One of the great joys of a camping holiday is turning off the phone and leaving the working world behind. But a new raft of clever apps means there’s now good reason to keep your smartphone switched on. Of course, whether you choose to answer it if it rings is still entirely up to you…
Nobody wants to camp in the rain, so having access to detailed weather info can make or break a trip. While all smartphones have an in-built weather app, they can be only a general forecast. The Bureau of Meteorology’s free app, BOM Weather, uses real-time radar images that show the direction and intensity of rain across the country to give you a heads up on whatever weather is on its way.
DIRECTIONS & MAPS
Google maps is a great free navigation tool, but it only works if you have mobile phone reception. Hema Explorer ($49.99) works offline and has detailed 4WD tracks and bush camping spots.
Keep up to date with road closures. Live Traffic NSW is a free app and mobile website with the latest information on roadworks and road closures. You can also follow them on Twitter for real - time alerts.
Fuelmap.com.au is a crowd-sourced free database of petrol stations and fuel prices across the country and is particularly handy if you are looking for fuel in remote areas.
With more than 10,000 entries, this user-generated app ($7.99) details caravan parks, free camp spots, rest areas, portable toilet dump points and other places of interest. Users can upload pictures of campgrounds, give it a rating and leave comments. It also has handy features like a camping checklist, compass and satellite finder, plus a chat forum to ask other campers for advice. It’s also a handy tool if you’re travelling with your pooch and looking to find dog-friendly sites!
Emergency+ is a national app developed by Australia's emergency services and Government and industry partners, helping people to call the right number at the right time, anywhere in Australia. The app uses a mobile phone's GPS functionality so callers can provide emergency call-takers with their location information. Emergency+ also includes SES and Police Assistance Line numbers as options, so non-emergency calls are made to the most appropriate number.
One of the most important things to take camping is a good first aid kit, but do you know what to do if somebody is seriously injured, bitten or stung in the bush? Easy to use with step-by-step photographs showing you exactly what to do in an emergency, this free app features lifesaving first aid advice from the Australian Red Cross.
NATIONAL PUBLIC TOILET MAP
For those times when you really have to go, with handy info on disabled facilities, public showers and dump points.