It’s that time of year when our bosses begrudgingly release us from those desk shackles for a couple of weeks and we’re able to take in that free countryside air (What do you mean ‘It smells like cow s**t’? That’s freedom, that is!).
Naturally, the Nokia Lumia 900 is a mean partner-in-crime-and-fine-wine for your outdoor endeavors and, in the first part of a series on how your smartphone can enhance your vacation, we take a look at five of the finest exploratory offerings on the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Wiki Talking Tours
A free app which capitalizes on geo-tagged Wikipedia entries to give you bonafide audio tours to augment your exploratory shenanigans. It’s a great way to discover historic buildings, the stories behind ancient battlegrounds or the kind of wildlife you can expect to encounter in State Parks. The potential is practically limitless, but can we get David Attenborough on commentary?
Free (but premium membership required for all features)
There’s nothing quite like a bit of Geocaching to turn a walk in the countryside to a full-on treasure hunt. There’s a decent array of solutions for Windows Phone, but we like this offering. You can use Live Tiles to pin the app to the Start screen, which will update to show you the nearest cache at any given point in time and with detailed descriptions, loads of photos and mystery hunts. With 1.7m geocaches to track down worldwide, we can’t see you looking elsewhere.
This app should be enough to put Washington State on your itinerary. The WTA TrailBlazer app is packed with beautiful photography and tons of information on how to find dog and child friendly trails, even allowing you to customize hike length, access driving directions, weather conditions and recent reviews from other explorers. This official app is a trailblazer in its own right and a blueprint for the other 49 states in the Union.
We love hot dogs cooked over the campfire, but after three days it feels like our intestines may attempt to leave our body via the fastest possible route. Instead, how about Alaskan Campfire Stew with Beer Fries and Cherry Peach Cobbler for dessert? The app features ten ways to cook your receipt of choice and brings solutions whether you’re backpacking or have brought your entire kitchen with you. And if you’re really hiking up poop creek without a paddle, there’s a host of emergency survival foods. Who knew ants could be so nutritious?
National Parks EyeGuide
Whether it’s stripping down to snorkel among the coral reefs in Florida’s Dry Tortugas or piling on layers to climb the snow-covered peaks of the Denali Wilderness reserve in Alaska, this app is just the ticket. It’s loaded with top-notch photography, YouTube videos, current weather conditions and latest news from Park Services. It’s a gem whether you’re planning or in the midst of your trip.