11 Best Campsite Finder Apps to Download Before Your Next Trip

Camping is a form of escapism for many people. There is nothing better than getting back to nature and removing ourselves from the stress of everyday life. Indeed, camping is a fantastic way of escaping our phones, laptops, and tablets or the expectations to be instantly contactable via these platforms can wear very thin.

The National Park Service recently released its new mobile app, and it could well be a game-changer. Following the launch of “National Parks Service,” we decided to compile a list of the 11 Best Camping Apps to Download for Your Next Adventure.

Equally important, there are many ways a well-prepared camper can use technology to enhance their experience. It is possible to plan your next adventure without leaving your couch.

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Conversely, stress levels can return if you have to endure hours of driving to numerous campsites with no availability after getting lost on the way.  Not to mention, after arriving at a campground, realizing there is nothing to do or see for miles around.

Our list will include the best of the best apps in the categories of “Campsite Databases and Finders,” “Private and Unique Sites,” “Maps and Information,” and “Miscellaneous.”

National Park Service

Price: Free

Platform: IOS and Android

User Rating: 4.6/5.0

Pros:

  • The developers have packed an incredible number of features into one easy-to-use application.
  • National Parks Service is a one-stop shop for all National Park visitors, unifying the previous library of apps.
  • The app enables availability searches and booking across all of the sites listed.
  • There is in-depth information on local facilities and hiking suggestions.
  • The user can download local maps and audio tours for offline use.
  • Taking a little time to set up personal preferences quickly provides news and alerts for any listed site.
  • The app is intuitive and allows you to easily save favorites or create a wish list of locations for future trips.

Cons:

  • The app is definitely suffering from a few of the rough edges that a new release sometimes has.
  • Pass integration is not yet included.
  • Adding parks to lists is a bit unstable.

The Best Campsite Database and Finder Apps

Campendium – RV & Tent Camping

Price: Free

Platform: IOS

User Rating: 4.9/5.0

Campendium was designed and developed by experienced campers, has compiled a comprehensive list of RV Parks, free campsites, national parks, national forests, and state parks. Each listing includes information on number of site, pad type, reservations requirements, elevation, allowed length of stay, cell phone coverage, and if tent camping is allowed. Additionally, campers can review campgrounds amenities, cleanliness, accessibility, quality, noise level and confirm cell service coverage across the US from Assateague Island camping to Joshua Tree National Park.

Pros:

  • Campendium has been designed and developed by experienced campers.
  • It has information regarding tens of thousands of camping destinations, ranging from top-class RV parks to remote free to camp spots.
  • The listings are regularly updated, so you can be assured that the information you see is the information you need. 
  • Campendium allows you to plot out a long-haul trip, showing you spots for quick overnighters in safe, free campgrounds on your way to your destination.
  • Cell phone signal is regularly reviewed for the campsites.

Cons:

  • Although the app is free, it is pretty heavy on advertisements.
  • You cannot make bookings on the app.

The Dyrt – Tent & RV Camping

Price: Free (PRO version is $35.99 a year)

Platform: IOS and Android

User Rating: 4.7/5.0

Pros:

  • Widely regarded as one of the best camping apps on the market.
  • Includes listings for Federal, National Parks, State Parks, County Parks, Bureau of Land Management, KOA, Good Sam, Thousand Trails, Private and Military camping sites.
  • The Dyrt allows campers to locate, research, and book over 42,000 ranked campsites.
  • User-submitted reviews provide a comprehensive guide to the site and surrounding area.
  • Reviews can lead to prizes for individuals, including discounts on outdoor brands.
  • PRO version includes Trip Planner, Offline Functionality, and Downloadable Maps.

Cons:

  • Although the free version is excellent, you will need the PRO version to really enjoy the app’s full features. $35.99 a year might be off-putting.

(Editor’s Note: The pro version does include substantial discounts on equipment and booking fees. You may find that you easily make the $35.99 in savings)


RA Camping – Reserve America, Find, Book, Reserve Campsites

Price: Free

Platform: IOS & Android

User Rating: 4.5/5.0

Pros:

  • Search for RV parks, campsites, yurts, and cabins on state, federal and private land across the US.
  • Searches can be specific for dates, locations, and amenities, with results displayed on a clear and concise map with 3d touch interaction.
  • Reserve and book sites quickly and safely.
  • Campground information includes photos and an extensive breakdown of facilities.
  • RA Camping has included a trip tracker, which consists of a helpful upcoming reservation tab.

Cons:

  • Map functionality can be slightly limited.
  • No user-generated review option.


Boondocking – Find Free Campsites

Price: $0.99

Platform: IOS

User Rating: 4.4/5.0

Pros:

  • Over 1300 listings for free camping spots.
  • User-submitted locations mean the database is continually expanding.
  • The interactive map shows you information, including driving distance, estimated journey time, and multiple views, including Open Street Map.
  • Excellent search filtering makes sure you are not scrolling through pages of unsuitable options.
  • Information for all camping spots includes user reviews and Flickr photographs where available.
  • Offline functionality is excellent.

Cons:

  • Obviously, this app is limited to free sites. It’s not particularly useful for campers looking for any other type of camping option.
  • There are minimal options for Canada.

ALLSTAYS – Camp & RV, Tents to RV Parks

Price: $9.99

Platform: IOS

User Rating: 4.3/5.0

Pros:

  • Allstays are a well-established company with over twenty years of experience.
  • The app contains an extensive database of sites ranging from paid RV and Tent sites to parking lots and fuel station rest areas.
  • Comprehensive information for every site.
  • Offline functionality means no unexpected issues when searching for information.
  • Comprehensive search options enable you to create filters specific to your exact needs.
  • Allstays is a Starbucks featured app.

Cons:

  • The price might be discouraging.
  • You cannot make bookings on the app.
  • Sites do not have user-generated reviews.


Camp Finder – Camping Road Trip

Price: $3.99

Platform: IOS and Android

User Rating: 4.3/5.0

Pros:

  • Information on over 19,000 campsites, RV parks, and resorts.
  • Search for your perfect camping spot through location, amenities, rates, and reviews.
  • Camp Finder has included some hidden gem campsites that might not be recognized by other apps.
  • GPS feature provides travel directions from your current location to your preferred campsite.
  • Customer service is excellent.

Cons:

  • We personally don’t think this app has enough features to justify its price. You can find very similar functions in the top free apps.
  • The map can be a bit inaccurate.
  • App feels a bit unstable at times.

The Best Private and Unique Campsite Apps

HipCamp

Price: Free

Platform: IOS

User Rating: 4.6/5.0

Pros:

  • HipCamp has partnered with private landowners to highlight hidden, off-the-beaten-track campsites.
  • The nature of the campsites means they have individual characteristics unique to the owner’s preferences. For example, why not search for a camp within a private vineyard or mushroom farm? You might be surprised!
  • Community sourced photographs and reviews make for a comprehensive breakdown of each and every camping spot.
  • You can check availability and book your choice of a unique campsite with ease.
  • There are some amusing and quirky sites to be found on the app.

Cons:

  • There are minimal options for campers looking for medium price range or budget options.
  • The fees that HipCamp charges when booking are very much on the high side.


The Best Maps and Information Apps

Rei Co-Op National Parks Guide

Price: Free

Platform: IOS and Android

User Rating: 4.3/5.0

Pros:

  • Rei has developed a comprehensive guide for hiking and sightseeing throughout the National Parks.
  • Users can search for potential locations or routes by location and proximity before accessing comprehensive information provided by local hikers and user reviews.
  • The star rating is easy to understand, and “best of” lists enable quick searches.
  • The topographical map is intuitive and responsive. It is easy to scan for potential routes or beauty spots.
  • The app even has a GPS locator function in case of getting lost out on the trail.

Cons:

  • The app is a little bit battery intensive to be used as I would like.

InRoute – Intelligent Routing

Price: Free (Premium $3.99 a month / $29.99 a year or single trip upgrade $14.99)

Platform: IOS and Android

User Rating: 4.3/5.0

Pros:

  • InRoute is fantastic for planning a long road trip. It can be beneficial for RV drivers.
  • You can plan your route according to multiple factors that other navigation apps or in-car sat nav don’t allow.
  • Weather, elevation, curvy roads, and driving time are factored in.
  • InRoute enables you to plot campsites along a journey at specific points along a journey. For example, you could plan to drive six hours a day and ask InRoute to plot a route with a campsite for every six hours of travel.

Cons:

  • The premium version is quite expensive.
  • The interface can be slightly confusing at times.

The Best Miscellaneous Apps

Windy (formally Windyty)

Price: Free

Platform: IOS and Android

User Rating: 4.8/5.0

Pros:

  • Windy is one of the most accurate weather reporting and forecasting tools available.
  • This app is consistently used by professional pilots, fishermen, skiers, surfers, and even the military.
  • The free version of Windy is packed with more features than many apps that carry premium price tags.
  • You can overlay 35 different layers onto the incredibly intuitive map.
  • It is possible to set up desired weather alerts for your favorite spots. Windy app sends you an email when your favorite skiing, surfing, or mountain biking spot is about to enjoy optimum conditions.
  • Windy will provide you with interactive, updated weather forecasting for the next ten days.

Cons:

  • The app can appear intimidating when you first open it if you are not used to reading satellite weather charts. However, it is very straightforward if you give it time to learn the features.

Summary

We believe that all of the above apps have a place on the home screen or desktop of any avid camping enthusiast.

Hopefully, our list has given you an insight into the best apps to download for your next adventure.  

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