Who says technology and nature must be mutually exclusive? As the spring season takes root and more of us can’t wait to replace stale office air with the sights and sounds of the outdoors, there are definitely some cool tech tools and apps that make the great outdoors even greater.
While burying your face into the screen of an iPad while hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail seems counter-intuitive (and rightfully so), there are ways to enhance your outdoor experience with some digital assistance. Here are just a few apps and tools to keep handy while exploring your neck of the woods.
For the Birds
Available on Apple’s App Store for just $2.99 for a limited time (it’s regularly $19.99), Audubon Birds: A Field Guide to North American Birds offers thousands of photos of North American birds, and maps of real-time sightings, among other features and interactive functions.
From the developer:
The newly updated Audubon Birds app has all the right ingredients to enhance your birding experience. Now with eBird, you can experience the thrill of locating birds in real time with quick access to recent sightings, locations of notable and rare birds, and maps and directions to all the birding hotspots across North America. The best bird app just got better!
On the Right Track
A recent article in The New York Times discussed the osprey’s dramatic recovery in Queens over the last few decades and a banding initiative that allows wildlife managers and the public to track, via GPS, the movements of the grand birds with 4-foot wingspans.
For those of us who enjoy the quiet challenge of fishing, the App Store offers a handy app that demonstrates how to tie different fishing knots. Animated Fishing Knots is just 99 cents and is a great way to familiarize yourself with the art and sport of fishing.
Also helpful if you ever find yourself in a Jaws-like situation such as this:
Quint: [talking Brody through making knots] Little brown eel comes out of the cave… Swims into the hole… Comes out of the hole… Goes back into the cave again… It’s not too good, is it Chief? [Referring to Brody's messed up knot]
If you’ve ever seen an episode of the Travel Channel’s When Vacations Attack, you know a free-spirited bungee jump can go from “yay!” to “no way!” in seconds.
While there isn’t an app that can turn back time and allow you to go with your initial gut feeling of “this bungee instructor seems kinda distracted, maybe I’ll sit this round out,” there is an app that contains more than 30 first-aid topics, including CPR, bleeding, burns, choking, drug overdose, bites, stings and many more.
iFirstAid will set you back $2.99, but if you need it, it’s money well spent.
From the developer:
It’s simple one-line memory jogging format helps you act fast when you need it most, in a life or death emergency. But heaps of additional detail is always just one touch away.