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Stuart Peck is a freelance writer and video producer who specializes in outdoor, travel, corporate and commercial messaging and branding.  He has written for national magazines, video copy for healthcare and other corporate videos.  He also provides production support for commercials and TV shows.  

4 Outdoor apps worth downloading

1. All Trails: Looking for a good weekend day hike or a 5-day backpacking trip in the mountains, this app provides a nice library of trails right in your pocket.  A five star system rates the quality of the hike as rated by other users and there's even a place to leave feedback about the trail to help the next person planning their trip.  This app doesn't just focus on the hiking crowd it also has destinations for rock climbers, mountain bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts.    

Pros: Easy to use, full of great destinations.  Map is an excellent feature. 
Cons: Needs more user feedback and more detail in the description of some areas.

Cost: Free



2. Mountain Project: Like All Trails but with the emphasis on climbing, this app lists destinations all over the world for sport, trad, and ice climbing as well as mountaineering.  This app works in conjunction with and allows for users to take beta with them on the go, downloading route lists and maps to take to the crag!  Some of the more popular routes and destinations are accompanied with photos and lots of user feedback about the climbs.    

Pros: Very well organized and the popular climbing areas have lots of beta and comments from other climbers. 
Cons: Sometimes the app has issues loading larger data sets.

Cost: $7.99


3. Yonder: This app is a new player in the outdoor tech game but definitely has the potential to hit a home run with it's user interface and functionality.  A cross between Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare this hybrid allows users to upload photos and post on their own profile about an outdoor & travel experience.  The post is uploaded to a map where other users can find treks near them complete with photos and comments about the destination.  While it's still a new app with few users, it's gaining traction and made a big splash at this year's Outdoor Retailer Show in Utah. 

Pros: Unique app not like any other travel and outdoor apps available.  Allows for a very social element to hikes, climbs, rides, etc. 
Cons: New app so relatively few users right now.  Not available for the Android platform.

Cost: Free


4. Backpacker GPS Trails/ Trimble Outdoors Navigator: These two apps are pretty much one in the same when it comes to features and user interface.  Trimble's software powers the Backpacker app and in exchange Backpacker brings the brand power of being one of the most recognized names in outdoor sports media.  Both apps offer both a 'Lite' (free) and 'Pro' (paid) version.  These apps will be as close as you come to an actual GPS unit on the trail and can be really great for shorter trips.  The topo maps have extreme detail and multiple layers give you the ability to even input the National Weather Service radar over your hike to see when it's time to put on the rain gear. 

Pros: Excellent for trip planning and full of bells and whistles for the avid adventurer and the weekend warrior.
Cons:  Unfortunately cellphone battery technology has not caught up with these apps and it truly would suck juice to run these for many hours on end using the GPS function on your phone.

Free & 4.99 (Backpacker GPS Trails) 
Free & 4.99 (Trimble Outdoors Navigator)

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