You’ve got a sleek smartphone with all the latest video messaging features and more apps than you could ever hope to use. It’s awesome, but there’s something missing. You want your phone to be a reflection of you. Your music may be there and you may have downloaded some of your favorite TV shows, but you’re an adventurer and your core identifying trait, “love of adventure,” is nowhere to be found on your omnipotent touch-screen.
Lucky for you, it doesn’t have to be this way. We’ve compiled a list of the best smartphone apps for adventurers. Read on, and then get to downloading.
Photo Credit: http://skydiveapp.com/iphone/
Let’s say you’re soaring 15,000 feet above the Pennsylvania-Ohio border, preparing for a Saturday morning skydive. You’ve got all your gear and you’re ready for the thrill of a lifetime. The only problem is, your diving partner is a newbie and your pilot doesn’t know too much about where to let you out. This could be a major issue…that is… if you didn’t have SkydiveApp installed on your phone. Luckily, you do. With a few swipes of your finger, you pinpoint the optimal drop zone and once you hit the ground, you log dive info like site coordinates, altitude, equipment used and freefall delay. All become neatly organized in a mobile dossier, proof of how extreme you are and a handy guide for future excursions. SkydiveApp is the first of its kind (though there have been a couple of imitations worth avoiding) and is, for right now anyway, only available on the iPhone.
Photo Credit: http://knowskateboarding.com/
What if some of the biggest names in skateboarding could carve time out of their busy schedules to help you master ollies and nosegrinds? Now they can. Sort of. The Know Skateboarding app connects pros and aspriring boarders like never before, leveraging the knowledge of Element pro team members like Levi Brown and Darrell Stanton to teach users how to pull off 22 of the sport’s most popular tricks. In addition to trick tutorials, Know Skateboarding offers instructionals on stance and allows users to record and share their tricks as they perfect them. It’s the first ever totally mobile skateboard academy. It’s also iPhone-exclusive, but not for long — an Android version is reportedly in development.
If you’re a skier or snowboarder, you must download AlpineReplay. Available for both iPhone and Android phones, AlpineReplay provides users with in-depth data for all runs they’ve taken over the course of a season. Tracked metrics include max speed, sustained speed, calories burned, number of runs, airtime and vertical drop. The more time users spend on the mountain, the more information is fed into the tracker and the more detailed their analytics become. There’s a social networking component too, as users are able to see how their stats stack up against AlpineReplay-savvy friends and those in the general user population. A well-designed web portal allows for laptop viewing while back at the lodge. Best of all, it’s totally free. You can’t afford not to have it.
Running and Biking
Much like AlpineRelay, Sports Tracker allows running and biking enthusiasts to monitor a plethora of workout-related stats and allows them to share that data with friends across various social networking platforms. Sharable data includes: workout distance and duration, energy expenditure, and calories burned. Each workout becomes part of a running total, a badge of honor if you’re the type who likes swapping battle stories with competitive friends (we know you’re that type). For the naysayers in our midst who have to see to believe, users can snap and share photos of their bike ride. SportsTracker is available for iPhone, Android, Windows and Nokia phones and is, like AlpineRelay, completely and utterly free.
Photo Credit: http://doubledogstudios.com/apps/climbing/index.html
Fancy trackers and analyzers are cool and impressive in a Mission Impossible sort of way, but does any of that stuff compete with holding in your hands an encyclopedic compendium of knowledge published by some of the most skilled survivalists in the world? We don’t think so and the U.S. Army would probably agree. The text-based Army Climbing: U.S. Army Mountaineering Manual app has sacrificed flash for one of the most comprehensive e-guides we’ve come across. Users will have immediate access to insider’s information on all manner of climbing techniques, survival skills and mountain rescue and evacuation procedures. Any serious mountaineer should download this app.