The 5 Best Camping Apps to Help You Plan Your Next Trip

Planning a camping trip? Camping & Hiking Expert Hannah K. covers the 5 best apps for finding the perfect campsite for your trip

An orange tent is set up in the grass.

Photo by Clay Banks

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It may seem counterintuitive, but our technological advancements play a very big role in how we navigate the wilderness. Although we are escaping screens for trees and rock formations, those very same screens help us find exactly where we want to go. But how can we use our screens to do that?

I’ve assembled the top five apps you need to find the perfect campsite for your trip. From backcountry camping and boondocking to private campgrounds and glamping in hotel-like accommodations, these apps will help you find your dream campsites. Although you may not always need to reserve campgrounds ahead of time, it is always recommended to ensure you have a place to rest your head and stargaze. Take a look at my list and find your next campground.

1. The Dyrt

Price: Free Users: iOS and Android (mobile and desktop) Ratings / Reviews: 4.8/5 and 39,000 ratings

The Dyrt is an all-in-one resource to find campsites that is complete with reviews, photos, videos, and an easy booking system. The Dyrt has over 42,000 ranked campgrounds that include Tentrrs (a collection of private campgrounds ranging from hotel-like glamping sites to tent sites), Hipcamps, cabins, RV parks, and campgrounds in national parks, state parks, and more. The app is continuously updating and adding new campgrounds to help you find the perfect campsite for every trip. There are even camping contests for users, where online reviews can get you prizes and discounts.

2. Recreation.gov

Price: Free Users: iOS only Ratings / Reviews: 4.8/5 and 119,000 ratings

Recreation.gov is the most well-known campground listing site that covers federal camping grounds only. This iOS-exclusive app features all of your favorite national parks and forests and lists popular activities to do in the area, such as famous hikes or backpacking trails. There are user reviews but no photos or videos. You can book in the app, but I find the desktop version to be much easier to navigate than the mobile version.

A sleeping bag is laid out next to a campfire on a hill with pine trees in the distance.

Photo by Frank Holleman

3. Hipcamp

Price: Free Users: iOS and Android Ratings / Reviews: 4.8/5 and 11,000 ratings

Hipcamp is one of my favorite apps for finding unique campgrounds and glamping. It offers everything from open spaces for tent sites to treehouses, geo-domes, yurts, and tiny houses on the beach. This app truly offers an experience for every nature lover. It is nicknamed the “Airbnb of camping” because of its wide variety of outdoor experiences. Finding your perfect campsite is easy with the number of filters the app offers and booking in the app is simple to do. Want to bring your pets? There is a filter for pet-friendly accommodations. Need some recommendations on nearby attractions? Hipcamp has you covered.

4. FreeRoam

Price: Free Users: iOS only Ratings / Reviews: 4.9/5 and 22,000 ratings

FreeRoam is a great app for those looking to camp on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land or those who do not want to pay a fee at a campground. Most of the sites listed in the app do not have RV hookups or amenities such as potable water, restrooms or vault toilets, tables, and fire rings. However, there are over 500 listings and it is always growing. These listings have reviews and details from campers sharing their experiences.

This app is a very popular way to help save some money while road tripping or wanting to experience areas in the wilderness that are not heavily populated. Want to see constellations and a gorgeous night sky? Use this app to find campsites away from the city lights. These sites do not require reservations, so you cannot book in the app.

A pop-top camper van is parked on a levy.

Photo by Nick Dunlap

5. iOverlander

Price: Free Users: iOS and Android Ratings / Reviews: 3.5/5 and 200 ratings

iOverlander is an extremely helpful resource for vanlifers and roadtrippers because it provides listings for everything you may need while living on the road. For example, the app includes wild and established campgrounds as well as features that help you find hardware stores, propane fill-up spots, and mechanics nearby. There are also resources to help find clean drinking water and places to dump your grey water tank. Users and travelers are constantly updating the app to include more resources. It can be a relief to know that you can find a rest area on your way or a mechanic if something goes wrong on the road!

The last few years have seen an uproar in those looking to explore the outdoors. This global pandemic has pushed us away from overcrowded society life to the peace and serenity of isolation in the beautiful wilderness. Because of this, campgrounds are often booked months in advance. In preparation and response to more and more people reserving spots at campgrounds, use these apps to confirm availability for your next trip.

If you have any questions or need to get geared up for your next camping trip, reach out to a Camping & Hiking Expert here on Curated.

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Written By
Although I've been hiking for most of my life, I didn't start backpacking and camping until college when I joined the University Outdoors Club at my school. My first backpacking trip was ambitious, the Batona Trail in the Pinelands in New Jersey done in two days. To do that, we had to walk a maratho...

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