If you're one of those luddite types who only embarks on an outdoor adventure to leave the technology of today's world behind—get over yourself. The fact is: iPhone and smart phone apps and, more specifically, adventure apps, are meant only to enhance your trip and can really save you in a sticky situation.
These adventure apps provide at-your-fingertips trail maps for hiking, running and skiing, campsite info on-the-go, weather and condition reports, live cams, personal workout records—there's even an adventure app that will spout a plethora of information about every mountain, hill and foothill at which you point your phone.
So to prevent you from getting lost, getting caught unprepared for weather and to eradicate any confusion as to which campsite would best suit you, which trail to take and how to get there, download any of these apps:
Hiking Rocky Mountain National Park
TUA Outdoors, LLC
Here's all the info you need for 60 day hikes in the Rocky Mountain National Park, including trailhead info, hiking distances, elevation changes, trail ratings, maps, vertical profiles, climate and weather info. The downside is that it's only for the Rockies and not necessarily an app you'll use regularly.
Most of the info is stored within the app and only a few features, like weather and forecasts are accessed via internet.
Oakley, Inc., supported by Surfline
Check almost any surf spot for swell size, weather and water temps, tide times and a daily description of conditions.
The problem with this app is that most surfers complain about the inaccuracy of any official surf report that doesn't come out of their own mouths. So, without cams, this surf report app gives you the big picture and will give you a good idea of what the surf is doing ... but perhaps not every detail you'll need to decide exactly where you'll want to go.
The Chimani Guides
This is a series of apps containing content written by a professional travel writer ("not copy-and-pasted from the Park Service website," they boast).
Chimani apps include a general National Parks app, Acadia National Park, Cape Cod National Seashore, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone National Park and Zion National Park.
From backcountry hiking to rockclimbing to cycling, Chimani apps will navigate you through your trip. On top of that, they provide sunrise/sunset data, tidal data, ranger-led events, professional photographs and allow you to keep a personal account of your own journeys.