Tag Archives: outdoors

Bushwalking Equipment | Boiling Water on a Wood Fire

Want to quickly boil water on an open wood fire? Tried a traditional Stockman’s Quart Pot yet?

History

Boiling water on an open fire is a tradition that is fast disappearing as “Stoves Only” signs become more common in our parks and campgrounds. While the opportunity remains, why not try a traditional method that has been around for well over a 100 years and was used by the cavalry in the Boer War and by our early drovers and stock men?

Traditional tin
Modern stainless steel

On my last few bushwalks to the Flinders Ranges, I have used one of these traditional pots and found it to be excellent. I have listed some advantages and disadvantages to help you decide.

Advantages

  • Steeped in history
  • No wire bail (handle): fold away handles make it easier to pack
  • Fast boil, as it can be placed directly in the coals
  • Dual purpose, as it includes a cup, which also acts as a firmly fitting lid to keep out ash
  • Space saving, with matches, gripper, tea bags, sugar inside
  • High efficiency, as flames surround the pot without any possibility of melting the handles
  • Easy to hold, as wire handles cool quickly
  • Maintains shape and packs easily, due to strength and oval shape
  • Easy to remove from fire with a stick placed through the wire loop on the lid and wire loops on main container (not shown)
  • Large size (1.1L): large drink (500ml) and water for freeze dried pack (400ml)

Disadvantages

  • Weight: heavier than titanium
  • Cools rapidly, compared to a plastic mug
  • Rusts, if you don’t dry before packing, unless you buy the stainless steel version
  • Dangers: don’t let it boil dry or the solder will melt on tin versions (stainless steel versions available)
  • Health Risk: traditional tin version has lead solder

Alternatives

There are a variety of titanium kettles available but they either lack the bail to lift from a fire, have no integrated cup or have plastic coated handles. They are also much easier to damage while packing.

Some Links

Bushcraftoz 

Related posts

Campfire or stove?

What do you use in your campfire?

  Creative Commons LicenseThis article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Bushwalking Navigation | Documenting Your Route Plan

How do you document a route plan? How can you use Google Earth to check the route and save pics of critical navigational decision points? How do you use mapping software to plot and export the waypoints to your GPS, print the route and elevation graph? How can you annotate your map pdfs? How do you protect your maps from the weather?

This post is part 2 of  Bushwalking Navigation | A Route Plan Workflow

Getting the “big picture”

The first step in planning any trip is to read guide books, talk to other bushwalkers and search  bushwalking forums, websites and blogs to discover which routes are popular. 

Once you have decided on your intended route you will need to check water availability, weather conditions, locate existing tracks, property boundaries and permitted camping spots.  Don’t forget to check photographic websites such as Flickr, which give a good idea of popular sites and the scenery to be expected.

Next study the terrain to work out your likely speed, keeping in mind height gains and losses, the density of vegetation, the amount and difficulty of any off-track walking, and the presence of waterfalls in creek lines, which may need to be bypassed.  Once you know these you will be able decide how far apart your camping spots can be and determine each day’s starting and finishing times.

I have discussed many of these navigation techniques and route plan design in previous posts (21) and won’t go further into detail now.

Finding a Map

You should never rely solely upon a GPS for critical navigational decisions and for this reason bushwalkers should always carry topographic maps covering the route, and the surrounding countryside just in case you get off track. These can be purchased from a local map or outdoors shop, and are usually available at 1:50,000 scale but sometimes at 1:25,000, which provide more detail, for popular areas.

If you are walking the Heysen Trail in South Australia, there are two excellent guide books (Northern and Southern), with log books readily available available which include maps that are adequate for most walkers. The CFS also publishes (Mapland) excellent map books, and these too are available from map and outdoor shops. Many downloadable walking brochures for our parks are available from the Department of Environment’s Parks SA website.

With digital maps readily available, many people are using mapping software to select just the relevant parts of maps and to enlarge these beyond the 1:50K scale than is usually available in printed maps, making it easier to see the contour and creek lines. If you are lucky enough to live in NZ, you can download 1:50,000 maps free of charge and even Australia has 1:250,000 maps for free download from Geoscience which are useful for getting the big picture and planning access roads.

Using Mapping Software

My apologies to Windows users for the following Mac centric discussion. 

As a MacBook Pro user I have used MacGPS Pro mapping software for many years to import my scanned maps, plot my routes and export the waypoints to my GPS. A print out of the waypoints file is an essential record of each waypoint’s  name, grid reference, comments, and elevation

One big advantage of mapping software is that it is possible to enlarge the map on screen to locate the exact position of known waypoints  or to determine the grid reference to 7 figure accuracy of any point you can see. Once you have decided on your waypoints you can rapidly link these to form a route, calculating distances and bearings automatically by dragging from point to point, and plotting a route elevation graph by selecting the route single click. The elevation graph is useful for estimating time to be taken.

From MacGPS Pro

The disadvantage of using a Macintosh is that without a Windows emulator, such as Bootcamp, and an installed version of Windows, OziExplorer software doesn’t work.

For older Macs (not using intel cpu) use Virtual PC or for new OS X Macs with the Intel CPU use either Bootcamp or emulation software called VirtualBox or ParallelsVirtualBox (Sun Microsystems Inc.) is free for personal use. It works in OS X on Intel Macs. (OziExplorer – Running OziExplorer on a MAC or Linux Computer )

There is a way to overcome this and that is to import the maps from the disc in .ecw format into a graphics program such as Graphic Converter, select the relevant part and then save as a PICT or TIFF file.  Some of the .ecw image files are small enough to import directly into a mapping program such as MacGPS Pro.

Often the .ecw image file will be accompanied by a matching .map calibration file and providing you keep it in the same folder as the ecw file, you can then import into MacGPS Pro and automatically calibrate the map. You could of course still do it the old way which was to scan and process a hard copy of the map.

Assuming there is no matching .map file available, calibrating a digital map using MacGPS Pro requires that you first rotate the map (using GraphicConverter) so the northing gridlines are horizontal and then enter the full 7 figure grid references of four widely spread points, usually near the corners of your map.

Top Left:  Easting 0263000 Northing 6540000, Grid Zone 54J, AGD94

From MacGPS Pro

You must also enter the UTM grid zone and know the projection and map datum eg I am using a portion of the Oraparinna map for a forthcoming trip

From MacGPS Pro

NB UTM Grid Zones is SA are either 52 (far west), 53 (west) or 54 (central and east)

Annotating your pdfs

Annotated portion of Oraparinna map

There are several programs (I use Skim) that allow you to annotate a pdf. This is particularly useful as it allows you to add grid references to the margins of your map (NB MacGPS Pro has a menu item “View/Gridlines” which does this automatically for you) and add notes about the route. Most programs allow you to add arrows showing routes and highlights. Once you have done this, you can export as a pdf and if you have the full version of Acrobat take advantage of its ability to reduce the file size significantly, to as much as a tenth.

Using Google Earth to Plan a Route

Google Earth can be used to visualize the route, finding 4WD tracks, checking whether creek lines are heavily vegetated and to see if ridges would be easier going. Cattle, goat and sheep tracks converging on a creek line probably indicates a waterhole, spring or a shallow crossing. Rainwater tanks, galvanised iron shelters, windmills and bores can sometimes be seen in Google Earth, even if they are not marked on the map.

Flinders Ranges: Google Earth screen capture

Simply import your .kml file showing your waypoints and then zoom in and tilt to see your route in 3D. Use a screen capture program, such as  Snapz Pro X, to capture pics of significant parts of the route, with your waypoints shown. Save these to your iPhone, camera or print, for later reference while on the walk.

NB I can never get my GPS waypoints to exactly match those in Google Earth, as I assume it uses a different map datum

Protecting your maps

One of the advantages of printing your maps from pdfs is that you can print them in A4 format which means they can either be laminated back-to-back or placed in a map case without the need for folding.

Other relevant posts

The Bushwalking Navigation series

Other Resources

Geoscience
Department of Environment’s Parks SA website
Bushwalk Australia Forum
Friends of the Heysen Trail

  Creative Commons LicenseThis article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Bushwalking Navigation | How far have I walked?

Want to know how far you have walked or how far you still have to go? Which  tools can use to find this info? What pre-walk planning should you have done? What should you be doing while you are walking? Can your GPS be relied upon to give this information?

 Part 1 of this article was published separately but has now been merged with Part 2

Knowing how far you have walked can determine whether you have a safe trip. Without knowing the distance you have walked, and the time it has taken, you can’t estimate how long it will take you to get to your camp site and whether you will make it before nightfall.

The best way is to “thumb” your map as you walk along, so you know where you are at all times and use this information, along with your route plan, your average speed and time since starting, to work out how far you have walked. Your GPS can give you a good guide too, but over long distances your GPS can be significantly inaccurate and should not be relied upon as your sole source of this information, especially if you are moving slowly in difficult terrain.

Before you can work out how far you have walked, either you or your GPS need two bits of essential information

  1. where you started
  2. where you are now

The first should be easy, but the second can be much more difficult. You can make it easier for yourself by doing some preparation before you leave home and again at the start point (trailhead for those from NA).

Silva Map Measurer Plus

Before you leave home

  • purchase or download (lucky NZanders!) a map and guidebook if available.
  • use navigation software (smartphone or PC*) to explore your digital map, measure distances, select routes and waypoints
  • view the terrain in Google Earth or Google maps, select your waypoints, route and measure distances
  • enter way points into your GPS and link them as a route, using the software or just manually
  • measure distances using a map measurer or piece of cotton or a ruler, depending on whether the track is straight or windy
  • prepare a route plan
  • mark your map with your route and waypoints

* I have used MacGPS Pro for the last 10-15 years on my Mac.

    At the beginning of your walk
    • locate yourself on the map
    • check the time and start you stopwatch/timer
    • mark the start waypoint on your GPS and set it to navigate to your  next planned stop
    • reset the Trip Odometer on your GPS
    • reset your pedometer if you are carrying one

    PS don’t forget to adjust the time and date on your camera as well, as it is good to be able to match photos with your GPS location when you get back home.

    While you are walking

    • “thumb” your map, reading map-to-ground as you walk along, “ticking off” prominent features as you walk along
    • use your GPS, and known features, to work out your average speed and use your stopwatch, which you started at the beginning of the leg, to estimate how far you have walked, based on the average speed
    • continually check that the terrain matches where you should be on the map based on your average speed and time you have been walking, less breaks. This is a very difficult skill to learn and needs continual practice as it is very easy to miss a creek junction or mistake a knoll. Carry a map even on an easy day walk and practise.

    When you reach your objective

    • your objective should be a prominent feature which is on your map and your route plan. Use navigation techniques such as aiming off, handrails, catching features and attack points to help you locate the feature.
    • use your GPS to check your location, making sure you are using the correct map datum
    • use your route plan to look-up the distance, which you hopefully measured using one of the devices listed above before you set off
    • use your GPS’s Trip Odometer to tell you how far you have walked (subject to inaccuracies: read below)

    Why my GPS can’t measure distance travelled accurately.

    Your GPS trip odometer should only be used as a backup in determining distance, not as your primary device, as it is unable to accurately determine distance travelled in typical off track walking terrain, as occurs when you are walking along a windy creek track with tree cover, overhanging cliffs and the odd waterfall to climb. For most use on open tracks the accuracy will be adequate but for a 10 km walk leg through difficult terrain, the inaccuracy could be as much as 10-25% of  the true distance.(Source: Garmin Forums)

    One of the reasons for this is that the GPS adds the distances, as the “crow flys”, between the points it has saved, to the trip odometer and these will usually be slightly shorter that the actual distance you walked, especially if you have changed the data logging from the default which is usually once per second (1hz) to something less frequent. The only exception to this will be if you are walking in a straight line when it should be able to measure with 100% accuracy. The inaccuracy will be further increased if you make frequent stops, turn frequently or walk slowly, say less than 3.5 km/hr, so that the GPS doesn’t know you are walking. Walking up a steep incline can also produce inaccuracies, as the GPS only measures horizontal distances.

    The accuracy will be increased by increasing the data logging rate  eg 1Hz (once a second) to 5Hz. The problem with this is that your battery may not last as long and when you reach the internal memory limit it may start deleting the oldest.

    From the Garmin Forums: Distance of Trip odometer not the same than distance of Track

    When you walk (or drive), the GPS is constantly doing calculations based on where you are this instant compared to where you were on the previous location reading so it “knows” which direction you are traveling and how fast you are traveling.

    At each of these calculations, it also calculates the distance traveled and adds that to the Trip Odometer.

    Most GPS units do these calculations approximately once each second. You do not travel very far in one second, even in a motor vehicle traveling at the speed limit, so each of these calculated distances will be fairly accurate. That means when you add them all up, as the Trip Odometer is doing, the total distance in the Trip Odometer at the end of the trip will be fairly accurate.

    One thing that will affect the accuracy of the Trip Odometer when you are hiking is if you are not moving fast enough for the GPS to detect that you are moving. That could cause little pieces of travel to not get added into the Trip Odometer and the distance it reports to be shorter than reality.

    Track files are different. If you save the track log to a file, it always prunes the log to 500 track points, regardless how many points there are in the raw log file. If your driving or hiking was not in a long straight line, you will “lose” distance when pruning the points. That is, if you walked in a curve that originally had 20 points marked and the curve gets pruned to, say, 3 or 8 points to describe it in the track file, you will not get the full distance of the curve calculated in the track.

    That is because the calculations of distance in the track file all assume that the distance between each recorded point is a straight line. If you describe a curve with fewer points it will always look like the curve covers less distance.

    If you transfer the raw track log file to Mapsource or Basecamp, you should get all of the track points and that should cause less of a difference between the track and the related Trip Odometer reading.

    Further reading:

    Bushwalking Navigation | Using Topo50 Maps (LINZ) for Tramping in New Zealand
    Bushwalking Navigation | How to Choose the Best iPhone GPS App
    Bushwalking Navigation: The Importance of Using the Correct Geodetic Map Datum.
    Bushwalking Navigation | A Route Plan Workflow
    Silva Map Measurer Plus
    Bushwalking Photography Workflow | Share the Best of a Group’s Photos Using iPhoto

    Read more Navigation posts

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    iPhone Apps for Bushwalkers Revisited

    It’s over a year since I began reviewing iPhone apps for bushwalkers. During this time I have tried hundreds and found that I only use a few regularly.

    While there are hundreds of iPhone apps useful to bushwalkers and growing every day, what you personally find useful is determined by your past experience, the type of walking you do, your interests,  and your willingness to be dependent on high tech devices.

    After trying most, I regulary use only a few of these. On bushwalks, my choice will vary as it is dependent upon on the duration of my walk, and hence how important it is to save battery power,  and upon how much non-walking time I will have available.

    My iPhone Apps

    Navigation: Bit Map, Declination, Maps, Google Earth, Compass
    Field Guides: Good Reader, BooksApp, Kindle, Aus. Birds (Morecomb), Field Guide Fauna Museum Victoria, Bird in Hand, WhatBirdNZ, Wikipanion, MyEnviro, FrogLog
    Bushcraft / Survival : KnotsGuide, SASSurvival, Knots, GoneTrekking
    Camp Food: Jamie Oliver’s Recipes, Poh’s Kitchen, Nigella Quick (….LOL)
    Fitness: Walkmeter, Beat Monitor, Cadence, iHandy Level
    Weather: Pkt Weather, Rainspotting, Clouds, iBarometer, ShralpTide, Clouds,WeatherNZ
    Travel: Frequent Flyer, Webjet, Plane Finder, Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor
    Astronomy: Star walk, Star Guide
    NZ: WeatherNZ, WhatBirdNZ, SnowReports
    Photography: Flickr
    Medical: Elastoplast, MediProfiles, St John NZ

    Disclaimer: Navigation using your iPhone always needs to be backed up with a compass, map and a dedicated GPS. 

    I have written reviews of many of these iPhone apps previously in this blog, several articles about how to use iPhone apps in general while bushwalking, and detailed articles which focus upon iPhone apps for navigation, fitness and NZ.

    Read more…..

      Creative Commons LicenseThis article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

    Review: The iPhone’s Navigation Potential for Bushwalkers and Hikers

     Can an iPhone improve my navigation? What’s wrong with my compass, map and GPS? Why would I want to carry another piece of battery dependent technology into the bush?

     All valid questions and worth answering.  Nobody wants to replace dependable low tech equipment with high tech items, which have a tendency to fail at critical moments, especially if they are battery dependent.

    Well what characteristics (features and functions) do we bushwalkers and hikers want from our navigation equipment?

    •    Reliable
    •    Versatile
    •    Weather proof
    •    Good Readability in Low Light
    •    Rugged
    •    Lightweight
    •    Compact
    •    Easy to operate buttons

    How does the iPhone match up with these expectations?

    Reliable? Yes I think so, no doubt due to the tough restrictions Apple places up its software developers, which mean that apps usually work well together and with the core apps that come with the iPhone.
    Versatile? Most definitely. Just take a look at the 60 or so apps that I have collected together in previous articles in this series. They cover a great variety of variations on the theme of navigation: compass, GPS, pedometer, mapping, real time notification of position, altimeter, speed.
    Weatherproof? Well not really, but its not difficult to go low tech with a couple of zip-lock bags or high tech with an Otterbox. However, I’ll always be nervous using my iPhone in the rain, some thing that I never have to worry about with my compass or GPS.
    Good Readability in Low light? Definitely, but the consequences of extended use are that the battery will go flat, hence many of the apps use the proximity sensor to turn off the screen as soon as it goes into your pocket. One of the benefits of the touch screen is being able to zoom in and out at the flick of a finger and the high resolution screen makes it easy to see mapping detail
    Rugged? With glass front and back few could describe the iPhone as rugged, but it is easy to purchase screen protectors and cases that will prevent damage if dropped or scratched.

    Otterbox Defender Series Case

    Lightweight? Probably about the same weight as your compass and GPS, but if you have to carry both as a back up, it becomes quite a bit heavier effectively.
    Compact? Not bad, as it will fit into a shirt or shorts pocket or into an armband.
    Easy to operate buttons? Well there are few essential buttons and these are easy to operate even with gloved hands. However the touch screen won’t work with gloved hands, which could be a major problem in cold- wet climates or when in snow.

    See also:

    How to Keep your iPhone Charged in the Outdoors
    My Favourite iPhones Apps for Bushwalking, Hiking, the Outdoors and Fitness.
    The iPhone for Bushwalkers and Hikers
    Some Great Uses of the iPhone for Bushwalkers

    Creative Commons License
    This article by Bush Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

    Some Great Uses of the iPhone for Bushwalkers

    For an update see: Bushwalking Equipment | Can I Really Do Without a Smartphone?

    The iPhone 4 has many features which make it suitable for bushwalking and some which don’t. The built in GPS and compass, 5 Mb camera  with geo-tagged photos, the HD video recorder, its multimedia capabilities and its voice controlled mobile phone and wi-fi communications make it ideal.

    I have just bought an iPhone 4 from Telstra, as they have better coverage, especially in regional and remote areas, and have being trying to find some iPhone apps* which might be useful. It wasn’t difficult!
    Here are some links to useful iPhone apps for the outdoors. The descriptions below are from the iTunes Store.
    Emergencies/Survival/Rescue

    Simple slider motion to contact emergency services and launch RESCUE app (all functionality requires connection and access to local cellular and 3G/Edge or Wifi networks) Automatically detects new country and inserts appropriate local emergency number Sends 4 sms/email messages to your contacts with an emergency message and location. Provides your emergency call back number in case you have a private or blocked number. Loud audio alarm to warn bystanders, predators, or yourself, that the RESCUE app has been activated. Hyperlinked messages to Google maps so your location is instantly known. 60 second countdown to automatically call emergency services, in case you cannot. Ease of operation during emergencies

     Rescue@ helps locating you when calling an emergency number. In an emergency and needs help? But unsure where you are? By using Rescue@ when calling the emergency service you will be able to provide that critical, and maybe even life-saving, information to the emergency service personnel. The application works by first locating you using the location service on your iPhone. This location will then be saved as a contact name when pressing the “Call emergency”-button within the application. You can then read your location out loud by simply looking at the contact name in the caller-ID screen. 

    If you’re ever in a tight spot or emergency just press “Rescue Me!” and this application will send your location to your Twitter followers, and Facebook friends, and email account you set. This alarm message will come in the form of longitude and latitude coordinates, a Google Maps link, and a help message (which you can set) to ensure you can be found. The online society and your friends can take care of you. RescueMe can be a lifesaving tool.

    Rescue Light is a simple app but very functional that can help you at various times. Need a red alert light? This is the app.

    Stroboscope and Torch Light – FlashLight ! iStrobo is an application that turns your iPhone or iPod touch into a stroboscope. Define its frequency and start the stroboscope !

    MorseEmergency is an application that sends a light SOS Morse signal through the screen of your iPhone or iPod touch. In some circumstances, long distance, noise… a light signal is the only message that can be sent or received.  

    Send SOS alerts in Morse code with the blink of your screen!

    In a swiftwater rescue scenario, it is useful to determine how far a person in the water has travelled downstream so that the search area may be narrowed and more effectively conducted. Although the math for determining this distance is relatively straightforward, it requires precious time that could be better used elsewhere. Mistakes may also be made in a high-stress situation, which may also cost time.

    SAS Survival Lite is the FREE version of the complete SAS Survival Guide, available now in the app store. Based on the million-copy best selling book, this fantastic free app provides you with a bare bones guide to wilderness survival. Jam-packed with basic survival tools, you’ll be equipped for any expedition to the outdoors with this entry-level guide in your arsenal.

    SAS Survival Lite is the FREE version of the complete SAS Survival Guide, available now in the app store. Based on the million-copy bestselling book, this fantastic free app provides you with a bare bones guide to wilderness survival. Jam-packed with basic survival tools, you’ll be equipped for any expedition to the outdoors with this entry-level guide in your arsenal.

    Don’t panic! You have a survivalist in your pocket. iSurvive marries common sense to meticulous technique. This application addresses the essential needs of wilderness survival. iSurvive instructs the user, with concise language and detailed photo illustrations to tie knots, construct shelters, set snares, start fires, and find clean drinking water. It also serves as a quick reference for First Aid, Navigation, Weather, Rescue and more.

    NOW you are able to send your location via email or SMS wherever you want whenever you want…A simple application that shows the user the exact geographic location in degrees, minutes and seconds. Along with that you can get the course in degrees and the speed in 3 different units (km/h, nm/h, mi/h).

    First Aid

    With Sun Alert you can calculate the maximal sun exposure time from your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. Whether you are at the beach, climbing mountains, skiing, walking, jogging or working outdoors you need to protect your skin from the UV radiation and thereby lower the risk of adverse health effects.

    MediProfiles gives you peace of mind by having all of your Friends, Family and Co-worker’s emergency medical information at your finger tips. (St Johns)
    Resuscitate focuses on the importance of the St John DRABCD Action Plan. The DRABCD Action Plan is used by First Responders around the world as primary assessment for every casualty. Included in the App is a powerful proximity sensor that locates your nearest St John Ambulance Public Access Defibrillator (PAD).

    ‘First Aid’ is Australia’s only iPhone app that presents step-by-step emergency First Aid information to the user with a large clear image for each step. (St Johns)

    Know when and how much to drink before, during and after sports. 
    Hydri-Assist helps ensure you are consuming enough fluid. Simply enter in your pre-workout wight, and then your post-workout weight (plus how much fluid you consumed in-between), Hydri-Assist will let you know how dehydrated you are, as well as how much fluid you should consume post-workout.
    Navigation/Maps/Planning

     distcalc 

    Allows users to find the distance between 2 or more points by simply tapping a path along a map. No addresses to enter or search for. No dragging pins around. 
    walk-tracker-free-sprintgps 

    Fully customizable activity planner with training history, calorie graphs, audio feedback and in depth workout plans with targets. As you exercise you can see your time, pace, speed, calories burned, training intervals, splits, view map in real time, take photos, listen to iPod music and receive audio feedback on your progress. When you have finished your activity you can view your activity history with stats, route map and splits. View cumulative graphs for distance and calories burned. View your personal best. View your photos and share your activity with friends on the Walk Tracker Website

    The intuitive and easy-to-use interface of the app makes it easy to track how far you went, how long it took, what your pace/speed was, how many calories you burned, and the path you traveled on a map. Once your activity is completed, the data is synced to the RunKeeper website (www.runkeeper.com) where you can view a history of all of your activities, and cumulative totals of all of your vital stats. You can also share your progress with friends by posting your activities to Facebook and Twitter, and creating a profile page that allows people to view all of your public activities. (Free version available)

    map-and-land-navigation 

    The Map and Land Navigation app is the U.S. Army’s official training guide to map reading, determining location, and navigating and includes over 600 pages of great content.

    bit-map

    Bit Map is an offline map viewer for your own topographic or specialised maps in standard image formats (eg, PNG, JPEG) or .OZF2 map images. Store multiple maps on your iPhone, and switch between them. With Bit Map, you can view your own choice of maps, instead of generic maps chosen by somebody else, making it ideal for specialist maps with details not available on other mapping applications, such as highly detailed topographic maps obtained from your government mapping authority. Your topographic maps can also be viewed while offline with no cellphone or wifi network access, making it ideal for a wide range of outdoor pursuits including bushwalking, hiking, trekking, camping, cycling, touring. 

    gps-tracking 

    With the push of a button, let other GPS Tracking users know where you are or request their location. GPS Tracking populates your iPhone’s built-in Google Maps with the locations of people in your private “opt-in” buddy list, as soon as they approve your request. It’s an interactive friend-finder, party-starter, child-locator, social networker and much more — a must-have, “Where are you? I’m here!” visual locating app. Push notification and GPS must be on for App to work. (Free version available)

    gps-compass 

    For users with older iPhones without a built-in compass: this app will determine the direction you are facing based on GPS readings taken while you are moving. The app takes this reading and allows you to see the direction you are heading on a Google map. You can also choose to rotate the map so your direction is always shown straight ahead…this capability was previously only available to 3GS owners with a built in compass!

    gps-footsteps-trails-trip 

    Turns your iPhone into a handheld GPS with compass and complete trip tracking!

    Topos2Go

    Topos2Go Free allows you to view topographic maps. You can download freely available maps and store them on your device for use without WiFi or cell access. The full version of Topos2Go adds the ability to locate your position on maps and import/export waypoints.

    Exact Altimeter for Australia

    Uses different ways to determine your altitude. It has built in elevation database, and it can get your altitude from online altitude service. Furthermore, it shows you the altitude given by the built in gps. Additionally it provides information about the nearest settlement.

    Safety
    thunderstorm-calculator 

    Calculates the distance of a thunder storm by measuring the time between a lightning and the corresponding thunder.

    gone-trekking-safety-outdoors 

    Gone Trekking is a location aware safety notification application for outdoor adventurers. The application utilizes the GPS, Google maps, calendar and camera features of the iPhone. Gone Trekking enables the user to record their departure, destination and waypoint information. The application also enables the user to email or post a Twitter message containing their trip details and maps. Video (Free version available)

    firesau

    FiresAU is about bringing bushfire awareness close to you if you live in Australia (NSW, Tasmania, SA). Where is the nearest fire to me? Is it where I need to go? Will I need to deal with one on the way?

    adventure-tracker 

    Designed for adventure runners, ultra marathon runners or just about anyone who wants to track their location whilst out and about. Adventure Tracker is designed to run in the background and update your location to the server every 10 minutes. Adventure Tracker can update your position for up to 20 hours with a single battery charge. Data is automatically uploaded to the Adventure Tracker website where you can view your tracks or send tracking links to friends. If you are in an area where there is no mobile reception such as out in the woods or in a foreign country Adventure tracker caches all the data it is unable to send to the server so you can upload it over WIFI or 3G when available.

    track-trip

    Track Trip uses the GPS receiver in your iPhone to record your location as you walk, run, bike or drive. This can be done in the background and uploaded every 10 minutes saving the battery. 

    Food
    classic-camping-cookbook-meal

    Users can search for a recipe based on the type of food and ingredients necessary to make the perfect meal. This is the first application that allows users to plan meals for an entire camping trip. Pick the number of days and campers and let the application do the rest. Generate shopping and equipment lists so you never forget an essential ingredient at home. 

    Equipment
    backpacking-check-list-must 

    Nothing is worse than driving 80 miles down the road for a glorious few days of backpacking, hiking, fishing and relaxing to find that you have left at home a few really essential items. You’ll be disappointed, and your entire trek could be ruined. Even Fido will feel the frustration. You can edit the extensive lists.

    the-backpacker-checklist 

    Huge list of items to consider
    – Super easy to mark
    – – what you’re going to bring
    – – what you might bring
    – – what’s already packed
    – Add anything you find missing (or change or delete items)
    – Group items by function
    – Plan where to get your items (e.g., supermarket, sporting goods store, attic, garage cabinet)
    – Indicate the weight of items (that we haven’t already weighed)
    – Provide an estimate of what you’ll be hauling along the trail
    – Store and switch between your gear lists for multiple trips
    – See the weights of items according to the “status” you assign to them and by how you use it
    – You control the order of categories in the main checklist
    – Use metric or English units 

    Utilities
    animated-knots-by-grog

    Animated Knots by Grog is simply the best and most comprehensive teaching and reference tool for boaters, climbers, fishermen, scouts and hobbyists. Watch as knots tie themselves in simple step-by-step photo animations. Use the manual controls to step through the animations frame by frame as you learn each knot. Tap the info button to get detailed descriptions about each knot’s correct use, advantages and disadvantages, and other information.

    knots-guide 

    A SIMPLE quick reference collection of different knots. Currently the application contains 92 knots divided into 10 categories. (Free)

    learning-the-ropes-navy-knots 

    Tying knots is a vital skill to have in the Royal Australian Navy. With this handy tool, learn to tie different Navy knots with 3D animated tutorials and facts. (Free)

    knots-splices-and-rope-work 

    Knots, Splices and Rope Work’ is the complete original 1917 classic treatise by A. Hyatt Verrill, the renowned American inventor, author, illustrator, archaeologist, explorer, zoologist and friend of former President Theodore Roosevelt.

    google-mobile-app 

    Search Google quickly using your voice, pictures, and location. Google Mobile App includes the following features:
    * New! Google Goggles – use pictures to search the web. Goggles recognizes things such as landmarks, books, wine, artwork, and logos.
    * Search by voice – speak your queries in natural language. Simply hold your iPhone to your ear and say your query.
    (Supports American, British, Indian or Australian English accents, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Czech, Polish and Korean.)
    * My Location – avoid typing your current location when searching for nearby businesses (e.g. “pizza” or “starbucks”)
    * Google Suggest – tap suggested web search queries and local businesses that appear as you type
    * Search history – quickly search again for queries you recently performed
    * Contact search – search your phone’s contacts.
    * Vertical search – search Google Maps, Images, News, and Shopping
     (Free)

    Fitness
    iexercise 

    Weekly goals for calories, time, or distance
    – Workout tracking and history
    – Body weight tracking system and charts
    – Achievement system
    – Twitter integration
    – Personal weight tracking
    – System designed by Personal Trainer

    itrail 

    iTrail is an all-in-one, in-your-pocket, sports performance tracking tool, and GPS recording application. Whether you are running, cycling, walking, skiing, or drive, use iTrail to record your performance and location as you move. iTrail will work in the background whilst you listen to music, talk a call or anything else. iTrail uses iPhone’s GPS receiver. 

    logyourhike-gps-pedometer 

    The LogYourHike iPhone App uses the built-in GPS of the iPhone as well as the built-in accelerometer of the iPhone and iPod Touch to measure the distance of your exercise activities. By working both as a pedometer and a GPS device you do not have to wait to get good satellite reception to start your run – the pedometer will measure your distance when the GPS signal is poor.

    Weather
    pocket-weather-au

    Forecast & observation data for hundreds of areas around Australia. Select it via GPS, Map or list.
    – Push current temp, text forecasts and state,regional and local warnings to your iPhone (NEW in 2.1)
    – Custom interface for browsing BOM warnings, all nicely formatted for your iPhone
    – Tide graphs for hundreds of locations around Australia
    – National Rain, Satellite and Synoptic Chart
    – Animated weather icons
    – Sunrise/sunset times
    – All of the BOM rain and wind doppler radars with Find/Track me function as well as the ability to have it auto update (see ‘Live Radar’ in settings)
    – National rain & cloud radars & Synoptic chart
    – Extended forecasts for regional areas
    – Give your locations custom names
    – Shake to refresh, simply shake your phone to refresh the data
    – Realtime UV support for some locations
    – Last update is always cached, so you don’t need a network connection to check the weather for the week, once you’ve got it once.
    – Updates are tiny (less than 10kb) so you don’t have to worry about your iPhone data cap.
    – Supports landscape and portrait view, and in landscape you get all the information on a single page. 

    oz-weather

    – 7 day forecasts for more than 250 official forecast locations
    – Detailed local observations, typically updated every 10 mins
    – Each forecast location includes up to 6 nearest official observation locations, accessible by side-scrolling action.
    – 50 rain radar locations around Australia
    – The radar view also has a “Locate Me” feature which queries the iPhone’s GPS and then centres the radar map on your current location along with an animated crosshair cursor.
    – Radar data delivery has been carefully optimised to arrive quickly on your iPhone
      (Free version available)

    oz-radar-weather

    1) It uses GPS to show your location on the radar.
    2) Oz Radar supports full screen landscape view.
    3) National cloud and synoptic charts.

    Time and Australian Weather, a match made in heaven. Weather sourced directly from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) displayed elegantly alongside the current time. 

    a-barometer-for-iphone-itouch 

    iBarometer is an application pretty, simple, accurate, and efficient. It lets you easily know what is the pressure near you. Contrary to standard applications (with predefined cities), this version of the barometer will give you precisely the pressure of where you are. It integrates its own conversion system.

    world-tides-2010

    World Tides uses the Simply Harmonic Formula and harmonic constants provided by the UKHO to give 7 day tide predictions without the need for an internet connection. Features: Moon/Sun Rise/Set times, large slidable tide graph, recent locations, built in zoomable map, gps sensor, search, and details page.

    moonlight 

    Moonlight features a photorealistic display using OpenGL rendering technique that paints the moon’s current appearance including all variations in distance, equatorial ecliptic angle and moon libration. The program takes the observer’s (that is you) current position and time into account for exact rendering of images. Alternatively, you can enter your own coordinates and view the moon from anywhere in the world. Go into time warp mode and accelerate time: Fast forward or rewind to see how the moon changes over time.Moonlight not only displays a pretty 3D image but also shows various essential data points: moon phase, distance between earth and moon, julian date or local sideral time.

    Wooly Wind Chill plus ground Speed 

    Calculate wind chill temperature by simply selecting the air temperature and wind speed. The calculated wind chill temperature is displayed “on the fly”.For those who travel by bike, motorcycle, boat, or other means where you find yourself exposed to the elements while in motion, Wooly Wind Chill now has the option to calculate the approximate effective wind chill based your current moving speed (not factoring for actual wind speeds).

    Field Guides
    gemstones-by-varietal 

    Pictoral database of common gemstones, with high-resolution images. Over 2000 gems are included. The images in this app are categorized by Varietal (Agate, Amethyst, etc.) This app includes some information about the gemstone, such as location found, habit, shape, hue, tone, etc. This app is mainly aimed at students, professors, scientists, hobbyists, and those in the field who wish for help identifying gemstones, or learn a bit about what they’re seeing in the field. 

    clouds-and-weather

    This app brings back the ancient knowledge of former generations: Here you will find out how to identify conclusively a thundercloud and what kind of weather can be expected in what time frame when you see fleecy clouds. Here you will find out if it is going to rain when the spider stops spinning its web and much, much more. With detailed descriptions of all cloud types and the weather they bring
    – Complete cloud atlas with all cloud families, species and types according to the International Cloud Atlas of the WMO (World Meteorological Organization)
    – Large photo gallery with over 70 examples of all cloud types

    the-michael-morcombe-eguide 

    Michael Morcombe’s Field Guide to Australian Birds has been called the most comprehensive field guide to Australian birds in the market today and now it is perfectly complimented by the eGuide which features:
    -iPhone optimised controls   swipe to next or previous species, one-tap enlargement of an image and rotate the device (landscape) to enlarge an image completely (and fit the width of the screen).
    -Over 3000 hi-res bird images covering over 790 bird species.
    -Most bird species have a detailed distribution map showing any subspecies that occur.
    -Detailed text descriptions of almost all bird species including songs and calls, measurements and breeding behaviour.
    -Over 1800 carefully-selected and edited sound recordings for over 600 species. Many species are represented with multiple call examples showing the full range of vocalizations.
    -The ability to compare any two images, maps, or sounds, side by side on the screen. The ability to filter by geographic location, so that you see only the species likely to occur in your location, and to further reduce the possibilities to usual or vagrant species in the selected area.
    -A  Smart Search  that gives the ability to search by distinguishing features such as size, colour, physical features, habitat and exclude certain types of birds (eg. Passerines).
    -A basic personal species list that stores your sightings saved to the device* (ability to upload list coming soon)
    -A comprehensive help and introduction section to help you if you get stuck or don t understand how a certain feature works.

    birdsight-australia 

    Need a quick and easy way to keep track of bird sightings? This app makes adding sightings in the field quick and easy with these features:
    – Quickly search through a complete list of over 800 Australian bird species using common name, scientific name, or “alpha code” abbreviations.
    – Automatically connect to web resources to help verify your sightings, including Flickr images, Google images, and Wikipedia articles. Access a wealth of birding info without huge downloads hogging space on your device.
    – Save and manage your frequently used birding locations with gps tracking and map view.
    – Annotate your observations with notes and protocol information.
    – Export your data as a .csv file that can be opened with spreadsheet applications or submitted to birding websites.

    goskywatch-planetarium-astronomy

    Displays the sky view at the correct orientation when held at any angle not just landscape or portrait. Simple operation, no buttons to press or modes to select, just point to the sky to start exploring. Unique rotation scheme enables touchless navigation even for the iPod touch without a compass.
    Many features specifically for efficient outdoor use. Red light mode to preserve night vision, magnitude adjustment for viewing conditions, planets shown with relative brightness for easy identification, touchless navigation, heads up information display, full 180 degree display to see at a glance what is in the sky and where. Looking for a planet or star? Just use the finder and let the arrow guide the way.

    bird-in-hand 

    The App covers 23 of Tasmania’s common and endemic birds and includes bird calls, high quality pictures and information on their habitat, breeding, diet etc. Use the App while out bush to work out which call is which.

    Birds of Australia

    This application includes up-to-date Wikipedia entries and pictures of over 700 birds native to Australia. Prepare for your birdwatching activity by downloading (caching) all articles and images on your iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad (approx. 600 MB). Reference the guide when outdoors without an Internet connection. Over 700 birds grouped into 93 species families!!!
    Key Features
    * Wikipedia articles cached complete with full large images. Simply click on any image in a cached article to view the large image.
    * Image Picker
    * search capabilities
    * landscape & portrait modes
    * Wikipedia pages formatted for iPhone display
    * Cache update from server resumes where last stopped
    * Server will be updated periodically with new entries and updated data from wikipedia.
     

    Trip Records
    outdoor-adventure-blogs (Free)

    Stay up to date with the latest Outdoor activity and lifestyle blogs, ideas and adventure writings with heaps of news and posts preloaded into this app and being constantly updated by some of the most engaging bloggers in the world. You can also use the Outdoor Blog Reader as your main news/blog reader because you can easily add your favorite rss feeds on any topic via the “Add Blog via URL” or “Search Blog via Keyword” features.

    Blog Reader features include:

    * Heaps of pre-loaded blogs
    * Search Blogs via Keyword
    * Add Blog via URL
    * Read blogs offline
    * Checks for new Blog posts when you launch
    * Delete, move or add blogs
    * Categories
    * Email blog posts to your friends
    * View in posts in Safari
    * Unread posts indicated by number
    * Help for Blog Reader functions

    Trip Journal allows you to document vacation experiences and share them with your friends and family. Impress everybody with real time updates from the visited destinations and let people see proof of your latest adventures, as your journey unfolds.
    * software applications downloaded  from the iTunes store.