Don’t you love camping tips that take the work out of camping so you have more time for fun? These are the best camping apps that can help you plan and enjoy every aspect of your road trips and camp adventures in the great outdoors … and they are FREE!
The Best Free Camping Apps For Your Entire Trip
Some of the best camping gear is not physical but digital … who would have guessed that?
There are so many camping apps to help with travel routing, campsite selection and camping activities, we’ve grouped them in the following categories:
- Apps For Traveling
- Apps For Traveling & Finding Camping Destinations
- Apps For Finding Camping Destinations & Activities
- Apps For Hiking, Fishing & Bird Watching
- Apps For Health & Safety While Camping
- Apps For Finding Water & RV Dump Stations
Apps For Traveling
App: Google Maps
Features: The ever-so-popular Google Maps app is great for camping because you get real-time GPS navigation, traffic and transit information. It will calculate your real-time ETA based on traffic conditions. The Live View feature lets you visually see the way you need to go with arrows and directions. You can also see restaurants, events, activities as well as reviews and photos from other users. Offline maps allow you to search and navigate without an internet connection.
No matter how great the distance you are traveling, we recommend stocking your RV tool kit with the essentials we have listed in our FREE printable checklist!
Features: This app lets you easily find the best gas prices along your route of travel or for any destination you are planning to travel to in the future. You can filter by type of fuel, price, location, brand, and amenities like car washes, restaurants and restrooms. As a user, you can report gas prices, write reviews, upload photos and add tips for locations in the USA, Canada and Australia.
We often find Costco gas is the best value. If you have not purchased from the warehouse before, we have tips on how to buy gas at Costco even if you don’t have a membership.
In addition to finding cheap fuel, you can reduce your fuel burn if you reduce the weight of your vehicles. We discuss that and more RV camping tips for beginners.
App: iExit Interstate Exit Guide
Features: This app determines where you are on the highway and displays upcoming exits in real time. It automatically provides a summary of each exit but you can also search for businesses, amenities, rest stops, hotel deals and more. It is helpful if you are searching for free camping overnight parking options. It uses your phone or tablet’s GPS for navigation but can also display results if you have a connection to the internet.
Features: This app allows you to choose from size ranges for your vehicle and provides semi-truck sized friendly routing as well as information on weigh stations, truck parking and fuel prices.
Is Your Travel Route Safe For Your RV?
We have an entire blog post to help with RV travel tips for RV safe routes too.
Free Printable Camping Route Planner
As you build your travel route, use this FREE printable camping route planner to ensure you are planning for essential details on your travel days.
Apps For Traveling & Finding Camping Destinations
Many of these apps are great for determining campsite size restrictions if you have a larger RV or big tent set-up.
Features: This app features places for camping as well as hotels, restaurants, mechanics, water, propane filling and more. You can search the listings or use the map feature to find details including amenities, photos, date last visited and GPS coordinates. As a user, you are able to add new places, record your trip, and share places with friends or other travelers. Everything, except map viewing, works even when you have no internet connection.
Check out our tips so you can always find propane refill near me, no matter where you are camping!
App: ParkAdvisor RV Parks & Campgrounds
Features: This app includes over 40,000 privately owned RV parks, campgrounds, rest areas, gas stations and stores throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It also features U.S. Forest Service, State Park, County/City Parks, BLM, Fairgrounds, U.S. Military Campgrounds, U.S. Air Force FamCamps and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It is also a useful resource for the travel portion of your trips including information on rest areas, welcome centers, RV dump stations, casinos, low clearance and fuel stops such as Pilot Flying J, TA Travel Centers, Petro Centers, Loves Travel Stops, AMBEST and more.
If you choose USFS spots, know the rules when camping in National Forests so you are legal and a good steward!
App: RV Parky
Features: This app features over 25,000 locations throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico including RV parks, campgrounds, rest areas, Walmarts, Camping Worlds, Cabella’s, Cracker Barrels, and Truck Stops. You’ll find information, photos and directions to your desired destinations within this app.
No matter where you are camping, use these camping security tips to keep your family and your valuables safe and secure.
Apps For Finding Camping Destinations & Activities
Features: This app has the most unique one-of-a-kind camping destinations located on private farms, ranches and vineyards … plus, it includes places like private treehouses and beach-side cabins. You can also find a huge collection of tent campgrounds, RV parks, comfy cabin rentals and public parks across the country. It allows you to see real-time availability, photos, reviews and find and reserve public campgrounds across the U.S.
If you decide to glam it up, make sure you pack a few glamping accessories for your trip!
App: The Dyrt
Features: You can search over 500,000 locations to camp across the U.S. The app provides reviews on tent, RV and cabin sites which are submitted by real campers. You can book sites directly in-app.
Premium Version: The Dyrt PRO Offline Mode allows you to find campsites when you have no internet connection.
If you are camping without hookups, here is how to charge phone while camping without electricity so you can continue to use all of these awesome camping apps!
App: ReserveAmerica (RA) Camping
Features: This app lets you search across the U.S. for available camp sites in state, federal and private parks and campgrounds whether you are camping in a tent, RV, yurt or cabin. You can filter by location, date, or amenities and you can save your filters so you can easily use the same parameters on future searches. Campground details, reviews, photos and bookings are all available in this app.
If you like to raise a flag to designate your campsite, these camping flags are fun, colorful and full of personality.
App: Passport America
Features: This app is free for anyone to use … and, if you are a member of the Passport America Discount Camping Club, you get 50% off the published rate for the camp spots in the directory. It includes information on approximately 1,800 campgrounds, RV parks and resorts throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Within this app, you’ll find map navigation, directions, trip routing, information on amenities, rentals, highlights, contact details etc.
This is a great companion when you are looking for interesting camping road trip ideas, like traveling across the country along Route 66 to see the National Park Service’s Route 66 Sites as well as roadside attractions that celebrate a bit of Americana too.
Features: This app has a database of tens of thousands of camping locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. There are 200,000 plus members that upload photos and give helpful reviews, road condition and cell service reports on National Parks, public lands including National Forests, BLM, State Parks, County & City Park Campgrounds, RV Parks and free dispersed camping sites.
This is one of my favorite camping apps to find boondocking sites in areas that we are visiting for the first time.
I also use it for finding first come first serve campgrounds. If you are asking, “what are walk-up only campsites”, we can answer that question as well as give you tips to find the best sites!
If you need free camping tips, we’ve got tons of them.
Features: This app has over 770 boondocking locations throughout the U.S. and can be viewed in multiple map types. You can see the distance between your current location and the boondocking location you are researching as well as get the local weather for that location.
We use this app frequently and it helped us discover some awesome off-the-grid camp spots where we are self-contained using our portable solar panels for RV camping for our power supply.
Features: This app makes it easy to find and book federal campsites and federal recreation activities. You can see location details, photos and maps of campgrounds and campsites and filter by price, amenities, site type, and more.
When it comes to trying to book a camp spot in the really busy National Parks, I would not use any app other than this one. That is how we got a prime spot in Yosemite a few years ago. If you are planning a camp trip there, make sure you check out our Yosemite National Park Must See Attractions VIDEO And Tips.
Features: This app is not exclusively for camping, it is for traveling in general and it is comprehensive. For camping specifics … it does have a section devoted to Camping & RV which includes tent campgrounds, RV parks, KOA campgrounds and cabin rentals. It also has a section devoted to Outdoors which includes geographical areas, geographical features, National Parks, parks & gardens, scenic points and trails & hikes. Beyond that, it has hotels, things to do, food & drink, points of interest, amusement & nightlife for locations across the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
We used the free version of this app to plan a lot of our day trips when we were free camping near Monument Valley in the Valley Of The Gods.
Premium Version: Roadtrippers Plus, which gives you up to 150 waypoints (you get 7 with the free version) per trip and exclusive deals, custom map styles, and offline maps.
Features: This app features reviews, photos, hours and location information on local restaurants, hotels, attractions and professional services businesses near your location. It has over 135 million reviews of businesses throughout the world. You can filter by neighborhood, distance, rating, price, and hours of operation. It uses GPS to provide navigation to your selected destination. You can make some reservations directly from the app.
We don’t use this app often but when we do, it is because we are in more congested areas, like camping at the Grand Canyon, and we are looking for good restaurants and attractions that are nearby.
FREE Printable Camping Trip Planner Template
As you use these apps to do your research for your trip, you’ll want to capture all of the details on our FREE printable camping trip planner template!
Apps For Hiking, Fishing & Bird Watching
In other words, these apps are all about having as much camping fun as you can handle!
Features: This app features over 100,000 hiking, running, and biking trails around the world. In addition to trail maps, reviews and photos … you can find dog-friendly, kid-friendly and wheelchair-friendly trails for your fitness and experience level. You can use your phone as a GPS activity tracker to follow the trail without getting lost. The detailed GPS driving directions will take you directly to the trailhead.
The free version of this app has taken us to some of the most beautiful trails when we go dispersed camping along Forest Road 525 Sedona, AZ … we had a hot air balloon land at our campsite there! Check out our VIDEO!
Premium Version: AllTrails Pro allows you to download maps and track your location through your GPS so you can use them even when you don’t have a signal. You get off-route notifications, can assign safety contacts who know your plan and can track your progress, get real-time map overlays including air quality, satellite weather, pollen, and light pollution information.
Features: This app provides description, recent activity, attributes, and hints for each geocache and allows you to navigate to the cache using map, compass, or driving directions. The Live Search updates nearby geocaches continuously as you move. You can also find all of the easy Traditional geocaches and geocaching events.
The free version of this app helps us find treasures along our favorite hiking trails and near campsites. Get our tips on playing this totally fun and family-friendly geocaching camping game!
Premium Version: Geocaching Premium gives you access to all of the caches across the world including Premium Member Only caches. It allows you to filter and sort by size, type, difficulty, terrain, found/owned, distance, favorite points, or geocache name. It also provides you with offline maps and the ability to auto-sync Lists and Pocket Queries created on the Geocaching website.
App: REI Co-op National Parks Guide
Features: This app is all about hiking and site seeing in America’s National Parks. It has trail information and hike descriptions and you can search for hikes on a map or from a “best of” list. When you are on a trail, you can see your position on a terrain or satellite map and vertical profile. The best part is that you don’t need a cell signal … the data is available offline … your phone uses its built-in GPS to show your location. Other helpful features include the Family Friendly Hikes for kids and the List of Gems which highlights the most beautiful features in the Park.
That reminds me of one of my favorite camping quotes: “And Into The Forest I Go, To Lose My Mind And Find My Soul”
App: Merlin Bird ID
Features: This app helps you identify birds by asking you 5 questions then it provides a list of birds that most closely match your answers. You pick your bird from the list and then get more photos, sounds, and identification tips about it. The app can also identify a bird in a photo … you just snap a photo of your bird and you’ll see a short list of birds to investigate. You can add your location and date to help narrow the list of bird matches from regions around the world, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.
We see some amazing birds when we are hanging out on the Mogollon Rim camping in our favorite spots!
Features: This app allows you to see where the fish are biting and find fish with a Fishing Forecast. It has over 9 million users that provide recorded catches in 1.7 million bodies of fishing waters. It is the biggest source of up-to-date fishing information in the world. You can share your catch location … or not reveal it … if you want to maintain “your secret spot”. You can log your personal fishing history and track your personal bests. If you don’t know what you caught, you can use the Species Recognition tool to find the answer.
If you are lucky enough to catch your dinner, try some of our amazing camping fish recipes like this One Pot Cast Iron Fish Camping Recipe with Spanish flavor influences or this Campfire Grilled Fish In Foil Packets with white wine and garlic sauce.
Premium Version: The paid version allows you to plan your fishing with the smartest fishing forecast, unlock all shared catch positions, see the most effective baits and view crowdsourced depth contours, provided through C-Map Social Maps.
Apps For Health & Safety While Camping
There are so many facets of camping safety that can be easily managed with a few free apps on your device!
Features: This app lets you know where your loved ones are located through GPS phone tracking and location sharing.
Premium Version: The paid subscription has various levels that may include Family Safety Assist, Roadside Assistance, Stolen Phone Coverage, ID Theft Protection, Credit Monitoring, Individual Driver Reports, Crash Detection, SOS Silent Help Alerts and Crime Reports.
This is one of the apps we really like for solo campers to help them connect to someone in civilization for their personal safety while camping.
App: MyRadar Weather Radar
Features: This app displays animated weather radar around your current location and shows what weather is coming within the next two hours. It also gives you information about surface and jetstream level winds, high and low pressure systems, frontal boundaries, earthquakes and hurricanes. The app has the ability to send weather and environmental alerts, including alerts from the National Weather Service.
Premium Version: The paid subscription provides aviation charts.
Make sure to check out our tips for camping in the rain.
Features: This app allows you to look 15 days ahead and provides live alerts and detailed reports including forecast news, weather updates, severe storm alerts, cloud cover, UV index and “RealFeel” & “RealFeel Shade” Temperatures that indicate how the weather looks compared to how it actually feels. It also provides dew point, visibility, allergy, precipitation, and air quality reports.
If you get a couple of unwanted raindrops on your trip, be ready with a few of these rainy day camp games that are totally fun no matter what the weather is doing!
App: First Aid: American Red Cross
Features: This app has videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice so you know how to administer first aid in all kinds of emergency situations. Its preloaded content provides instant access to the safety information even if you don’t have cell coverage. There is also a language toggle to quickly change between English and Spanish inside the app. It is also fully integrated with 9-1-1 so you can immediately call EMS from the app.
This one is a great companion to our camping safety tips for families so you know what to do in case an emergency does occur.
Features: You might not think of flashlight apps when you think of camping apps but when you are out in the wilderness or around a campsite on a moonless night, having a really bright flashlight conveniently available in your phone can be the difference between an accidental disaster and an emergency avoided.
Here are a few other camping lights that are great to have on your trips!
Apps For Finding Water & RV Dump Stations
This is a problem! We have paid for several apps that have the sole purpose of providing locations of RV dump stations … they are horrible. We would not recommend them at all. We have found these free apps to be better than the paid apps but they are all less-than-fantastic at providing this information. It is only a problem if you are boondocking … and we do a lot of it … so if you have a solution, please let us know by commenting below and we’ll help spread the word!
Until then, here are the apps we use to find potable water and RV dump stations …
Campendium allows you to search for “nearby dump stations” and allows you to select another location on the map to “search this area” and turn on the “dump” filter. This is the best app, by far, for providing a good number of dump locations but it is still not comprehensive.
iOverlander allows you to search nearby or by any location on the map. It has an icon indicating dump stations but there are very few in its database.
Here are the apps we use to find dump stations at RV parks and campgrounds …
The Dyrt allows you to filter campground locations by “sanitary dump” and provides more location options as a result but dump locations at other facilities are not included. The app has the facility phone number and link to their website so you can call for information regarding use of the dump if you are not staying there.
RV Parky allows you to filter for “dump station” but it is clunky and appears to be intermittent at best because Walmarts and other locations without dumps show in results.
ParkAdvisor RV Parks and Campgrounds indicates “sewer” in the list view but you need to call for information regarding using the dump if you are not staying there.