Smartphone Apps to Get You Outdoors

By Tracey Dowdy

I grew up in a rural area on the east coast of Canada way back in the 70’s. Outdoor play was a natural part of my childhood. My mom would shoo us out the door in the morning, we often ate lunch in the backyard, and we’d usually go back outside to play after dinner. Television wasn’t much of a distraction as we had only three channels and one of them was in French. Fast forward to today. With the lure of video games, the Internet, and kid-friendly TV networks 24/7, it can be a challenge to get kids off the couch and outdoors to play.

According to the American Heart Association, one in three children is overweight. In fact, obesity is the number one health concern among parents in the United States. The obvious solution is to simply turn off the TV or take away the Xbox controller and send our kids outside, but that’s easier said than done.

One solution is to set a good example and take more exercise ourselves. Another is to embrace the technology that our kids find so addictive and use it as motivation. To that end, app developers have created some fun and highly entertaining games that can encourage the whole family to venture out into the great outdoors. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Geocaching

    geocachingTNGeocaching allows you to go treasure hunting on a scale you may not have imagined! Using your smartphone or handheld GPS, players search for hidden containers (geocaches) with small “treasures” tucked inside. Usually, you sign a logbook to show you were there, take a little treasure and leave one behind for the next hunter. Then, you can share your adventure online. According to, there are 2 million active geocaches and over 5 million geocachers worldwide.

    Fun Feature:You can search for a geocache near you by address, zip code, longitude/latitude, area code, GC code, the person who hid it, or the person who last found it.
  • MyNature

    mynatureTNMyNature has developed several apps that will not only entertain but educate. You can identify animal tracks and trees, calculate the weight of the fish you just caught, or learn how to tie knots. There are also apps specific to National Parks like Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Teton, and the Grand Canyon, which identify animal tracks, trees, and wildflowers unique to each location.

    Fun Feature: A Naturewalk Pedometer measures the distance and number of steps you take on your hike.
  • Star Walk

    starwalkTNStar Walk lets you point an iPhone or iPad at the night sky and identifies the stars, constellations, planets and even satellites visible at your location. As you move the device across the sky, the star map updates in real time highlighting the new celestial bodies as they come into view.

    Fun Feature: Time Machine lets you move through time to see the night sky tomorrow, two years from now, or 200 hundred years ago.
  • Bulldash

    bulldashTNBulldash has no educational value but is 100 percent fun! Based on the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, this game has you running through virtual streets trying to avoid being trampled or gored. “We hope the game will encourage people to exercise. One of the complaints is that running is boring. Running for your life? Not so boring.”

    Fun Feature: You don’t have to be staring at the screen of your smart phone to play – just plug in your headphones and audio cues, like the cheers of the crowd or the sound of the bulls approaching, prompt you on where to run.


  1. We are a gaggle of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme
    in our community. Your website offered us with valuable info to work on. You have done a formidable activity and our whole community might be grateful to

  2. I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with
    the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did
    you customize it yourself? Either way keep
    up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see
    a great blog like this one nowadays.

  3. Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating
    it but, I’d like to shoot you an email. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be
    interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.

  4. I love what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of clever
    work and exposure! Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve
    added you guys to our blogroll.

  5. What a stuff of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious know-how on the topic of unpredicted emotions.

  6. What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable experience concerning
    unpredicted feelings.

  7. I’ve been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or blog posts on this sort
    of space . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this web site.
    Reading this info So i am happy to express that I
    have a very excellent uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed.
    I so much unquestionably will make certain to don?t fail to
    remember this site and give it a look on a constant basis.

  8. Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a sea shell and
    gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her
    ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely
    off topic but I had to tell someone!

  9. Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find
    It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and
    aid others like you helped me.

  10. Fantastic beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend
    your web site, how can i subscribe for a
    blog site? The account aided me a acceptable deal.
    I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear

  11. Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board
    and I find It truly useful & it helped me out
    much. I hope to give something back and help others like
    you aided me.

  12. Hey There. I discovered your blog the usage of msn. This
    is a really well written article. I will be sure
    to bookmark it and return to read more of your helpful information. Thanks for the post.
    I will definitely return.

  13. If you wish for to get a great deal from this paragraph then you have to apply these methods to your
    won blog.

  14. Hurrah! At last I got a weblog from where I be able to genuinely get helpful
    information regarding my study and knowledge.

  15. It’s really a cool and useful piece of info. Iam satisfied
    that you simply shred this helpful info with us. Please stay us informed like this.

    Thank yoou for sharing.

    Also visit my blog Chaturbate

  16. Woah! I’m realoly loving the template/theme of this
    website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot one of the best XXX times it’s
    very hard to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness
    and appearance. I must say you have done a great jobb with this.

    Also, the blog loads very quick for me on Opera.
    Exceptional Blog!

  17. Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it waas
    super long) so I guess I’ll just ssum it up what I had written and say, I’m
    thoroughly enjoying yoiur blog. I too am ann aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything.

    Do you hace any tips and hints for first-time blog
    writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

    Have a look at my web-site … enjoy Chaturbate

  18. Incredible! This blog loooks exactly like my old one!
    It’s on a completely different topic but it has pretty much the same
    paage layout and design. Wonderful cyoice oof colors!

    Look at myy page nude models

  19. Simply wish to say your article is as surprising.
    The clarity in your post is simply great and i could assume you
    are an expert on this subject. Well with your
    permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please keep up the rewarding work.

    Also visit my site spam

  20. Şahin k iki kadını sikiyor. By admin 4 sene önce 1856
    İzlenme Paylaş. ÇILGINCA SİKİŞEN KADINLAR berdava sex tv şahin k iki kadını sikiyor doktor muanesi videosu
    sevişme gizli kamera izle.

  21. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted
    to say that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I
    hope you write again soon!

  22. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to tears at
    work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
    I love the information you provide here and can’t wait
    to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how quick
    your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G
    .. Anyways, very good site!

  23. Hmm it appears like your blog ate my first comment (it
    was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted
    and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything.

    Do you have any helpful hints for rookie blog writers?
    I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  24. Everything is very open with a very clear clarification of the
    challenges. It was really informative. Your site is extremely helpful.
    Thanks for sharing!

  25. May I simply just say what a comfort to uncover a person that really understands what they’re talking about on the internet.
    You definitely know how to bring an issue to light
    and make it important. More people must look at this and understand this side of your story.
    I was surprised you aren’t more popular given that you surely have
    the gift.

  26. Quality articles is the main to interest the visitors to go to see the website, that’s what this web site is

  27. Hi there, yes this paragraph is genuinely pleasant and I have learned
    lot of things from it about blogging. thanks.

  28. I’m really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog.
    Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
    Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one

  29. Hi! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick
    shout out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading your posts.

    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the
    same topics? Thanks a ton!

  30. Excellent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff prior to and you’re simply too wonderful.
    I actually like what you have obtained here, certainly
    like what you are stating and the best way in which you
    say it. You make it enjoyable and you still care for to stay it smart.
    I can not wait to learn much more from you. That is really
    a great website.

  31. It’s really a great and useful piece of information. I am glad that you simply shared this helpful info with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  32. Hiya! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how
    to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird
    when viewing from my iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be
    able to correct this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share.

    Appreciate it!

  33. I have learn several good stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting.
    I surprise how a lot attempt you put to make this kind of
    fantastic informative site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *