Just in time to plan your next vacation to Canada, I made up a list of my favourite Canadian camping apps for your smartphone or tablet.
I’m a strong believer in getting away from phones and computers when on holiday. But, there are times when the iPhone or Samsung can come in extremely handy when I’m on the road.
There are many camping apps out there and I suggest you try them out yourself and choose the ones that work best for you. All of these camping apps on this list I actually use myself at various times of my travels and find them useful for camping trips in Canada. Most Camping Apps are available for both, IOS and Android. Many of the best apps are free to use, some have a free version and a paid version. Using some of these apps will add to your camping experience, I can promise you that.
This is the app I use to find the best hikes in the area and to find my way around outdoors, where ever I am. If you’re a hiker and outdoor lover it is the app you definitely should try. AllTrails gives you detailed reviews and inspiration from a global community of 45 MM plus trail goers. Whether you’re planning a mountain trek or a stroll in the park, this app will take you there.
AllTrails helps you discover new trails and destinations that suit you and it lets you save trails that you want to explore later. Once you’re on the go it navigates to stay on route.
The app is also used as a Health and Fitness app.
There is a free version available as well as an AllTrails+ subscription. You also can sign up for a 30 trial for AllTrail+. The AllTrail+ offers Offline maps, wrong-turn alerts, 3D maps and a Distance Away feature.
Never been camping? Not sure where to get started?
If you are a newbie and planning a camping trip to Canada’s national parks, then this app is for you!
You will find tips, advice, and all the information you need to plan and enjoy your first camping trip in the big white north. For the already experienced camper, enjoy the camp recipes, checklists, and insider tips.
Learn more about the Park Canada Camping app and where to download it for free.
This is an excellent camping app and is super useful when travelling to new places. It is one of the camping apps you don’t want to be without.
Wikicamps is a user-generated camping app for Canada and is useful when you go camping in Canada. This means people who use the app can enter campsites and other useful information and pictures.
Wikicamps also works offline with the ability to download all site and user content, as well as a high-quality offline map.
You’ll find information about RV parks, roadside rest areas, free and paid campsites (like those in national parks), points of interest, and how well the campsites are accessible.
The database is constantly growing and always being updated with the latest information about sites from all over Canada.
There’s also an active user forum, where you can ask questions and share experiences with other people who use the app.
The downside of the app is that some people may add incorrect information and coordinates. This happens with many other guides, which is why it pays to have more than one source of information if something doesn’t quite seem right.
This is another app you want to have for your Canadian camping trip. It is a database of campsites and many free boondocking places off the beaten track and includes amenities, photos of the campsites, and GPS coordinates. I use this app nearly daily when I’m road-tripping in Canada.
It helps you find the best camping spot with detailed descriptions which is extremely helpful when you’re on the road. You have the option to search the listings or browse on a map!
In addition to finding places, you can add new places, record your trip, and share places with friends or other travellers. All of these features will work offline, except you will not be able to view the map.
Whether you’re interested in camping at Provincial or Territorial Parks or discovering remote locations totally off-grid throughout Canada, Campendium will help you with this. Campendium helps you find dump stations and parking lots for an overnight stay on your way to your destination. It’s a great resource for free and paid campsites and the website is well-designed and user-friendly.
If you rely on cell signals, Campendium offers a cell signal report.
From any device, you can access Campendium, but you can also use their app on your iOS or Android.
Not sure what to do in an emergency? Can’t remember whether you should bandage or splint a suspected fracture?
Then THIS app is for you.
The Canadian Red Cross’s First Aid app will supplement your first aid kit, and tell you what to do if someone is injured out in the backcountry.
It’s one of the suggested camping apps which is easy to use and comes with step-by-step instructions for all common first-aid situations. There’s information on CPR, treating breaks, bites, stings, burns, allergies, blisters, and more.
As it’s one of the FREE camping apps, there’s really no excuse for not having it on your smartphone.
With the SkyMap app, you can point your phone into the night sky to identify stars, planets, constellations, and even meteor showers. The app uses your phone’s GPS and compass data to identify the stars you are looking at. Or, if you want to find a particular star or planet, you can do a search for it, and SkyMap will show you where to move your phone to locate it. You will see, this is pretty cool stuff!
If you are interested in birds you MUST get this app. I guess if you are a bird lover you probably already have it.
No more carrying field guides around when you’re out on a short walk or if you’re just wondering what bird is calling in the trees above your camp.
The Audubon bird app has pictures, and notes on the appearance, habits, and where the birds are found. It has maps showing the living range and BEST OF ALL: playable bird calls.
The app allows you to search by the physical features of the bird, which is great if you don’t know a Stellar from a House Sparrow. You can also search by name and by taxonomy if you’re a real bird nerd.
The app also allows you to save your sightings to a list, with the date, location, and room for notes.
I even use this app when I’m at home and watch the birds at my feeders. That this app is free surprises me.
I’m always excited when I discover animal tracks out in the woods. Unless you studied track reading before, you’re left to guess what tracks you are looking at.
I was up on a mountain with a friend a couple of years ago when we saw cougar tracks in the snow, and deer tracks just next to it. I even got a picture.
The My Nature Animal Tracks lets you easily identify the tracks you come across. Search by track size and shape in seven different illustrated categories to identify over 46 animals across North America.
View actual tracks in the wilderness, reference illustrated gait patterns, range maps, digital images and great photos of each animal featured.
You don’t need a wireless connection once you downloaded the app.
If you don’t know what Geocaching is all about, then start by reading my geocaching guide to this addictive high-tech treasure-hunting game that kids and adults love.
You load the GPS coordinates for a geocache onto your handheld GPS or smartphone. Using the provided hints you look for the hidden treasures which are usually hidden in the woods or on a trail. The caches might be in a small box or Tupperware container, packed with souvenirs and a log book.
You sign the log book and register that you have found the cache using the app. And off you go to the next one. Over two million geocaches are hidden all over the world, so finding a few should be fairly easy.
There is a free ‘intro’ version of the app but you can only find four geocaches before you need to download the full version of the app.
I suggest skipping the free intro version of the app and downloading the full version. This game is lots of fun, not only when you go camping.
A list of camping apps wouldn’t be complete without a navigation app.
Although you should not rely on your phone’s GPS for backcountry navigation, this is a good app to have. The app gives you similar mapping options as you might know from Garmin or Magellan GPS handhelds.
Use this navigation app for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, camping, climbing, riding, skiing, canoeing, or off-road 4WD tours. You can preload FREE map data for areas without cell service.
Toporama Maps Canada are the most recent topographic maps of Canada and contain many small trails and 4WD tracks that are missing on other maps.
The free app has various limitations but there is a paid PRO Version available.
Most Canadians know the beloved Backroad Mapbooks. Now they are available on the go. Get the same maps on your smartphone and download selected areas for offline use. BRMB maps are Canada’s most detailed topographic road and trail maps for camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, ATVing, snowmobiling and more! You get an account for both, web maps and the app with Canada wide coverage.
BRMB maps are the most up-to-date, accurate and detailed maps and outdoor recreation guides on the market.
This is an app suggested by a reader and is definitely a good one to be added to the list of best camping apps for your camping trip in Canada.
Spyglass is a great navigational toolkit for outdoor navigation. It’s crammed with all that necessary data like GPS coordinates, current azimuth, altitude, speed, potential arrival time to your target and much more. It can read pre-opened maps later when offline and provides you with extremely precise information.
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Yrene lives in the Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada, and is the founder of BackcountryCanadaTravel.com. She was born in Switzerland, lived and worked on different continents and has travelled the world. Yes, that's me, an Entrepreneur, wilderness nut and animal lover who prefers off-the-beaten-track places. I write about things I love. Mostely.
I would also recommend Spyglass – it’s a great navigational toolkit. It’s crammed with all that necessary data like gps coordinates, current azimuth, altitude, speed, potential arrival time to your target and much more. It can read pre-opened maps later when offline and provides you with extremely precise information. Here it is, if interested https://itunes.apple.com/app/spyglass/id332639548?mt=8&at=11lLc7&ct=c
There exists an iOS app called “The Ultimate Canadian Public Campground Project” and it shows over 4080 campgrounds throughout Canada.
Thanks for your tip William. I just looked at the app and it looks great. I will try it out myself when I’m on the road again. Thanks again and best wishes to you!