Let’s face it. We’re all obsessed with apps. There is an app for everything ranging from finding the love of your life to pulverizing some confectionary during your most recent office meeting.
I’m a bit of a minimalist when it comes to apps. I have a handful of tools/apps I keep on my phone and you won’t find me furiously swiping through a million apps when looking for something I need. You’ll see it even less of me when I’m outdoors for obvious reasons. I view my phone on trips as a tool to get me where I need to go effectively and intelligently so that I can arrive and disconnect.
Let’s take a look at the Top 5 apps to use for Overlanding or just the outdoors in general.
Available on all platforms
Maps.me is a free offline maps tool which contains maps for all countries and cities. With the ability to operate completely offline and provide not only offline search, but routing and GPS positioning, it makes for a handy app to have when traveling the US and abroad. I recently relied on this app almost exclusively during a two and half week trip to Vietnam and Thailand.
I got the recommendation to use MotionXGPS from the guys on Expedition Overland. This slick iPhone/iPad app is probably one of the better full GPS alternatives out there. Boasting a huge map selection, ability to record your tracks, waypoint mapping and social media sharing, there’s not a lot this app can’t do.
Cost: $1.99 on iTunes
Nat Geo National Parks App
I spent some time here researching what would be the best National Parks App. With August 25, 2016 marking the Centennial (that’s 100 YEARS!) of the National Parks stewardship of public lands it made sense to inspire those to get out there. The Nat Geo App features thousands of GPS points of interest, interactive maps based on seasons and activity, top National Park “To-do’s” and social media sharing. This app ought to give you the right tool to get out and explore more of what this great country has to offer.
Most guys are running a ScanGauge or UltraGauge type device in their rig. With real time data monitoring and the ability to clear CEL codes it’s a valuable tool to have during those long trips. OBD Fusion is an available app offering pretty much the same functionality for a fraction of the cost. The OBD Fusion display is fully customizable to monitor real time data, perform data logging and the ability to clear codes. Now this does require you to purchase a bluetooth style OBD interface adapter, but that combined with the cost of the app is still significantly less than a dedicated gauge setup. I’m not suggesting this is better than the proven ScanGauge and Ultra Gauge, rather a cost saving alternative or (a loaner to your broken down Land Rover buddy.) simply a smart backup to have if that primary device were to fail.
Cost: $9.99 + OBD interface adapter
If you don’t know about GasBuddy, well then let me introduce you to your new road trip friend. GasBuddy is a free app which helps you find cheap gas! With the ability for users to search near them and by zip it’s a great tool to help plan your route’s fuel stops which can save you money to help offset that new winch cost. Users can also report gas prices and have the chance to win $100 by helping out. GasBuddy is a great tool to have in your Overland arsenal.
Hopefully the apps we’ve listed here will help you better prepare for your next adventure. Feel free to post up in the comments if you have any suggestions you think the community should know about!