It takes guts to go camping.
Not “Rambo” guts, mind you, but a willingness to get outside your comfort zone and spend not just a couple hours, but a full day and night—in the dark—takes more than what your typical apprehensive, pampered person might be OK with.
It’s also gutsy because it isn’t always easy to pick up, pack up and head to the great outdoors. Camping, after all, takes more than a tent and sleeping bag. You could certainly try the minimalist approach, but you and your company might be in for a night bordering on complete misery.
What are you going to eat? What will you drink? What will you do with all that time? What will you do when the sun sets and darkness falls on your campsite?
Who knew getting away from the chaos of your urban life could be so complicated?
Luckily, there’s now an app for that: Moonlight.
Geared toward the semi-puzzled adventure-seeker in all of us, the app makes planning your next camping expedition easier than pitching a tent.
“A major inhibitor for first-time campers is not knowing what to bring,” says Greg Ingino, GM of Commerce at The ACTIVE Network and the mastermind behind Moonlight.
"That was the major gap we wanted to fill: create an app that could be your camping expert."
With a meal planner, activity suggestions, helpful camping articles and weather forecasts all within a single touch of your smartphone screen, you’ll never feel discouraged to go camping again.
“I would go camping six to eight times a year and create checklists of items for everyone to bring and plan activities and meals for our trip,” says Ingino. “And I couldn’t figure out why an app didn’t exist that contained all of this.
“That was the major gap we wanted to fill: create an app that could be your camping expert, making the experience more enjoyable for campers of all levels.”
In fact, Moonlight’s distinctive features make it feel like a maverick in an overcrowded app world. Whether you want to read campfire stories or find the perfect activity for your group as you enjoy the outdoors, the app leaves no stone unturned.
But what really sets Moonlight apart is the ability to build camping checklists for both the master outdoorsman and the novice camper, then share this checklist with your camping buddies and assign items to specific people. If you’re planning a group camping trip, this feature can be a lifesaver. Now you don’t have to rely on your friend’s ears and memory to ensure he brings a tarp and lantern. Instead, he can simply refer to the camping checklist on his phone.
As an added bonus, Moonlight allows you to easily assign and export items onto a shopping list for anything new your group will want to bring.
“Part of the fun of camping is planning the trip with your friends,” Ingino says. “But there are a lot of prohibitive factors, especially if you don’t have that friend who is a camping expert.”
“Moonlight takes care of the little things and becomes that camping expert for you.”
The ability to import your campsite reservation also makes this app tailor-made to your individual camping experience. You can share this reservation with friends and receive up-to-date weather alerts for your campground.
And don’t sleep on the most important feature of all—the meal planner.
With the communal spirit behind campfire cooking, even if all else fails—the weather’s horrendous or you’re covered in poison sumac—meals will make your trip memorable, regardless.
The meal planner includes fun recipes and interesting meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. To put it plainly, with Moonlight, you might just become the Bobby Flay of campfire cooking.
And, with enough bells and whistles to scare off a mama grizzly bear and an intuitive, simple and beautiful interface, the app is also pleasantly easy to navigate. Download Moonlight for free in the App Store or upgrade to the premium version for just $5.99 annually.
The premium version, available for free to Active Advantage members, allows you to save items from the app’s database to your planner, utilize the checklist and shopping list, view recipes and additional details for activity planning, and assign items to other app users.
Book your next camping trip