There are many camping apps designed to help you plan camping trips, but how do you know which ones are right for you?
In this post, I’ll break down the best camping apps for your iPhone and android phone and go over commonly asked questions about camping apps. Most of these camping apps are free to use, with some offering upgraded plans for a fee.
Is there an app for finding campgrounds?
Yes – there are many. In fact, finding campsites is the #1 reason to use camping apps.
The Dyrt is one of the most popular campsite apps. It has more campgrounds and offers more different kinds of camping spots than other apps.
With the Dyrt, you can both find and book campsites.
The Dyrt’s library of campsites includes just about every kind of camping – public campgrounds, private campgrounds, free camping spots, and privately-owned land where you can camp. You find sites by map or keyword searches. Campgrounds are rated by users who leave reviews.
You can book many, but not all, of the campgrounds directly through the app. The exception is state and national parks. To reserve these public campgrounds, you click a link that takes you to the booking website.
The Dyrt gives you details about the amenities at each campground. I especially like that the app tells you when booking windows open at state and national campgrounds. That is powerful knowledge when it comes to reserving these coveted spots!
The Pro Version is best suited to campers looking for free places to camp, those who camp in remote areas, including National Parks that have notorious cell service, and anyone planning a road trip who needs to line up campsites in multiple locations.
The Dyrt’s Pro version gives you discounted rates at campgrounds and adds these features:
- Offline maps
- Public land maps
- Cell service maps
- Road trip maps
What does the Dyrt cost?
The Dyrt basic: free
The Dyrt Pro: $35.99. Get a free trial by clicking my link below.
Campendium and the Dyrt are similar apps but have key differences.
Which is better, Campendium or the Dyrt?
There are several differences between Campendium and the Dyrt. One is that you can’t make a camping reservation directly in Campendium like you can on the Dyrt.
Campendium is a crowd-sourced camping app, meaning its content comes from its 750,000 members. Think of it as the Waze of camping apps.
Another difference between the Dyrt and Campendium are ads. The Dyrt doesn’t have ads; Campendium is supported by ads, including video pop-ups – a consideration if you’re worried about data charges and battery drain. Campendium’s ads can be turned off with the paid version.
Another key difference between the Dyrt and Campendium is Campendium includes sites in Mexico and Canada, whereas the Dyrt covers the US only.
The Campendium app has information and reviews on camping in National Parks, National Forests, city and county campgrounds, RV parks, and free dispersed camping. Because this information is fed by users, it’s often incomplete.
Stepping up to the pro version, called Roadpass Pro, gives you:
- Ad-free viewing
- Trail maps
- Cell service overlays
- Elevation filters
What does Campendium cost?
Campendium Basic: free
Roadpass Pro: $49.99 a year
RA Camping – Reserve America
If you’re a camper, you’re probably familiar with Reserve America. Most states use Reserve America to manage their camping reservations.
If you are looking to reserve a campsite at a state park, RA camping is the app to use.
Reserve America is owned by a private equity company and is criticized for the fees it charges to make – and cancel – campsite reservations. These fees can be hefty considering rental rates are generally lower at public campgrounds than private. But you have no other choice when it comes to getting campsite reservations in many state parks because you can only book through Reserve America.
The RA app is really just the mobile version of its website. There is also information about specific campgrounds and campsites, although it varies by location.
There are no reviews on RA Camping. If you’re looking for reviews, check out other apps and Google maps.
State parks tend to be popular and can book up fast. If you can’t get a reservation at your desired park, you can use a campsite cancellation tracker to greatly increase your chances of finding a spot. You can read my review of cancellation trackers to learn about them.
What does Reserve America app cost?
Reserve America is free.
Campspot is an app you can use to find places to camp and then book them directly from within the app.
By app standards, Campspot is ancient. It was founded in 2015 to give campers a way to book campsites online. That sounds pretty basic, but many campgrounds at the time (and some still today, as a matter of fact!) didn’t have a way to do that when Campspot got started.
Campspot lists RV sites, tent sites, and cabins. The one big omission is public campgrounds – which aren’t included in Campspot. Strangely, you can search for a state park in the app, but it will only give you nearby private campgrounds.
Campspot provides campground-specific information including reviews, maps, campground policies, and deals on long-term rental rates.
What does the Campspot app cost?
Campspot is free.
Hipcamp is known as the Airbnb of camping. If you’re looking for unique camping experiences, check it out.
Is Hipcamp part of Airbnb?
No. But it works the same way: people rent out their property so you can pay to pitch your tent or pull up your RV, with the transaction managed through the app.
In addition to residential land, you will find glamping sites, yurts, and even treehouses on Hipcamp.
Instant booking is available for many sites on Hipcamp, and just like Airbnb, you can communicate with your host through the app.
Filters that let you search by price or type of camping, and a smartly designed interface, make Hipcamp easy to use.
Hipcamp covers the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
Is Hipcamp free?
Yes. Hipcamp is free to use. Click on my link below to get $10 in Hipcamp cash for FREE!
If you want to go camping but don’t have any camping gear, this is the app for you.
Tentrr’s goal is to provide camping experiences with a stylish twist without the need for camping equipment.
Tentrr’s signature white canvas tents are strategically placed on private and public land and are furnished with a bed, cookware, grill, seating, and other gear needed for camping.
On the low end, Tentrr sites cost around $100 and go up from there, with some sites topping out at thousands of dollars a night!
Tentrr also lists “backcountry sites” without tents that are cheap by comparison. These sites are on private land, similar to sites you’ll find on the Dyrt.
Tentrr is free to use.
Harvest Hosts hooks you up with camping at farms, wineries, and other businesses across the country.
You need to purchase a membership to Harvest Hosts to use the service, but once you’re a member, you can book unlimited overnight stays at no additional cost.
There is a catch to joining Harvest Hosts: campers need to be completely self-contained. Tents, pop-ups, and car campers aren’t allowed to join.
Harvest Hosts was designed with RVs in mind, but you can also join if you have a campervan, teardrop, or other small camper as long as it’s self-contained. Read this post to learn how you can make your camper self-contained.
Memberships are around $100 a year. Click below to use my code HHFRIENDS15 to get 15 percent off an annual membership.
Best known for its rentable log cabins, KOA has over 500 campgrounds with spots for RVs and tent campers.
The company’s app integrates with maps and allows you to book a site directly from your phone.
The KOA app is easy to use and gives you details on each campground, including user reviews. You’ll want to check those out as the quality of KOA campgrounds varies by location.
Apps for camping in National Parks
Camping in our National Parks typically requires more planning than other camping trips, and there are a few apps that you will want to have at the ready to help guide you.
In addition to the apps listed below, I recommend using the Dyrt Pro to find out exactly when reservation windows open for each park. The rule of thumb is that you can book six months before your visit.
Getting a reservation will likely be the most challenging part of organizing a camping trip to a National Park. So, plan to do this first, then move on to figuring out the details of your trip using the apps below.
If you want to camp in a national park, this is the app to use.
In fact, you cannot reserve a campsite at a national park on any other app.
You also cannot use this app for state parks; you’ll need Reserve America for that, but you can use this app to find camping in National Forests.
The National Forest camping options in Recreation.gov aren’t free, but you can reserve right within the app. Prices for campsites vary by location.
Recreation.gov is free to use, but there are fees added to all reservations that you should know about.
- “Add on” fee: $8 per reservation made online or through the app; $9 if made over the phone.
- Changes to reservation fee: $10
- Cancellation fee: $10
NPS, the National Park Service app
This official app developed by the National Park Service serves as a guide to our national parks. It offers information only – you cannot make reservations or buy tickets for parks that charge admission on this app.
That being said, you’ll probably want to check out a few other sources if you’re planning a visit to a national park, as this app lacks reviews and related information found on other apps such as the Dyrt and Campendium.
Use this app for viewing interactive maps with points of interest, general information, and self-guided tours of over 400 national parks.
Before visiting a park, take advantage of this app’s offline features and download your desired content before going. Many National Parks have areas without internet access.
The NPS app is free.
If you’re dreaming of taking an epic road trip to visit the best public spaces America has to offer, the Chimani Parks’ app is a tool to consider.
You can find information about both state and National Parks in the Chimani Parks app, although it’s worth noting that not all public parks are included.
You can use this app track your travels and access 62 National Park guides and 9 state travel guides. It also has maps viewable offline.
Content is what sets the Chimani app apart from other apps. As opposed to being provided by users, Chimani’s content has been curated by travel writers and earns a collective thumbs’ up from users – with one exception: the map interface, which reviewers say is hard to use.
How much does Chimani Parks cost?
Chimani Parks subscription: $29.99 a year. A free, three-day trial is available.
Lifetime membership price: $99.99
Parkwolf National Park
If you’re an animal lover who hopes to see some wildlife when you explore a National Park, this is the app to get.
Like other apps that help you make the most of your National Park visit, Parkwolf has maps and a GPS tool you can use to navigate, along with information specific to each of the 63 U.S. National Parks.
But wildlife heat maps are this app’s best feature. You can also view a cool feed of photos of wildlife sightings.
The paid version of this app gives you in-app GPS, wildlife alerts, and maps of animal sightings.
Parkwolf National Park cost
Parkwolf basic: free
Parkwolf Pro: $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year. Seven-day free trial.
MORE TIPS & TRICKS!
While not exactly a camping app, Roadtrippers earns a spot on this list because it’s the leading road trip app and is used by many campers.
Roadtrippers’ motto is “you’re always five minutes away from something awesome!”, and that’s what sets this app apart from the crowd.
In addition to route guidance, Roadtrippers gives you information on points of interest along the way. These include everything from national parks to hotels, scenic spots, and quirky roadside attractions.
Roadtrippers used to be entirely free, and users bemoan the addition of a subscription option, which you’ll need to buy if you have more than seven waypoints plotted on your trip.
Roadtrippers’ app cost
Plus Plan: $29.99
What is the best app to find free camping?
Finding free places to camp is another top reason to use a camping app.
With close to a third of the land in the United States owned by the federal government, you have a lot of options, especially if you’re out West.
What is it called when you camp for free?
Free camping is also called boondocking, dispersed camping, BLM camping (Bureau of Land Management), and pirate camping. “Stealth” camping refers to camping in an area that isn’t sanctioned for spending the night, like a city street.
Some free camping apps aren’t free. But considering what you’ll save in not paying for your campsite, they can be a smart investment.
You can use FreeRoam to find free camping on BLM land and United States Forest Service (USFS) land and parking lots where you can spend the night for free.
FreeRoam gives you the boundaries in these public lands with map layers that show you where you are allowed to camp, and goes a step further by providing additional information to help you pick a good spot.
These additional layers give you information on cell service (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint), elevation, fire hazards, and satellite views of the terrain.
When you hone in on an area, you’ll find user reviews, weather information and nearby amenities like dumping stations, water, trash, and showers. Super handy!
You can plot your trip and chat with other campers through the FreeRoam app.
A feature I especially like about FreeRoam is that you don’t have to be signed in to use it.
Does it cost anything to use FreeRoam?
FreeRoam is completely free to use.
USFS & BLM Campgrounds
This app offers a database of 5,600 USFS and BLM camping areas in the United States.
Similar to FreeRoam, it gives details about campsites such as elevation and weather via a map interface. One difference between the two is that this app lacks the boundary lines that Freeroam has to clearly mark the federal land.
Observing these boundaries is important so you don’t accidentally camp on privately owned land.
Some of the campsites are low-cost, rather than free.
What does the USFS & BLM Campgrounds’ app cost?
USFS & BLM Campgrounds price: .99 cents, one-time purchase
Created by the same developer as USFS & BLM Campgrounds, this app is also designed to help you find free places to camp.
But it doesn’t have as many camping areas to choose from – about 1,740 as of this writing.
Boondocking locations are crowd-sourced, so you will only find locations that have been submitted by users.
It uses Google and Apple maps to show you free camping locations. The Boondocking app lacks the specialized maps that other free camping apps provide.
Boondocking has filters for elevation, water, showers, toilets, Walmarts, and casinos.
How much does Boondocking app cost?
Boondocking app price: .99 cents.
Overlanding means camping in remote places not reachable by regular roads, so it usually involves an off-road capable vehicle. It’s sometimes called backcountry camping, dry camping or wild camping.
IOverlander is a crowd-sourced app consisting of user-supplied content. It differs from other user-fed apps because its users come from around the world, making IOverlander the best international camping app.
For example, there over 1,200 entries for Morocco; over 8,600 in Peru; and seven listings in Antartica on the IOverlander app!
If you’re looking for out-of-the-way spots that fall under the radar of other camping guides, you should check this app out.
In addition to wild campoing spots, you can find places to park, hostels, restaurants, feuling stations, water sources and more.
Is the iOverlander app free?
IOverlander is free to use. Donations are accepted.
Sēkr claims to be the largest database of free campsites and is particularly helpful in finding last-minute campsites. This makes it a popular app with van lifers.
The Sēkr app has filters that allow you to search by price, amenities, and type of camping spot.
Similar to the Dyrt, Sēkr indexes just about every kind of free campsite out there, including:
- Private land
- National Parks
- US Forest Service and BLM camping
- Overnight parking spots
- Private land camping
In addition, you can use the Sēkr app to find Native lands, Fish and Wildlife land, trails, refilling stations, potable water sources, dump stations, showers, vehicle repair shops, and more.
How is Sēkr different from other apps?
Sēkr’s social tools make the app unique. You can use the app to connect with other campers and find events and meetups. Vanlifers in particular love this aspect of the Sēkr app.
The emphasis on connection is also evident in Sēkr’s database of camping spots, where you can even find people’s driveways to camp at!
How much does Sēkr cost?
Sēkr subscription rates: $1.99/month or $18.99 a year.
This map app is designed to keep you from getting lost on trails, but you can use it to find free camping, too.
Its detailed maps can be used offline and are perfect for all kinds of adventuring, from fishing to backpacking to riding on backcountry trails.
There are thousands of maps you can access on Avenza, including maps from National Geographic, Michelin, the Federal Aviation Commission, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and more. Some maps can be downloaded and purchased from the app.
You can also use Avenza to make your own maps by tracking your steps and marking points of interest on your route. With the pay plan, you can add photos, symbols and notes to your locations.
How much does the Avenza Maps app cost?
Avenza offers two levels of upgraded access for an annual fee.
- The Plus level lets you create maps with multiple layers and gives you unlimited importing of your maps in PDF and other formats. This costs $29.99 a year.
- The Pro level adds more robust tools and integrations and is designed for professionals who work with maps. It runs $144.99 a year
Gaia is another mapping app used by hikers that you can use to find free camping spots.
Gaia is known for its accuracy and its premium version can be used without cell service. Users can pull multiple maps into layers and plan their trips based on a wealth of information served up by the app.
Maps used to find free camping spots with Gaia include US Forestry Service, public lands’ maps, and a map created by Gaia called Gaia Topo that is optimized for fast downloads and stores up-to-date information on roads, trails, water sources, topo lines, elevations and points of interest.
This post shows you exactly how to find free camping with Gaia GPS.
Gaia GPS pricing
Gaia GPS free version: access to basic maps, route building tools.
Gaia Premium: $39.99 a year, adds access to over 300 offline maps and weather and terrain features.
What are the best RV camping apps?
Camping in an RV brings its own set of challenges. RVs need more space, hook ups for water and electric and dumping stations.
RV campers also need to make sure they can reach their destination safely, clearing overpasses and navigating terrain that can be challenging.
RV Life turns your phone into a GPS for RVing. You can use it to search for campgrounds and safely map your way to your desired spot with directions calculated with your RV’s height and weight in mind.
The app’s campground search covers state and national parks, as well as private RV parks and those that are big-rig friendly.
RV Life’s maps work offline if downloaded beforehand but reviews say they can be buggy.
User reviews, articles about RVing, and a customizable trip planner are additional features of this app.
Cost: $59.99 for a year or $19.99 a month.
With a campground finder, maps, user reviews, and a trip planner, RV Parky is similar to RV Life.
What are the differences between RV Life and RV Parky?
The differences break down to two main things:
- RV Parky is free
- RV Parky doesn’t offer offline GPS.
Both RV Parky and RV Life include rest stops and stores such as Cracker Barrel, Walmart, and Camping World, where you can overnight in the parking lot.
Allstays Camp & RV
Allstays is popular among RVers, who use it to find campgrounds and resources campers need, such as repair shops, gas stations, truck stops, and propane filling stations.
A unique feature among camping apps is Allstays non-camping listings for hotels, B&Bs and spa resorts.
The free version of this app offers limited information; it really just shows points on a map detailing rest stops, low clearances and places to park and camp. I find using Allstays website, while a little clunky, to be better than the free version of the app.
My favorite use of Allstays is to find public campgrounds that aren’t listed in recreation.gov. This post I wrote shows you how to do that. I have found some real hidden gems and encourage you to check it out!
What does Allstays cost?
Allstays price: $19.99 per year afterward. Free seven-day trial.
the RV Complete app connects you with the dealership where you bought your RV. It stores your RV’s warranty and service contract information and allows you to schedule maintenance through the app.
You can also post your RV for sale and browse RV classifieds.
This app also includes a campground finder.
RV Complete pricing
The RV Complete app is free.
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