Tag Archives: weather

Bushwalking Equipment | Can I Really Do Without a Smartphone?

As a bushwalker, can you afford not to own a smartphone? Which smartphone apps can replace dedicated equipment? What are the limitations?

Over the last few years technology has made smartphones invaluable to bushwalkers, replacing many of the devices, which previously had to be bought and carried individually.

Probably the first device carried by bushwalkers to be incorporated into the iPhone was the still and movie camera. Today’s smartphone has a high quality camera which can take video and stills, including panoramas, mark each with the location at which the photo was taken, and then upload it to the web using wifi or mobile (cellular) data.

Next, the GPS became available, allowing routes to be mapped live, waypoints determined and marked, and distances accurately determined. Recently, apps which allow the viewing of calibrated digital maps have become commonly available, and some apps now incorporate the navigation features found in a dedicated GPS. High resolution colour screens make viewing these maps and navigational features easy. Modern smartphones have built-in compasses which can be calibrated and are accurate enough for the day walker, but not accurate enough for bearings over long distances.

Then high quality heart rate sensors came on the market which could pair with a smartphone, initially using a “dongle” plugged into the earphone socket but more recently using low energy interference-free Bluetooth.

Some apps even use the smartphone camera and built-in light to measure blood flow pulses in a finger, without the need for an independent sensor. Fitness training had become more scientific!

The next advance was the ability to measure heart rate variability (HRV) (see previous post), using the powerful analysis capabilities of modern smartphones. Initially measuring HRV was only possible with expensive laboratory based equipment, but soon Polar had incorporated this ability into some of their top-of-the-line wrist computers. In the last few years, this technology has migrated to the smart phone, allowing bushwalk training to be fine tuned.

Bush walkers visiting remote areas often feel the need to take emergency devices with them to obtain help if an emergency occurs. We are all familiar with personal location beacons (PLBs) which can transmit a message, including location, to an overhead satellite, and from there to emergency rescue services.

SPOT gen3 s can send a message via satellite to your emergency contacts or to the same rescue service. Version three is much better functionally according to the reviews, but has a more expensive subscription.

Recently smartphone apps (GetHomeSafe) have become available which can send an SMS or email, if a bushwalker fails to return on time, without the need for any action by the “injured” or “lost” person or instantly in a critical emergency to a contact list or even rescue services directly, including the current location, participant details and a route plan. “You don’t need a working phone (be within range) or even to be be conscious for an alert to be sent.”

Bush walkers on day walks and within range of a mobile tower, up to 70 km from a high enough vantage point, can add weather and tide apps  and the ability to visualise routes or places in 3D using Google Earth.

We now have GPS, fitness, navigation, mapping, emergency notification and weather services available at low cost in the one device! The only problem is a lack of battery capacity, but even this can be overcome to some extent with a solar charger.

What is next?
How do you overcome these limitations?
Where will the future take us?

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Challenging Mountain Day Walks in the UK | Three of the Best

Visiting the United Kingdom (UK) and in particular Wales, England, or Scotland for a holiday? Like to spend a day(s) in the mountains, surrounded by beautiful alpine scenery? Like a challenge? Have some experience walking in alpine terrains, scrambling over rocks and the ability to navigate? ….then look no further!

I’ve just come back from climbing three of the most popular mountains in the United Kingdom (UK) in one of the wettest months (April) on record. These are not huge mountains (950 – 1350m) and on a good day, can be tackled as day walks of 5-8 hours from the nearest car park, following footpads and tracks, but the difficulties should not be underestimated, and it is for good reasons that all of these walks are recommended for experienced walkers.

The level of difficulty is highly weather dependent; on a sunny, clear day, the challenge is mainly fitness, but on a cold, windy, and foggy day with a thick layer of snow over the track, ice on the rocks and rain, sleet or snow falling, the challenges can be life threatening. I had the misfortune to experience all of these on each of my walks: Mt Snowdon 1085m (Snowdonia, Wales), Mt Helvellyn, 949m, (Lake District, England) and Ben Nevis,1343m, (Fort William, Scotland).

As with all walking in mountainous terrain, you need to go prepared for all weathers; sun glasses for bright sunny times, beanie and gloves for cold days, waterproof jacket and over pants for wet times, map,  compass and GPS for foggy weather, poles for snow covered slopes and down jacket and bivy bag in case you have to spend the night out. Forget just one of these and you could be in real trouble.

Normally April /May in the UK would be spring days with just a cap of snow above 700m, but there is no such thing as a normal day in the mountains. I found that strong winds, snow, hail and rain tested my preparedness and fortunately did not show me lacking. Only the week before I arrived, a lone walker had slid off Mt Snowdon, one of the most popular walks in Wales. I could understand how this could happen, as while the terrain is not difficult on a fine day, in adverse weather, the challenges are enormous.

Pyg Track, Causeway, Llyn Llydaw

The key to survival in adverse weather is to make a risk assessment early in the walk and decide whether to turn back or take a lower route before you have committed yourself. On Mt Snowdon, 1085m, I decided to turn back, probably too late, after having completed most of Crib Goch, the most difficult part. This was a difficult decision, as I knew the easy part was not much further on and if only the fog would clear I would be able to see my route. The fog never cleared and my route became deeper and deeper in snow as I progressed. I contemplated dropping off the ridge to find the lower track, but remembered that this was not advised and  a trial descent for a fifty metres only reinforced this. Too slippery, too steep and plunging into the unknown.

Apparently many of those dying on the mountain are actually quite experienced technically but make poor decisions about when to turn back. I was glad I did not become one of those statistics.

Striding Ridge, Lake District, England

Mt Helvellyn, 949m, along with Striding Ridge, in the lake district of England was my second walk a few days later and I could not believe that it was not long before I was again walking in snow, hail and fog. Fortunately the terrain was less demanding and I did not feel the need to turn back. Every so often, a break in the clouds would show the route and the twenty or so walkers I could see ahead and behind, and I was reassured. I was glad I had my walking poles with me, as the snow covered rocks were quite slippery and a fall was quite possible. I knew that the way back along Swirral Edge, was not too difficult when I had lunch with a mountain biker at the top. I can only suppose he carried his bike for much of the way as he was quite exhausted.

Ben Nevis, 1343m, ( The Ben to locals) is the highest mountain in the UK and as such, subject to some of the worst weather. Locals joke that you can expect all four seasons in any one day, and even a blizzard thrown in for good luck. So bad is the weather usually, that the last few hundred metres has cairns every 50 m, so those walking in fog don’t fall off the side. Of course this only works if you can see the next cairn, or follow the track which I couldn’t, due to deep snow and fog. Fortunately the map has a compass bearings to follow in white-out, and while helpful, success depends on being able to estimate distances in fog, a tricky skill at the best of times. I was quite nervous as I approached the top!

I came back to Australia with a deep respect for these “lowly” mountains which have tested many a walker in the past and found too many of them lacking.

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

Bushwalking Equipment | Keep Your Camera Working in the Cold and Wet

Ever tried to take photos in the rain on a cold day or come inside from the cold to a nice warm hut/car/tent and wondered why you couldn’t see through the lens? Worried about what will happen when you go outside into the cold and wet?

These are universal problems for outdoors photographers and can be incredibly frustrating, as I recently experienced on the Routeburn Track in New Zealand.

Fortunately the cold itself is not usually a problem for a warm camera ( NB the same applies to your smart phone’s inbuilt camera), as condensation does not form on warm objects and cold air is usually relatively dry. There are of course the dual problems of the rain or snow falling on the lens or getting into the camera electronics and then there are the  batteries, which often fail when cold. No batteries, no photos!

Solving the battery problem is relatively easy. Just keep the camera warm, next to your body, along with a spare set of batteries which you can use to replace the non-functioning cold batteries if needed. Swap them back with the newly warmed batteries, if you need to repeat the process. While they are much more expensive, Lithium batteries last longer and perform better in the cold than NiCad.

The difficulty of shooting photos in the cold and wet is that you often get water on the lens or viewfinder, which either makes it difficult to compose the shot or ruins it completely. Pull your rain jacket hood over your head and use a  peaked cap to keep the water off the lens and camera. Keep the camera inside your jacket near your body, where it’s easy to find, not inside your cold backpack, where both the camera and the pack contents will get wet every time you want to take a photo.

The alternative of course, is not to take the camera out of you pack during rain, but then why bring your camera at all, if you’re not going to use it. Wet weather photos are unique and mountain scenery with rain and snow falling, cascading waterfalls, racing creeks and swirling fog is magical.

If it’s particularly cold and you are wearing gloves, then you have another problem. Take your gloves off and freeze while you operate the buttons or use a camera that is fully automatic. Even better, buy a waterproof fully automatic camera or a single use waterproof camera.

Coming inside after a long day in the cold is the most problematic. The greater the temperature difference between your camera and the warm moist air produced by all those wet clothes drying in front of the fire, the greater will be the condensation on your lens and electronics. The solution of course is to minimise the temperature difference by either pre-warming your camera or slowly letting it warm in the coldest place you can find inside.

Placing your camera in a waterproof bag before you come inside, will make sure that any condensation is on the outside of the bag not on your camera. Then its just a matter of waiting until your camera warms up before you take it out of its bag.

The same applies to your camera card and batteries, let them warm up next to your body before changing them in your camera.

Acknowlegement

Thanks to Bill S from Trailspace and the New York Institute of Photography for the inspiration to write this article. I needed reminding that condensation only occurs on cold surfaces.

Read more
Related posts
How to Use Your Camera in Cold Weather (RitzCamera.com)
Cold Weather Photography (Trailspace)

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iPhone App Review | Tide Prediction

Have you ever wanted to a walk safely along a beach, across a tidal estuary or around a rocky headland? Well of course you could check the BOM website from home before you left, but what if you had forgotten and only had your iPhone with you?

Sometimes knowing when high tide is going to be can be critical to planning a safe bushwalk. There are many locations where part of the walk will be along a beach, around a headland or across a tidal estuary. Often the guide book will warn that if the tide is high you must take and alternative inland route or even camp and wait for the next low tide. Being caught on an exposed headland as the tide advances is not much fun.

In Australia, I have used this information to safely plan walks along the Great Ocean Walk in South West Victoria and along the South Coast Track in Tasmania.

The following list of iPhone apps includes one that is actually a weather app which includes tides as one of its features.

AU Tides Pro

AU Tides Pro Screenshot

Contains downloaded database for 2010-2012, which means you don’t need to be connected to the internet

World Tides 2012

Contain downloaded database for 2012 only, which means you will need to buy a new version at the end of 2012. This app only allows access to tide predictions 6 days ahead. 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. 

Pocket Weather AU

Pocket Weather screen shot

I have used this as my weather app for over a year and don’t see the need for an additional tide app. It does need internet access which makes it useless in remote areas, unlike the other three which actually download the tide database. Weather is sourced directly from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) – an Australian Source for Australian Weather! #1 Weather Application in Australia, Best Australian App winner, Staff Pick in iTunes Store many times –

Shralp Tide (FREE)

Shralp Tide Screenshot

No network connection is required, so you can check anytime, anywhere. ShralpTide displays the current tide along with the high and low tides for the current day and the next 4 days. Includes an INTERACTIVE FULLSCREEN TIDE GRAPH in landscape mode. Turn the device on its side then touch the screen to see the tide at any time in the 24 hour window. Shralp Tide does not include all of the tide stations in the world. It has good coverage of the US and Canadian coasts as well as Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Beyond that there is spotty coverage of international locations.

The benefit of an iPhone tide app is that the calculations are done automatically for you if you select one of the non-standard ports. Of course, your iPhone probably has a GPS, in which case the app will work out what is the appropriate location on which to predict your tides.

You can of course use the Bureau of Meteorology’s tide predictions available on their website, which are based on a series of “standard ports” around Australia. In Tasmania, Hobart is one of the five standard and one secondary ports with calculated tide predictions available. Time differences for a limited number of other secondary ports are provided so you can work approximate tide times yourself by adding or subtracting the time difference.( see map below)

From BOM

I don’t know the technical side but my iPhone app Shralp Tide gives the following for Wednesday 28 December for the first high tide.

  • Maatsuyker Island (south of the bottom of Tasmania) high tide at 1.31 am as 0.69m
  • Hobart: high tide at 12.34 am of 1.05m
  • Bramble Cove : HIgh 3.17 am 0.78m

Bathurst Harbour is not listed nor Port Davey; you must use Bramble Cove.

BOM Tasmania gives Hobart as the nearest standard port and lists tides at secondary “ports” as a time difference from Hobart

Hobart HIGH at 1:02 AM 1:07m

  • Maatsuyker Island +0:25 H:M
  • Bramble Cove, near Port Davey is -0:48 H:M
  • Hobart 0:0

Using these differences the iPhone app gives a pretty close estimate except for Bramble Cove which seems to be way out!

PS Don’t forget to allow for daylight saving if not done automatically by the app.

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

iPhone App Review | Rainspotting for Bushwalkers

Ever wanted to know whether you should take a rain jacket on your training run? Should I have an early lunch at the hut we have just reached before the rain hits? Should I put on my rain jacket or do I have time to climb that hill before it rains? Do I need to cool my nuclear reactor artificially or can I wait for the rain? When should I put up or take down my tent?

From iTunes Store

This is a fun application to use and I use it almost daily. Rainspotting will tell you whether rain is approaching, its direction, how fast it is approaching, when the rain should reach your location, how long it will last and its intensity.

From iTunes Store

It does this by interpreting the local weather radar and doing a few calculations.

From iTunes Store

Coverage for most of the Australian population, including capital cities in all states and most of the regional centres, is free but for other locations there is a fee to pay. The app requires an internet connection and uses the iPhone’s location services to send the appropriate data.

Settings include changing the distance from your locations, the units for approaching rain speed and use of colours in the meteorological services profile chart.

Read more about Rainspotting from the iTunes Store.

Related Posts

Plan Safer Bushwalks: Weather Forecasts and Climate Records
Weather and Climate

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Bushwalking in the Vulkathunha – Gammon Ranges, South Australia | Pt 1 Trip Planning Resources

Where are the Gammons? Why visit the Gammons? When is the best time to visit the Gammons and how long do you need? What level of experience do you need and does it require any special planning and equipment because of its remoteness? What resources are available to help you plan, appreciate and enjoy what you see?

UPDATE: there has been a mouse plague in the Gammons (April -? 2011) and I would advise taking your tent inner, storing food outside your tent in air tight bags and hanging your food out of reach.

Bushwalking, Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park ……..in brief

Gammon Ranges 

Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park is an arid wilderness of spectacular rugged ranges and deep gorges 400 km N of Port Augusta off the Copley-Balcanoona Rd. The park has important cultural significance for the Adnyamathanha people who are the traditional custodians of the region. There are several access points, both for 2WD and 4WD vehicles, with the heart of the park offering challenging wilderness bushwalking experiences. The park includes limited caravan sites, bush camping, 4WD touring tracks and several accommodation options. Bookings are essential for hut accommodation and shearers’ quarters. The park adjoins Lake Frome Regional Reserve and shares a boundary with Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary. Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges Traditional Owners and DEH co-manage the park. ” (DENR )

Google Aerial view of the Gammons

View Larger Map

Access

 The last 100 km is largely over dirt roads, which can sometimes be badly corrugated. If you wish to set up a base camp at Grindell Hut inside the Park, I recommend that you use a 4WD as the tracks are sometimes sandy and the wheel ruts can be deep. Many conventional cars will not have sufficient ground clearance. Make sure you carry essential spare parts for your vehicle and read the RAA Outback Driving booklet. 

Up-to-date road conditions can be checked via the Far Northern and Western Areas road condition hotline – 1300 361 033 or by visiting http://www.dtei.sa.gov.au. Alternatively call the Desert Parks information line on 1800 816 078.

Google Map Directions Adelaide to Copley (just north of Leigh Creek)
SA Outback Fuel Chart
(pdf)
Google Map Directions Adelaide to Copley( just north of Leigh Creek)
Google Maps Copley, Vulkathuna – Gammon Ranges Nat Pk and Arkaroola Village

Outback Driving (RAA)

Climate

If you are planning a trip to northern SA (eg the Gammons) check the forecast carefully as the temperature is often in the high twenties or low thirties, when it is in the high teens in Adelaide. My experience is that it is often 5 -10 degrees warmer than Adelaide but colder at night. 

Check the Weatherzone climate statistics for Arkarooola  , the nearest weather station or visit the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary’s Climate Information page which compares the climate with other capital cities.

Long term averages show May to early September to be the  best from a temperature perspective (mean max 19-20 deg C). Mean minimum temperatures are 3-7 deg C, (lightweight sleeping bag weather). Days of rain 3, mean rain 6-10 mm (you may even risk just a fly depending on the month)

Further north in the Gammons, water can also be short supply after six months with little rain. A spring/early summer trip is risky as most rain falls in December-March as the tail ends of monsoons sweep down SE from the Kimberley and most will have gone by then.

Fire Bans

All wood fires or solid fuel fires are prohibited from 1 November 2010 to 31 March 2011. Gas fires are permitted other than on days of total fire ban. For further information, please contact the Port Augusta Regional Office (08) 8648 5300, the Wilpena Visitor Centre (08) 8648 0048 or the CFS Fire Bans Hotline 1300 362 361.  Timely reminder of fire restrictions in parks (DENR 103kb pdf)

Time Required

The Vulkathuna – Gammon Ranges are a long drive of 8 – 9 hours from Adelaide, over unsealed roads from Copley, which can be badly corrugated depending on how recently they have been graded. For most people, the two days of travel encourages you to spend a minimum of  3-5 days in the Gammons, including some time at the Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary and the Paralana Hot Springs which are a short drive away. If you based yourself at Grindell Hut within the Park, then  it would be possible to spend a whole week in the Park and then at least another three days at Arkaroola.

Panorama of Grindell’s Hut, showing the hut and the landscape surrounding it. (Peter Neaum 2009-09-10)

Bushwalking Experience Level

The Gammons are remote with the nearest major town, Leigh Creek, a hundred and thirty kilometres away to the west, which takes about 2-4 hours, depending on the state of the road. In addition to the remoteness, water supplies are unpredictable, the temperatures much higher than Adelaide and the terrain rugged, with significant exposure at times, when climbing the waterfalls. A high level of navigation skill, using both map and compass and GPS, is required as most of the walking trails are off-track with no signage and no trail markers. This Park is designated as being unsuitable for beginning bushwalkers, with experience of multi-day hikes, the ability to carry heavy loads and self-sufficiency in terms of first aid and training a necessary requirement. The carrying of an emergency beacon (PLB), GPS, relevant maps, mobile phone and even a UHF radio in case of emergency communication with nearby stations is advised. Don’t forget to leave your trip intentions form with the Ranger at Balcanoona.


Flinders Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Outback South Australia 4wd  Tracks and Repeaters Brochure  (5.5Mb, pdf)

Department Environment and Natural Resources

Park Passes
Park Closures
Trip Intentions Form (323kb pdf)
Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park (647kb pdf)
Wildlife of the Desert Parks (419kb pdf)
Balcanoona Shearer’s Quarters Booking Information (145kb pdf)
SA National Parks Guide – Flinders Ranges and Outback Region (816kb pdf)
Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park Weetootla Hike Network brochure (686kb pdf)

Itineraries

 John Chapman’s Gammon Ranges

Maps

Maps: 1:50,000 Topographic Illinawortina, Nepabunna, Serle, Angepena
Northern Flinders Ranges (1.4MB pdf)
South Australian Outback (1.2MB pdf)
The Map Shop 
Map index:  Arkarooola – Gammon Ranges – Yudnamutana – Farina
Map Index:  North Flinders – Wilpena – Blinman – Leigh Creek – Balcanoona
RAA Flinders Ranges & Outback Maps 

Further Reading 

Online

South Australia: Vulkathana – Gammon Ranges (ABC, Program One: 29 December 2003 )
The Grindell Murder Case (Flinders Ranges Research)
Gammon Ranges Bunyip Chasm (ExplorOz)
Grindell Hut ( ExplorOz)
Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park (Wikipedia)
Department of Environment and Natural Resources Search Results| Gammons
Biological Survey of the North West Flinders Ranges (near Leigh Creek) (4.48mb pdf)
Gammon Ranges National Park Access Guide and Newsletter 2006 Autumn Edition (SA Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs Inc) (149kb pdf)
Arkarola Wilderness Sanctuary Activities (nearby tourist accommodation)

Photos

Bushwalk
Gammon Ranges (Flikr) 

Scientific Expeditions Group (SEG)

Vulkathunha Gammon Ranges Scientific Project (VGRaSP)
Vulkathunha Gammon Ranges Scientific Project | General Description (VGRaSP 118Kb pdf)
Analysis of Rainfall in the Gammon Ranges of South Australia 1992 – 2002  (1.7Mb pdf SEG)
The Gammon Ranges Project – Monitoring in a Remote Area D.J. Kemp1, C.J. Wright and S.A. Jewell Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure (pdf,338Kb)

Books

C. Warren Bonython. Walking the Flinders Ranges. Adelaide: Royal Geographical Society of South Australia, 2000.

The story of Warren Bonython’s walk from the Crystal Brook in the south to Mt Hopeless in the north.  xiii, 231 p. [32] p. of plates :bill. (some col.) ; 24 cm. 

Adrian Heard. A Walking Guide to the Northern Flinders Ranges. State Publishing South Australia, 1990.

An excellent book, describing 3 circuit walks of around one week’s length in the Gammon Ranges and briefer notes to the Arkaroola Sanctuary area. Recommended if you are planning a long walk in the Gammon Ranges. Probably out of print, price unknown.

John Chapman  Bushwalking In Australia, 4th edition 2003

320 pages, A5 in size – full colour throughout, 181 colour photographs, 56 colour topographic maps, 

Thomas, Tyrone 50 walks in South Australia Hill of Content, 1992

Paperback, 168 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), maps, 180mm x 120mm x 11mm. The Flinders Ranges and Kangaroo Island are featured in the walks over terrain ranging from coastal scrub to mountains and arid desert. ISBN: 9780855722111

Barker, Susan and McCaskill, Murray (Eds) Explore The Flinders Ranges RGSSA Adelaide 2005

A ‘must have’ for all travellers and admirers of the Flinders Ranges.  Recommended by tourist authorities; ideal for tourism studies and school projects.

Osterstock, Alan Time: in the Flinders Ranges. Austaprint,1970

56 pages, A5 in size, 8 colour photos. Covers the geology and history of the Flinders Ranges.

Osterstock, Alan The Flinders in Flower. Austaprint,1975

53 pages, A5 in size, 25 colour photos. Describes 27 of the most common flowers of the Flinders Ranges.

Corbett, David A Field Guide to the Flinders Ranges Rigby, 1980

A field guide to the plants, birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, fishes, frogs, rock types, landforms and a brief history.

Pedler, Rosemary Plant Identikit: Wildflowers of the Northern Flinders Ranges  Rosemary Pedler1994

This pocket size booklet describes, with accompanying colour sketches, 70 of the most common plants of the northern Flinders Ranges

M. Davies,  C.R. Twidale, M. J Tyler Natural History of the Flinders Ranges Royal Society of South Australia Inc 1996

This 208 page A5 book describes the history of settlement and exploration, the geology and minerals, fossils, landforms, climate, soils, vegetation, aquatic life,invertebrates, mammals, birds, reptile and amphibians and aboriginal people . It is well illustrated with B&W photos, graphs, tables, maps and has an extensive reference list

Thomas, Tyrone 50 walks in South Australia Hill of Content, 1992

168 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. (some col.), maps ; 18 cm.  ISBN     0855722118 (pbk.) : Includes index.
Subjects     Hiking – South Australia – Guidebooks.  |  Walking – South Australia – Guidebooks.  |  South Australia – Guidebooks.

Morrison, RGB  A Field guide to the Tracks and Traces of Australian Mammals Rigby 1981

This unique 198 page field guide contains a large number of B&W photos of tracks, diggings, droppings & scats and bones and skulls of Australian animals which helps with identification. [ISBN 0 7270 1489 7

Bonney, Neville & Annie Reid Plant Identikit Common Plants of the Flinders Ranges Neville Bonney1993 [ISBN 0 646 15406 0]

This pocket size booklet describes, with accompanying colour sketches, 51 of the most common plants of the Flinders Ranges, including the Gammon Ranges National Park

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iPhone Apps for Bushwalkers Visiting New Zealand (NZ)

Want to check the weather in NZ? Listen to streamed radio? Find Public transport in Auckland or Wellington? Book an Air New Zealand Flight? Calculate distances and times between towns? Find wifi access or budget accommodation? NZ Snow report? Navigate roads? Identify birds and their calls? View topographic maps?

 There are certainly a large number of iPhone apps available to bushwalkers/trampers and I have reviewed many of these in a series of previous posts, some in detail and others briefly.

This post looks at 15 or so iPhone apps from the perspective of someone who is planning to tramp in NZ or has arrived in New Zealand and wants to add some local flavour.  To make it easier, I’ve grouped these and provided a brief synopsis, taken directly from iTunes. Where I have actually used the app I have provided a more detailed review

Weather

  • Weather NZ

    Get the latest weather forecasts from New Zealand’s own MetService forecasters. Up to date, marine and general forecasts for all New Zealand Urban areas. WeatherNZ also lets you chart tidal data for all Primary and Secondary ports around NZ, plus lets you see latest Situation isobar image as they get released. Snow and Surf reports are updated directly from snow.co.nz.

  • New Zealand Snow Report

    Get your New Zealand snow reports on the go, for free, with SnowReports.co.nz and your iPod Touch or iPhone. Whether you are on the road or still lying in bed you can instantly check the weather, road and lift conditions at your favourite NZ ski areas. Or, if you are trying to decide which ski area to go to, simply browse conditions at ALL of them! The free SnowReports summaries include: Mountain name, Weather status, Road conditions, Number of lifts open, Snow base depth, New snow depth, Temperature, Wind, Time last updated

Transport

  • Timetable NZ

    If you’re a user of public transport in Auckland or Wellington then this App is for you. Find bus, train, ferry and even cable car schedules for public transport in greater Wellington and the City of Sails. Store frequently used routes in a favorites list and view the next three departures on those routes in a convenient initial page. View the location of your departure station within Google Maps in relation to where you are now to help you find where you should be going. Best of all, these schedules are all stored on your iPhone or iPod meaning that you don’t need to have a network connection to use the App.

  • Air New Zealand-mPass

    With mPass on your iPhone or iPod Touch you can: View up to date details of all your flight bookings. Go straight to the gate when travelling within New Zealand without bags. mPass acts as an electronic boarding pass. The mPass boarding pass is also recognised by Air New Zealand airport kiosks. Just scan your mPass boarding pass to collect baggage tags when travelling domestically with bags. If you’re a Koru member, scan your mPass boarding pass for entry to the Koru Lounge.

Tourism

  • Find NZ

    Find! NZ is a New Zealand local search engine based on location awareness. The app uses an open source database from Zenbu. (www.zenbu.co.nz) Features: Online & Offline search. Search the nearest points of interest by predefined 43 categories. Custom search by any keywords from your keyboard entry.  Phone call, Open website, Send email, Send SMS and Map. (phone call available on iPhone only) Add, Edit Entries – You can add/edit entries in App. (Online only) Option to choose location control : GPS or Manual setting. Option to choose the max number of search results to display. (200 max) Special offers provided by Arrival NZ Magazine. (Discount coupons/Free stuffs)

  • NewZealand.spot-on

    Browse activities and destinations by region and then save them for quick access upon arrival. Save and share your adventures back home by creating custom Postcards with your photos and then posting them to social networks.
    Highlights: Works offline so that you can plan your trip during your Air New Zealand flight 1500+ pre-loaded activities and destinations organized by geography/region. Postcard builder with dozens of frames, stamps, and captions to make fun vacation snaps for friends and fans across Facebook and Twitter. Travel Notes area for backing up important names, numbers and trip detail.  Recommendations from local bloggers and recent travelers. Automatic content updates of additional activities and events
    Helpful tools include: WiFi Finder – lists cafés, libraries, and other known establishments with wireless access. Distance Calculator – estimated driving/flying times between towns. BBH Hostel Network – full list of budget accommodations and amenities across the North and South Islands. iSite Kiosk Directory – New Zealand’s official travel information resources. Kiwi Translations – learn the lingo so you can order your coffee just right.  Map of New Zealand – pinch, zoom, plot, escape.  Book a flight – direct access to Air New Zealand flight bookings and deals
  • Zenbu

    Find Everything from Zenbu instantly on your iPhone, no network connection required. http://www.zenbu.co.nz is a local search engine for New Zealand (and only NZ) places, products & services with over 80,000 listings including restaurants, cafes, accommodation, hairdressers, service stations, banks, ATMs and more. With this app you have the name, address, phone, website, activity description and opening hours all at your fingertips. Zenbu is the perfect reference tool for locals and tourists.

  • Lonely Planet Auckland

    # easy to use – swipe to scroll through a full table of contents, dip into sections, and turn pages with a flick of your finger # offline maps – there’s no need to go online to access our detailed street maps, fully retooled for the iPhone with location awareness, multi-touch controls, full-colour styling and six-level zoom # tons to see and do – choose how to search through hundreds of geo-coded points-of-interest (POIs) – by proximity, category, preferences or favourites – then just tap to visit the website, or place a direct call # text search – whether you’re into ‘live music’ or ‘fine dining’, every article and POI in your guidebook is text-searchable # location-based navigation – plot your location in real time on our interactive maps, exploring back streets and hidden treasures with no danger of losing your way # worth a thousand words … – if you need some inspiration, just thumb through images taken by our award-winning photographers # personalisation – tailor your City Guide to your tastes by tagging the best POIs as ‘favourites’ # money saving – forget roaming costs, our apps are designed for offline use, and only take up the room of an average album on your iPod

Navigation

  • MapApp NZ

    MapApp NZ South Island displays full topographic maps of New Zealand’s South Island. Explore the South Island on your iPhone or iPad.  Find your current location on the map using the built-in GPS.Search for place names. MapApp includes all the map data with the app, so maps can be displayed even when you have no cellular coverage. The map data is derived from the latest LINZ 1:50000 scale Topo50 series.

  • Google Earth

    Navigate the world with a swipe of your finger. Swipe with two fingers to adjust your view to see mountainous terrain. Show the Panoramio layer and browse the millions of geo-located photos from around the world. View geo-located Wikipedia articles. Use the Location feature to fly to your current location. Search for cities, places, and business around the globe with Google Local Search. Nav4D New Zealand

News

  • New Zealand Radio Streams

    Alarm Clock Sleep Timer Search by radio name,  Graphic Equalizer, Favorites list, History of last played stations ,Regular updates over the air, Customer service support, Song title and artist name (when available), iPhone 4 Retina Display icon, Recording, Facebook & Twitter support, Advanced Alarm Manager – Multiple Alarms, Day Selection, iPod music / Radio station and more, Transfer Recordings to your computer with iTunes USB File Sharing (iOS 4.x), “Wifi only” On/Off switch (setting can be found in the main setting app under Radio)

  • New Zealand Radio Stations

    The Tunin.FM New Zealand Radio Stations application allows you to listen to New Zealands radio stations whilst travelling. You no longer need to switch frequencies when travelling across different coverage areas. You can now even listen to internet-only radio stations or local stations whilst travelling and anywhere you like. Enjoy radio in digital quality on the train, the bus, in the car and on your bicycle. The Tunin.FM-application does not require a Wi-Fi connection. With this app, even mobile internet connections which are sometimes slow (i.e. 2.5G/GPRS) allow you to listen to good quality radio. It is easy to save your favourite radio stations on the list of favourites and an automatic record is kept of the radio stations you listened to most recently the next time you start the app again.

First Aid 

  • St John NZ CPR

    St John is the leading provider of first aid training in New Zealand as well providing ambulance services to 85% of the population. This application teaches the life saving skills of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, commonly known as CPR. Knowing how to save a life of a family member, friend or colleague is vital, so why not get this application now so you have it on your phone. You never know when you might need it and it is FREE.

Field Guides

  • What Bird NZ

    WhatBirdNZ provides a concise pocket reference guide to many of the interesting birds that can be seen around New Zealand. Not only does it allow you to hear and see them but it also provides interesting trivia in a fun “Top Trumps” style card format. Also when in this view you can rotate your iPhone/iPod to see a zoomed in photo.

Similar Posts: 

iPhone

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

Bushwalking Trip Plan | Routeburn Track, New Zealand | Pt 1

How should I plan a bushwalk in NZ? What are the logistics of such a trip from Australia and within NZ? What maps do I need? Can I upload them to my GPS? What are the risk management requirements of the Routeburn Track ? What is the weather likely to be in November? What special equipment will I need? To whom do I send my trip intentions form, if they are needed? Do I need a permit, and if so from whom? How do I obtain stove fuel or is it provided? Are there huts which I can use or will I need a tent? What emergency communications are available? What is special about the flora and fauna of the area and what field guides should I take? What are the photographic features? How much will it cost?

Invitation to Contribute

I have just started planning a week long trip to the Routeburn Track, in the South Island of New Zealand in November 2011 and thought I would share the process with you as it evolves.  This may not be the way you would do it, and if we differ,  I would encourage you to make alternative suggestions. I will be planning the walk on the basis that it will be independently walked by two experienced, fit bushwalkers, who will share equipment.

The questions listed above came randomly to mind and will all need to be answered before I leave. You may have some other questions you would like answered, if you are intending to do the same trip, or think I have left out and need to add. Your suggestions will be incorporated.

As the planning is a work in progress, it may need to be amended as I progress or receive better advice from others. I am particularly seeking wisdom from those who have walked the track recently and will incorporate your advice with appropriate acknowledgement.

Sequence of planning | Where should I start?

I guess for most people, with limited holidays, the suitability of the time of the year and duration needed are actually the critical  factors, followed closely by the cost.

  • Can I do this trip in November? 
  • How long do I need?
  • Can I afford the trip?

There are four good places to start  for this sort of general information:

  • commercial tramping tours
  • regional tourist associations
  • government departments
  • tramping guide books

With some thorough research,  these sources should provide me with the answers to the following questions:

  • Do they go in November? 
  • How long do they take? 
  • What sightseeing do they incorporate?
  • What are the highlights of the trip that should not be missed?
  • What options ( linking walks) do they provide?
  • Where do they start and finish?
  • What do they charge?

Hopefully, you will be able to help me with this research process.

Other Relevant Posts

Bushwalking Workflow | Planning a Bushwalk
Bushwalking Rescue | Emergency Beacons and Personal Tracking Systems
How do You Organise Your Food for a Multi-day Hike?
Packing for a Bushwalk 
Plan Safer Bushwalks | Weather Forecasts and Climate Records
How much fuel do I need?

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

Monitoring the Weather using your iPhone

Bushfire Alerts
Many Parks close and evacuate walkers when there is an imminent threat of bushfire or on days of high bushfire danger. While  most of us try to avoid walking in the middle of summer, those of us who walk in Tasmania by choice, have to expect the occasional park closure. A little commonsense helps too… check for Park closures before going, don’t walk towards smoke and always have an alternative escape route in case you are cut off by a bushfire.
The Victorian Outdoor Recreation Centre’s Newsletter has some excellent advice. A great resource is their Guidance Note Management of Outdoor Activities for Severe Weather Conditions (November 2009) which is available for download.
Try the iPhone app FiresAU . For those of you who live in NSW, Tasmania, SA.

This app lists bushfire alerts ranking them according to proximity to your location, using the built-in GPS. Bushfires are also shown on a map by red pins and your current location by a blue pin. In the case of an emergency, a “canned message” can be emailed to a contact giving your location.

Fires Near Me NSW

This is the official iPhone application of the NSW Rural Fire Service. This application provides information on current incidents across NSW attended by the RFS and other agencies. It also provides information on total fire bans.

Lightning Warnings

Thunderstorms can be dangerous if your caught on an exposed ridge or under a tree while its raining. One way to avoid being caught is to try to work out how far the storm is away, using the lightning flash and the time taken for the thunder to be heard.

One iPhone app that does just this is Thunderstorm-Calculator 

Other iPhone apps

iBarometer:

Lets you easily know what is the pressure near you, using the internet. Great for calibrating your altimeter. 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.Could be very useful before set out on a walk.

Pocket-weather-au 

Pocket Weather AU

Highly recommended, Australian developers; the one I use!

    Forecast and 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
    – 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 and cloud radars and 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. 
    – 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 cross hair cursor.
    – Radar data delivery has been carefully optimised to arrive quickly on your iPhone  (Free version available)

 It uses GPS to show your location on the radar inf ull screen landscape view. 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. 
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).
   This app brings back the ancient knowledge of former generations:

Identify conclusively a thundercloud and what kind of weather can be expected in what time frame when you see fleecy clouds.  Find out if  it is going to rain when the spider stops spinning its web and much, much more.  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

    Read more about iPhone  Apps for the Outdoors

    View other related iPhone posts

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

    Plan Safer Bushwalks: Weather Forecasts and Climate Records

    Why check the weather forecast before you go bushwalking? How should you use the weather forecast and climate records to help pack and plan your hike?  How can climate records help you?  How can you check the weather during your walk?

    Trip Planning

    An essential component of trip planning is to check the climate statistics for the region you will be visiting and for the time of the year. This can be a critical component of your planning because there are enormous variations in the weather both within and between States. I usually look at both last years and average statistics for the month I am intending to visit. Finding the nearest weather station often takes a bit of hunting.

    You should check out the climate statistics before you go, so that you take the right clothing, food, water and tent and can allow extra days for extreme weather. The stats will give the likelihood of this happening.

    For those of you planning a trip to the Tasmanian Central Highlands, you will need to expect lots of rain and some snow even in summer. A winter trip will require special expertise and equipment, which will beyond the expertise of most hikers.

    Check the statistics for Scott Peak Dam, just north of Western Arthurs and near Mt Anne . Long term stats show February would be the best time to go if you wanted the least number of rain days. But what clothing should you take?

    Daily records for February show: Max temp 35, minimum temp 3, highest rain 42 mm. Long term averages show: 15 raindays, mean max temp  21, mean min temp 9, mean rain 65 mm

    I’d be taking a full range of gear: sun hat, sunburn cream, long shirt and maybe long lightweight trousers for the hot days then overpants, rain jacket, perhaps down vest, thermals for the cold.

    If you are planning a trip to northern SA (eg the Gammons) in spring check the forecast carefully as the temperature is often in the high twenties or low thirties, when it is high teens in Adelaide. My experience is that it is often 5 -10 degrees warmer than Adelaide but colder at night. 

    Check the climate statistics for Arkarooola the nearest weather station.

    Long term averages show May to August look best from a temperature perspective (19-20 deg C). Mean min temp are 3-7 deg C, (lightweight sleeping bag weather). Days of rain 3, mean rain 6-10 mm (you may even risk just a fly depending on the month)

    Further north in the Gammons, water can also be short supply after six months with little rain. A spring/summer trip is a no, no! Surprisingly, most rain falls in December-March as the tail ends of monsoons sweep down SE from the Kimberley, so May will still have lots of water in rock holes.

    Read more on Trip Planning
    Taking Enough Water
    The weather stats are useful because you can check rainfall for the current and previous few months. You should be able to work out whether rock holes will be full, creeks flowing and surface water available. In Tasmania in summer in certain locations eg Mt Anne, Frenchmans Cap, you can often rely upon deep “yabbie” holes which will usually contain water even when the surface is dry, and can be drained  with a short piece of tubing.
    Expected temperature has a significant bearing on how much water you will need to carry. On a warm day, carrying a full pack I need about 4 L during the day, add to that a dry overnight camp and breakfast and 6 litres becomes the minimum to carry between “wet” campsites. You should hydrate before you leave your source of water each day, to reduce the amount you need to carry. Have a couple of extra cups of tea , even drink your teeth cleaning water if you are short.

    Spare days
    If you are walking in alpine areas, areas subject to flash flooding or in places which are exposed to weather blowing in from the sea, for example the central highlands of Tasmania or the west coast of the South Island in NZ, allowing extra days to sit out a storm or wait for a river to fall ( Franklin or South Coast Track, Tasmania) is essential for safety.

    Risk Avoidance and Response

    Most bushwalks require some risk analysis  during the route planning stage and this should automatically involve a check of the weather and climate statistics for the locality.
    The Adventure Activity Standards (AAS) specifies two units from the Outdoor Recreation Industry Training Package which are helpful
    Bushfire Alert
    Many Parks close and evacuate walkers when there is an imminent threat of bushfire or on days of high bushfire danger. While  most of us try to avoid walking in the middle of summer, those of us who walk in Tasmania by choice, have to expect the occasional park closure. A little commonsense helps too… check for Park closures before going, don’t walk towards smoke and always have an alternative escape route in case you are cut off by a bushfire.
    The Victorian Outdoor Recreation Centre’s Newsletter has some excellent advice. A great resource is their Guidance Note Management of Outdoor Activities for Severe Weather Conditions (November 2009) which is available for download.

    Check for bushfire alerts:

    Try the iPhone apps

    FiresAU . For those of you who live in NSW, Tasmania, SA.

    This app lists bushfire alerts ranking them according to proximity to your location, using the built-in GPS. Bushfires are also shown on a map by red pins and your current location by a blue pin. In the case of an emergency, a “canned message” can be emailed to a contact giving your location.

    Fires Near Me NSW

    This is the official iPhone application of the NSW Rural Fire Service. This application provides information on current incidents across NSW attended by the RFS and other agencies. It also provides information on total fire bans.

    Lightning Warnings

    Thunderstorms can be dangerous if your caught on an exposed ridge or under a tree while its raining. One way to avoid being caught is to try to work out how far the storm is away, using the lightning flash and the time taken for the thunder to be heard.

    One iPhone app that does just this is Thunderstorm-Calculator

    Tides
    Knowing the predicted tides can be invaluable for those bushwalks where you will be walking along the coast. Two walks come to mind: The Great Ocean Walk along the coast near the Otway Ranges in Victoria and the South Coast Track in Tasmania. Both of these walks require decisions to be made about whether it is safe to walk along the shoreline or whether an inland route should be taken. …and these are decisions not to be taken lightly as both coasts are subject to big waves and strong southerly winds.
    There are several iPhone apps which give tide information and in some cases store it on your smartphone so you don’t need internet access to view the data:

    Moonlight
    Well, there have been a few occasions when I would have liked some moonlight to complete a long walk, but most of us like to be in camp by mid-afternoon. If you are an aspiring alpine mountain climber, then moonlight becomes more important, as you often need to make a start in the early hours of the morning to catch the snow while it is hard.
    Check out the iPhone Moonlight app.

    Moonlight features a photorealistic display. The program takes the observer’s  current position and time into account for exact rendering of images. 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.

    Monitoring the weather while you walk.
    There are many ways to monitor the weather while you walk

    1. wristwatch
    2. portable weather station
    3. smartphone app
    4. GPS with inbuilt barometer/altimeter

      1. Wristwatch Weather

      Suunto Observer

      I have only used Suunto watches (Finland), bought from Paddy Pallin, which have been around for many years and are very reliable. Their only problem is that the batteries have a significantly shortened lifetime if the compass, backlight or GPS are used frequently and having them replaced by Suunto is NOT cheap. Be careful if you have it done at your local jeweller, even if they claim to pressure test. Like me, you may regret it when your very expensive watch fills with water, as mine did after a swim in Lake Vera, near Frenchmans Cap, Tasmania after I had the battery replaced by the local Battery Bar

      They make a great everyday watch and a good bushwalking navigation backup. PS The alarm  is very quiet for me. Must be old age!

      2. Portable Weather Station

      Light weight, compact, weather stations which can be carried in your pack have become available recently at a low cost. I can’t vouch for their accuracy, but I would imagine they would be at least as accurate as a wristwatch.Many have an LCD screen so you can watch trends.

      Try Dick Smiths for some ideas. They are much cheaper than a wristwatch “weather station” and there is no need to leave your tent in the morning to check if its raining!

      …. or Kathmandu, for their combined weather station, alarm and clock at sale prices.

      3. Got an iPhone? then try an app

      iBarometer:

      Lets you easily know what is the pressure near you, using the internet. Great for calibrating your altimeter. 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.Could be very useful before set out on a walk.

      Pocket-weather-au 

      Pocket Weather AU

      Highly recommended, Australian developers; the one I use!

          Forecast and 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
          – 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 and cloud radars and 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. 
          – 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 cross hair cursor.
          – Radar data delivery has been carefully optimised to arrive quickly on your iPhone  (Free version available)

       It uses GPS to show your location on the radar inf ull screen landscape view. 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. 
      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).
         This app brings back the ancient knowledge of former generations:

      Identify conclusively a thundercloud and what kind of weather can be expected in what time frame when you see fleecy clouds.  Find out if  it is going to rain when the spider stops spinning its web and much, much more.  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

        4. GPS with Barometer

        Garmin GPS

        Garmin, and no doubt others, have quite a few GPSs which come equipped with a barometer/altimeter eg  the wrist mounted Foretrex 401, the touch screen Oregon 450 -550 series, GPSMAP 62 series, eTrex Summit HC, eTrex Vista

        Get more iPhone  Apps for the Outdoors

        Some Great Uses of the iPhone for Bushwalkers Forums

        Check out some Forums

        Folk Lore

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