The 10 Best Apps for Camping

apps for camping

The 10 Best Apps for Camping

2023 is the best year we’ve seen for connecting technology and nature. With an influx of new outdoor enthusiasts, there’s more need for accurate mapping and education. Fortunately, there’s now an app for any type of adventure that excites you. But with so many resources available, how do you know which one is right for you?

We’ve worked hard to bring you 10 of the best apps for camping that we particularly enjoy using. Whether you want solitude in the wilderness or a cozy bed in the alpine mountains, you can find it through one of the services below. Keep reading for everything you need to know about them and which one is right for you.

10. iOverlander (3.6 stars, 1,800 reviews)

iOverlander is one of the best apps for camping off the beaten path. It features a basic roadmap with user-located destinations ranging from backcountry boondocking to paid sites. The app also makes it easy to discover amenities such as water, gray-water dumps, showers, and more.

Each campsite listed on iOverlander includes a brief description from campers that recently visited the location. It also provides a list of attributes including power hookups, phone service, and bathrooms. However, the app is geared more toward offroad camping, and users should read for road conditions before heading to one of these camps.

iOverlander is one of the more prominent backcountry camping resources. Since 2015, over 500,000 users have downloaded the app on android devices. However, because of its user-generated nature, it tends to get mixed reviews. iOverlander currently has a 3.6 out of 5-star rating, with 1.8 thousand reviews. While most users appreciate the abundance of locations, others struggle with the accuracy of descriptions.

Compatibility: Android, iOS

Last Update: April 2022

Price: Free

9. Boondockers Welcome (4.8 stars, 2,000 reviews)

Maybe you’d rather have an established campground but still want the off-grid experience. Boondockers Welcome offers an exclusive community of campgrounds for travelers that costs nothing to visit. Simply pay for the membership, contact a camp host, and enjoy up to five nights in a beautiful campsite without the noise and commotion of other travelers.

While the site list is relatively small (only about 3,300 camps across the U.S.), this is a great app for finding locations on the East Coast. Due to the dense population on that side of the country, finding a quiet place to get away can prove challenging.

Boondockers Welcome solves that issue, allowing users to camp at as many sites as they want throughout the year. And when combined with Harvest Hosts (another app from the same developer), there are even more locations to choose from.

Due to its exclusivity, Boondockers Welcome is highly rated. The app has more than 100,000 reviews on Google Play since it launched in 2017 and holds a 4.8 out of 5-star rating, with over two thousand reviews. Many customers praise it for the ability to plan trips and contact hosts via text message. However, some have issues with its new dump station feature.

Compatibility: Android, iOS

Last Updated: December 2022

Price: Starting at $79/year (billed annually)

8. ReserveAmerica (4.4 stars, 2,000 reviews)

apps for camping
ReserveAmerica allows you to reserve campgrounds, lodging, boat slips, and more.

Looking for a no-flourish application that makes finding a campsite around the country simple as possible? ReserveAmerica comes out with a service that connects you to accessible locations in Private, State, and Federal campgrounds. They have spots for tent camping, RV, yurts, and cabins for however you like to spend your time outdoors. Best of all, you have all this information at no cost.

The ReserveAmerica app allows you to search for campsites using a map, similar to iOverlander. Simply scroll over the area you’re interested in exploring and the service provides all the campsites and their availability. Book right through the app if you’re ready to explore, or save the site to your favorites list for planning down the road.

ReserveAmerica keeps its app simple, and it seems to hit the mark. The service has over 100,000 downloads and holds a 4.4 out of 5-star rating, with more than two thousand reviews. People enjoy the large number of campsites on the app and how it simplifies the booking process. However, some mention issues with a lack of listed amenities.

Compatibility: Android, iOS

Last Updated: September 2022

Price: Free

7. MyRadar (4.5 stars, 250,000 reviews)

apps for camping
My Radar displays an animated weather radar around your location.

Okay, maybe this isn’t exactly a camping app, but that’s just how useful MyRadar is for looking at your next campsite. As one of the highest-rated weather apps available, users can pinpoint their exact location to discover incredibly accurate forecasts. With features such as high-definition radar, air quality, and live notifications, MyRadar makes it easy to plan activities around your needs.

What makes this weather app perfect for camping is its specific location tool. The tool takes into consideration the elevation of campsites to offer a closer weather forecast than most. This is especially useful for those camping close to or on top of mountains.

With over 50 million downloads, MyRadar is considered one of the top 10 weather apps available. It has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating, with over 250 thousand reviews on Google Play. Users particularly enjoy its accuracy and number of features. Additionally, users find customer service helpful when something goes wrong.

Compatibility: Android, iOS

Last Updated: December 2022

Price: Free ($3.99 for the Pro version)

6. Google Earth (4.2 stars, 3,000,000 reviews)

apps for camping
Google Earth renders a 3D representation of Earth based on satellite imagery.

You might remember this app for allowing you to fly through your favorite city to see familiar buildings in 3D. Fast forward to 2022 and the functionality of Google Earth now includes natural features, topography, and some of the most difficult roads to get to. While you’re not going to find the price of local campsites on this app, it’s a great supplementary tool to explore areas before you arrive.

Google Earth is the most detailed virtual globe. Users fly into the globe using an address or even coordinates. They have the option to view the earth in 2D or 3D, which helps pinpoint potential backcountry campsites.

It’s also a great tool to plan excursions; imagine flying into the Grand Canyon before your visit to find lesser-known viewpoints. With Google Earth, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into.

It’s no surprise that this interactive map is one of the most popular tools on mobile devices. Google Earth has over 100 million downloads on Google Play and holds a 4.2 out of 5-star rating, with nearly 3 million reviews.

Many users love the application for its exploratory and educational features. However, with an app of this size, others constantly mention bugs and glitches.

Compatibility: Android, iOS

Last Updated: November 2022

Price: Free

5. Harvest Hosts (4.8 stars, 2,000 reviews)

From the same people that created Boondockers Welcome, this exclusive RV camping app connects people to sites at wineries, breweries, farms, and more. It works the same way as its sister app; signing up for the membership allows for free camping at any of the sites across the country. 

However, unlike Boondockers Welcome, Harvest Hosts offers interactive destinations. Not only will you have a place to sleep (many sites have electric hookups), but you can enjoy luxury products such as wine and craft beer at a discount.

If you have Boondockers Welcome, don’t worry about missing out; you can sign up for both services at a discounted rate and have access to every location. Harvest Hosts is the home application for both services.

Thus, they share many of the same features and reviews. This application offers access to wineries, breweries, farms, and attractions, and an all-access pass also includes golf courses.

Compatibility: Android, iOS

Last Updated: December 2022

Price: Starting at $99/year (billed annually)

4. Gaia GPS (4.4 stars, 12,600 reviews)

apps for camping
Gaia GPS is a great guide for finding trails around the world.

If you’re the type of adventurer that likes to blaze their own trail, Gaia GPS is the best app for camping on public lands. While it doesn’t exactly provide details about established campsites, it has the most accurate markings for national forests, Bureau of Land Management areas, and more.

The map layout includes topography, as well as natural land markers such as mountains, lakes, and even natural springs, making it ideal for discovering backcountry camping spots. The Gaia GPS app is part of the Outside Interactive network.

As such, its catalog includes maps from National Geographic, USGS, and USFS. The mapping app is free to use, but premium users also have access to the entire Outside brand. Users can also use the app and GPS offline, making it particularly useful for those entering blind areas. Not interested in roughing it? No worries. Gaia GPS also provides directions to popular National and State Parks.

Users agree that this mapping app is one of the best available. Gaia GPS has over one million downloads and holds a 4.4 out of 5-star rating, with 12.6 thousand reviews. People love how accurate the GPS is offline, and those with issues are pleased to discover quality customer service behind the app.

Compatibility: Android, iOS

Last Updated: December 2022

Price: Free (premium starting at $2.33/mo)

3. Hipcamp (4.6 stars, 5,000 reviews)

Hipcamp is a resource for outdoor stays and camping experiences.

Maybe the idea of “roughing it” in the woods doesn’t excite you. For a camping app that’s all about glamour (what we call “glamping” in the outdoor community), Hipcamp has you covered. It connects you to some of the most unique camping experiences around the country, which include rustic cabins, interactive tree houses, and locations with all the luxuries from home.

While the app itself is free to use, it doesn’t connect you to campsites for free. Instead, it helps you locate spectacular locations that will leave your friends and family in awe. Additionally, booking campsites through Hipcamp gives you exclusive discounts on what would otherwise be an expensive excursion.

Because of its exclusivity and access to extraordinary camping, people rate Hipcamp as one of the best apps for camping, period. The service has over 100,000 downloads since it launched in 2019 and maintains a 4.6 out of 5-star rating, with more than five thousand reviews. Hipcamp users find the types of campsites invaluable, and the service comes backed by excellent customer support.

Compatibility: Android, iOS

Last Updated: November 2022

Price: Free 

2. Recreation.gov (4.8 stars, 22,000 reviews)

apps for camping
Recreation.gov is a source for experiencing America’s federal recreation activities.

If you’re looking for camping on national land, there’s no better resource than the federal organizations that manage them. Recreation.gov is a collaboration of information brought together from the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the US Forest Service, and more.

It connects users to over 100,000 camping and RV sites across the country. Updated in real-time and with quality images, it’s hard to believe that the app is free to use.

The Recreation.gov app isn’t just for booking campsites; users can also find national park tours, hiking permits, and a variety of other activities catered to outdoor education. Each campground and activity comes with valuable information, such as directions, amenities, availability, and more.

As one of the most carefully planned camping apps, Recreation.gov receives top reviews. The service has over one million downloads and maintains a 4.8 out of 5-star rating from nearly 22 thousand users.

People unanimously praise Recreation.gov for its ease of use and number of campsites. However, like all apps, it’s not without its bugs and issues; some people struggle with redundancy when trying to reserve campsites.

Compatibility: Android, iOS

Last Updated: December 2022

Price: Free

1. The Dyrt (4.5 stars, 15,000 reviews)

apps for camping
The Dyrt is the largest source of information for campgrounds throughout the United States.

Whether you’re looking for a backcountry experience or a prime spot with a luxury view, The Dyrt has you covered. The app offers access to over 500,000 sites across the country from tents and RV sites to national and state parks. But where The Dyrt excels isn’t just in its service; this app works hard to connect campers to the rest of the outdoor community.

One of the strongest points about The Dyrt is its user-generated sites. Campers that use the app are rewarded for quality reviews, which help others find locations that fit their adventure style.

Going even further, The Dyrt hosts camping contests, which get the community involved in a challenge for the best camping experience. Winners can win real prizes and discounts from notable outdoor brands.

Constantly rated as one of the best apps for camping, it’s no surprise that it won Editors’ Choice on Google Play. The Dyrt has over one million downloads and holds a 4.5 out of 5-star rating, with 15 thousand reviews. Users love the number of available campsites, which makes it easy to fit trips into a budget. Additionally, the app comes backed with responsive customer support.

Compatibility: Android, iOS

Last Updated: December 2022

Price: Free (PRO membership starting at $35.99/year)

What to Know Before Downloading the Best Apps for Camping

One of the most important aspects to consider before downloading one of the best camping apps is the type of adventure you’re looking to go on. While some outdoor enthusiasts might prefer the peace and quiet of the backcountry, others might want a location that’s accessible and close to amenities. Knowing how you like to camp will help you choose an app that caters to your needs. 

Here’s our quick recommendation for apps for different types of camping styles:

  • Public lands: iOverlander, Gaia GPS
  • RV camping: Harvest Hosts, Boondockers Welcome
  • State and National Parks: The Dyrt, Recreation.gov
  • Luxury camping: Hipcamp

It’s also critical to check for the last time a camping app was updated. Site availability and land designations change all the time and apps that don’t keep up with those changes tend to lead users in the wrong direction.

There’s nothing more frustrating than driving hours to a prospective campsite just to learn it’s closed or that it no longer exists. Before downloading a camping app, take time to look at its updated history.

Summary of the 10 Best Apps for Camping

1. The Dyrt4.515,000
2. Recreation.gov4.822,000
3. Hipcamp4.65,000
4. Gaia GPS4.412,600
5. Harvest Hosts4.82,000
6. Google Earth4.23,000,000
7. MyRadar4.5250,000
8. Reserve America4.42,000
9. Boondockers Welcome4.82,000
10. iOverlander3.61,800

Best Apps for Camping: Further Reading

Having reviewed the best apps for camping, it’s easy to discover the best campsites for your adventure style. Whether you’re deep in the wilderness or tucked in a cozy cabin, we’ve got you covered. And for the latest camping gadgets to enhance your outdoor experience, check out the articles below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best free camping app?

For a camping app you can use for free, we recommend The Dyrt. This application has information on over 500,000 campsites across the United States, which include backcountry, state and national parks and luxury destinations.

Is there an app like Airbnb for camping?

For those looking for unique and beautiful camping destinations, we recommend checking out Hipcamp. The application connects users to luxury destinations, such as tree houses and glamping sites.

Is there a BLM app?

If you’re looking for free camping in Bureau of Land Management (BLM) designated areas, we recommend trying out iOverlander. However, if the campsites on this app aren’t enough, Gaia GPS has one of the most detailed topographic maps available.

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