concerning current conditions, tank pressure, and dive times.
With the DiveMate app, you can make these entries on your phone and record your adventures. You can also take pictures to share with friends or create a book.
Dive Mate is only available for android in the Google Play store, so if you have an iPhone, you may want to search for a similar app in the Apple app store.
Chimani National Parks Finder
When you’re on your way to explore National Parks in the US, you want an app that shows you specific destinations within the US parks, gives you important information about the park before you go, as well as a map of every point of interest within each park.
The Chimani National Parks app does all of this and more. You can download the main park app or just the park that you want to visit.
For example, if you’re going to Death Valley National Park, you can find things such as camping spots, picnic areas, ranger stations, and nearby museums.
You can also find out where the closest gas station or restaurant is before you go so that you aren’t stuck in a very hot place without supplies.
The information for each park app comes from the personal experiences of past visits, so you’re sure to get accurate and updated information.
If you’re looking for the best places to go for your summer vacation, you need to download this app.
Hiking Project for Fun Trails
Hiking Project is an app developed by outdoor experts from REI to give you access to over 100,000 miles of hiking trails that you can go to for your overland adventure.
It acts as a guidebook and gives you GPS coordinates, elevation profiles, and trail photos to plan your hiking trip better.
International and domestic trails are broken down by region and level of difficulty and are available for both Android and Apple phones.
Reserve America Camping Toolkit
Any camping enthusiast will love this next app. Reserve America is a suite of apps that allows you to reserve a camping spot, buy a fishing or hunting license, or even save your favorite campgrounds on your phone.
You can buy your licenses on the go, retrieve them when needed, and keep track of your adventures. And you can search through different campgrounds to find RV sites, yurts, cabins, tent campgrounds, and more throughout the United States.
Not every app is available for both Android and Apple phones.
Snocru for Snow Sports
Winter brings with it several cold-weather sports like skiing or snowboarding. Snocru allows you to track your progress, compete with other athletes, and plan your route.
You can measure your speed and altitude while checking on weather conditions on the slopes from around the entire world. It also encourages social sharing by connecting with fellow athletes.
It is available for both Apple and Android.
MTB Project for Mountain Bikers
If you love mountain biking while overlanding and are anxious to try out new spots, you need to download the MTB Project, another app developed by REI.
It gives you over 140,000 miles of mountain bike trails, shows you exactly where you are on the offline map, and it shows you pictures of prime locations you want to visit.
Are you heading to Nevada? Then locate the state, find the area in Nevada you want to go to, and check out the recommended route. Or you can search outside of the country for international adventures.
Like the Hiking Project app, you can search according to difficulty levels and regions. Available on the App Store and Play store, you can download the app no matter what type of phone you have.
Flyover Country for Frequent Fliers
If you’re always flying over local interest points without being able to touch down and explore, download the Flyover Country app. While you’re flying, you can browse your path as you’re flying over the area.
It even works offline so that you can use it on the plane. You can look up significant historical and geographical points of interest.
Later, when planning a road trip, you can use the information from the app and create the best overland adventure on your next vacation.
While this app is made for flying, you can also use it while hiking, biking, or driving through the areas. The app is available for Apple and Android.
Offline Survival Manual for Off-Road Adventures
When overlanding, you want to make sure you are prepared for anything. The Offline Survival Manual contains information on how to make a fire, build a shelter, find food, and heal minor abrasions and sprains.
If a snake bites you, or a loved one, you have the correct information to treat the bite and prevent any poison from entering the bloodstream.
The app doesn’t have to just be for emergencies, as you can use it to learn how to survive and camp in the wilderness without the pressures an emergency may bring.
Use it to practice your survival skills in a relaxed environment when you’re not panicking or nervous about a crisis.
You will find information such as how to deal with stress, basic medicine, how to make a shelter, how to make water safe to drink, and how to hunt and trap animals for food.
It also shows you how to identify plants that are safe to eat or avoid poisonous plants. You will learn how to avoid dangerous animals, while at the same time how to fashion tools and weapons to survive in the wild.
The manual is available only for android via the Google Play Store. If you want this manual for your Apple phone, you may want to look for a similar item in the App Store.
Instagram for Your Overlanding Pictures
You can also use Instagram to connect with other travelers to view their stories while sharing your stories with them.
Instagram is also a great way to document your overlanding trips. Being able to look back at your memories and share them with others is one way to relive the moment.
You will need an Internet connection to use this app, however.
Paid Apps That Might Be Useful
While free apps are better for your wallet, there are some apps that you may need due to their usefulness. If you love mountain peaks and want to climb them, there’s a paid app for that.
If you love old maps and want to see what your favorite vacation spot looked like 100 years ago, there’s an app for that.
The apps listed here are membership-based, which allows you to store maps and other valuable information on your phone for offline viewing and use, as needed.
Some may offer free, scaled-down versions of the paid memberships, so you can try it before buying it.
Gaia means “Earth,” which is a good name for the app Gaia GPS, which contains maps for every adventure you want to have. You can backpack off-grid with their trail maps that outline the backroads, all while offline.
Any established campgrounds are at your fingertips, and you will find out where you can legally pitch your tent.
There are 4X4 maps that you can use to find off-road trails to drive or find new legally sanctioned campsites that accept auto or camper camping. You will also get the weather forecasts or know when a wildfire breaks out.
The plans range from free for limited features to $36 per year for a premium membership that gives you all the available features.
Peakfinder Earth for Mountain Lovers
You hike for the scenery, the exhilaration, and the views that come from mountain peaks. Any mountaineer will love the Peakfinder Earth app because of the specific feature that identifies the other mountains in your vicinity.
- You can tap on the mountain name to see the elevation and additional information about the mountain.
- You can press the GPS tab to see a black and white drawing of the mountain peaks while tapping the photo tab will overlay the image with a panoramic sketch of the area.
- You can then edit these photos to share with your friends later.
- The telescope option allows you to find less prominent mountains and discover new peaks to explore.
The app costs $4.99 to buy, with no other hidden costs.
ROAM for Map Lovers
If you want to see maps of a certain area from over a hundred years ago, ROAM is the app for you. You can build the route you want with features such as uncharted wilderness areas, national forests, trails, and streams while delineating private land versus public land.
You don’t want to trespass on someone’s property by accident, so this app is a must for you.
At $9.99 per year, it might be worth it if you’re an avid hiker.
Sky Guide to Navigate the Night Sky
Stargazing is one of the benefits of camping away from the lights of civilization. But if you’re not an avid Astronomer, you may not have a clue what the different constellations are.
The Sky Guide app is your new best friend, as it allows you to point your phone to an area, and the app will pull up a star chart, so you always know what you’re looking at.
Night vision allows you to see supernova remnants and black holes–things you wouldn’t be able to see with the naked eye. You can also use the app to travel through time to see comets that have already come and gone, or see where the moon will be next month.
The app is only available through the Apple app store for $2.99. In-app purchases may also apply. If you’re interested in this app and have an android, you may want to search for a similar app in the Google Play Store.
Overlanding apps are very handy when you’re on an adventuresome trek, especially apps that can be used offline. Who knows if you’re going to have cell service where you go? So you want to be prepared for all situations that may arise.
Other helpful overlanding apps you might want to check out are the language apps that prepare you for traveling overseas. Babbel, Duolingo, and TripLingo are apps that teach you whatever language you need before your trip. These can also help when you’re at your destination country when trying to speak to the natives.
While some are free, others are paid, so do your homework well before deciding on the right app.