10 Apps for Off-Roaders That Can Save Your Bacon (And Your Route)July 3rd, 2013 by David Beran
Apps and off-roading may seem about as compatible as water and electrical systems, but the right app can save you time, gas, hassles, and maybe even your life. Accessing a GPS via the Web in a remote location is the application that springs to most people’s minds. Other apps can prevent you from getting a traffic ticket, help avoid a roll-over, or give you critical first aid information when you need it. Designed for different mobile device operating systems – iOS, Android, and Windows – some are also devised for iPad and Android tablets. Keep in mind that running GPS apps on devices is a major drain on battery power. Here are ten must have apps that off-roaders swear by when they’re out on the trail.
#1 EveryTrail app for iPhone
This GPS-enabled travel guide helps prevent getting lost in the great outdoors by providing maps, routes, and documents. Think of digital breadcrumbs scattered to help you find your way home after you venture out. You track your route then when you take pictures they’re geotagged to the precise location on your map. Your trip gets saved and you have the ability to share it with others on Facebook so they can follow along and check out your descriptions. The app also allows you to search for nearby trips to take. When you’re out in the wild and don’t get reception or don’t want to pay for roaming charges you can access topo and terrain maps. Visit Apple’s iTunes app store and search for the free EveryTrail version or select the EveryTrail Pro for $3.99.
#2 MotionX-GPS app for iPhone
Like the EveryTrail, MotionX-GPS displays Apple’s road, satellite and hybrid maps. Monitoring your progress is easy with live speed and altitude graphs and the compass is handy for quickly orienting yourself when you’re smack in the middle of nowhere. Visit Apple’s iTunes app store to buy it for $2.99.
#3 Backpacker GPS Trails app for Android
The Backpacker GPS Trails app allows users to map routes and share their excursions with their friends. The upscaled Pro version accesses precise satellite signals whether you’re within your mobile device’s network or outside of it. Download Pro trips with detailed trail guides and well-traveled and less-traveled routes in locations including Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Mount Rainier, and the Everglades and find hikes close to major metropolitan areas. Go to the Android app store to download Backpacker’s free Lite version or get the Pro version for $4.99.
#4 Columbia GPS Pal app for iPhone and Android
iPhone or Android device owners can download this free app that focuses on the journaling aspect of sharing your trip with others on social media. It’s easy to take photos and videos and you can preview them first before you decide to share. GPS-capable devices are the only ones with access to the full array of features, but the Pal app is a straightforward, convenient tool for off-road enthusiasts. Available for download at Apple iTunes or Android app stores.
#5 Outdoor Navigation app for Windows
Outdoor Navigation is useful when you’re off-roading, boating, hiking, or flying. The app integrates Dropbox to import/export, back up, and restore files. English, Spanish, Italian, German, and French languages are supported and it even has a speedometer that alerts you when you go over the speed limit. Map choices aplenty include Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Ovi and the latest 2.5 version has a new digital compass and an offline mode with map caching in case you don’t have Internet access. This $4.99 app is available at the Windows app store.
#6 Smittybilt Vehicle Clinometer app for iPhone
This app (AKA a tilt meter) from Smittybilt is a great companion when you’re on demanding terrain where your 4×4 is at risk of a roll-over. Accelerometers built into your mobile device display roll and pitch gauges onscreen to keep you and your ride on the safe side. Picture a bubble in a level and throw in a bevy of bells, whistles and popup menus. The problem of entry fields going black after settings change has been corrected in version 3.22 and this app will only set you back $0.99.
With gas prices through the roof, knowing where you can get the cheapest gas is a godsend. This app shows users the ten nearest stations and their current pricing and plans are being made to add nearby carwashes to its listings. With well over 100,000 nationwide fuel stations in the iGas database, this app is a no-brainer. Available at Apple’s iTunes app store for only $0.99.
#8 Cleaner and Greener Fuels app for iPhone and Android
Everyone wants alternatives and this alternative fuel locator app has interactive maps showing locations of alternative fuel stations nationwide. Information is provided for fueling Electric, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), E85, Biodiesel, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG or Propane) and Hydrogen vehicles. Available free at Apple’s iTunes or Android app stores.
#9 Trapster app for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows
Back in the day of the Dukes of Hazzard, Bo and Luke sure could have used this to outrun Boss Hogg. Steering clear of peace officers lying in wait to ticket you is a breeze with this handy app that alerts you to speed traps, checkpoints and red-light cameras. Users can also report spots where cops are located to give other drivers the heads up. Hatched by self-proclaimed car geek Pete Tenereillo, this free app is available for download at www.trapster.com.
#10 Emergency First Aid & Treatment Guide app for iPhone
Acting quickly and decisively is critical when unexpected emergencies happen and this app gives you the resources to do both. Guidelines on performing CPR and treating for heart attack/stroke, burns, and bites & stings prepare you for everything. Search Apple’s iTunes app store for version 5.1 with added content that costs $0.99.
Research by: CJ Bantam
Copy by: David Beran
About the Author: David Beran
As a professional inkspiller living in Los Angeles, I’ve written in industries ranging from entertainment to employment to automotive. Terrain I cover includes off-road events and races, budget builds, custom mods, EVs and the latest innovations in aftermarket 4x4 parts. I’m always eager to learn about new trends in 4x4s and my motto is “go off-road or go home.” Google+ is the destination for my dispatches: https://plus.google.com/+DavidBeran/posts.