19 Free Adventure Apps You Need Now

Tom Malone/Adventure Tribune
Modern technology can keep people indoors, but it can also enhance an adventure if used correctly. Here are ten apps that will make your adventure better.

When hardcore adventurers think of technology, they often perceive it as something that detracts from adventure by keeping people couch-ridden instead of enhancing them to get outside. If used correctly, however, certain pieces of technology can actually promote adventure, and enhance it. Especially with the advent of the smartphone.

We utilize all kinds of apps to make our adventures more effective. The list below is in no way promoted by any of the app companies; these are just apps that we genuinely appreciate.

Here are 19 cool apps that can enhance your ability to adventure and explore the world around you more efficiently.

1. WeatherBug
This weather-predicting app can help you prepare for any outdoor adventure with pinpoint accuracy. It even features a lightning-specific portion that shows you where each lightning strike near you has been in the last 30 minutes, and when it’s coming.

2. AllTrails
This app gives you all the trail information you’ll need to make it through your next day hike. You can explore new areas, discover trails you’ve never heard of, and feel confident that you’re moving in the right direction.

3. REI National Park Guide
If you’re traveling through a National Park, you need this app. It gives you every necessary stopping point, trailhead, and rest area as you travel through the park.

4. Ski TrailMaps
If you flock to the snow and seek out cool areas to ski/snowboard, get this one. It features the run maps of every semi-major ski area in the country, along with features about each run. Save your favorite mountain(s) and hit the slopes.

5. Spotify
Even though Spotify Premium comes with a slight cost, Spotify is actually free (if you’re fine with random song shuffling and the occasional ad). Get this app for any road trip, plane ride, and everything in between. They even have podcasts.

6. Gas Buddy
This app has saved our road trips more than once. It syncs with your location to tell you where the nearest gas station is in either direction, along with the up-to-date price-per-gallon of each station if you’re traveling on a budget.

7. Offline Survival Manual
If you plan on taking your phone with you into the woods outside of civilization, get this one. It’s an offline app that is sectioned off into survival skills based on need (shelter, fire-starting, etc.), so you can use it in your most dire situations away from cell service.

8. Instagram
Though this might not immediately seem like an adventure app, it most certainly is. It serves as a free way for you to capture and share photos of your latest adventures and collaborate with other people in the adventure community so you can find inspiration through them, as they find it from you.

9. Google Trips
Syncing with Google Maps, this app allows you to input your road trip route, where it then tells you everything you need to know about your next stop, from where to eat, sleep, adventure, and more.

10. Airbnb
This app brings the cost-effective room-and-board system of Airbnb to your fingertips. Search on the fly for places to stay at a low rate based on user reviews, proximity to you, etc.

11. Google Translate
Built for quick translation in almost any language, this app will allow you to enhance your international communication skills so you can go on enjoying your adventure.

If you're traveling to a place where cell service isn't available (backroads, international, etc.), this app allows you to save maps offline so they're at your fingertips regardless of your connection status.

13. Hopper
This app allows you to scan thousands of airlines and flight prices to inform you of the best time to purchase a flight at the best price.

14. Foodspotting
This app gives its users visuals of specific food at restaurants in your area. Instead of simply viewing restaurant names around you, now you can actually see what's on the menu.

15. Cool Cousin
Select your guide, or "cool cousin" - a pool of local advice about the city you're in - and they'll tell you where the best local restaurants and attractions are for nearly any city.

16. Agoda
This last-minute hotel-search app scans thousands of hotels in your area. Enhanced search features allow you to scan for specific amenities, price ranges, and neighborhoods.

17. Waze
This map app updates traffic in real time, rerouting you to provide the quickest route based on the surrounding traffic. It's perfect for road trips.

18. Convert Any Unit Free
If you're from the U.S. and you travel to India, you'll be scrambling to convert dollars to rupees, and feet to meters. This app allows your to convert currency, distance, and speed at the touch of a button.

19. Pet First Aid
For those outdoor adventurers with pets, this app could save a life. Created by the American Red Cross, this app features first aid techniques for specific pet medical situations. Use it when you're on the trail with your dog.


Tom Malone is the Editor-In-Chief of The Adventure Tribune and author of adventure novels, like Across Americana. He is based in Denver, Colorado, where he adventures through the Rocky Mountains while not traveling abroad.
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