What's New

Best Scouting apps for iPhone and Android

Empty your backpack and leave everything behind. All you need on your next Scouting outing is your smartphone.

OK, so maybe that’s an exaggeration.

What is true, though, is that for the two-thirds of Americans who own smartphones, it’s now possible to fit reference books, a GPS device, a weather radio, a compass, a map, a camera, a field guide, a recipe book and more in your pocket.

But which apps are worthy of downloading (or even — gasp! — paying for) to enhance your Scouting experience? Your fellow Scouters helped me compile the ultimate list below.

First, though, a quick note on smartphones in Scouting. They’re here to stay; resistance is futile. When used properly, these technological tools can actually improve your Scout unit. The BSA’s Deputy Chief Scout Executive, Gary Butler, made a compelling case for viewing them as a cure, not a curse. Read his comments here.

With that out of the way, check out the best Scouting apps after the jump.

The best Scouting-related apps

Here’s the list with links to download them. I should point out that most of these aren’t “official” Boy Scouts of America apps.

Scouting-apps---camp-scoutCAMP SCOUT!

Devices: iOS

Cost: Free

Description: Use this official Boy Scouts of America/Boys’ Life magazine app to plan your next outing with ease. It lets you find BSA properties near you and with the activities you want to do.

Download: Here.

Read more: I blogged about the cool, new app. Click here.

Scouting-apps-Yahoo-WeatherYahoo Weather

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: Free

Description: Considered by many the current best weather app. Gives accurate hourly, 5-day, and 10-day forecasts to help you properly pack for your next Scouting adventure.

Download: Android. iOS.

Scouting-apps-Knots-3DKNOTS 3D

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: $0.99

Description: This easy-to-use app is popular among Scouters and Scouts because it’s fun and allows you to digitally tie, untie and rotate more than 90 knots with just your finger.

Download: Android. iOS.

Scouting-apps-KindleKindle reading app

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: Free

Description: Now that official BSA publications like the new Fieldbook are being introduced digitally (in addition to the traditional print version), the Kindle reading app becomes even more powerful. I like that if you buy a book once, you can view it on all your devices, even if you use a mix of Android, iOS, PC or Mac.

Download: Android. iOS.

Scouting-apps-Dutch-Oven-calculatorDUTCH OVEN CALCULATOR

Devices: Android

Cost: Free

Description: It could use a design update, but there’s no simpler app for calculating the number of charcoal briquettes needed to cook a given recipe in a camping Dutch oven.

Download: Here.

Scouting-apps-GeocachingGEOCACHING

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: $9.99

Description: The only app you need to enjoy the fun outdoor activity that spawned a Boy Scout merit badge. Helps you find one (or a dozen) of the 2 million geocache containers hidden across the globe. “My Scouts always love it when I start up the Geocaching app when at camp,” Scouter Richard Walters says. “They love getting a group together and grabbing a cache wherever we go.”

Download: Android. iOS.

Scouting-apps-AudubonAUDUBON BIRDS PRO

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: $3.99 for Android, $9.99 for iOS

Description: Help your Scouts or Venturers identify birds they see or hear with this excellent app that includes 821 species, 3,200 images and eight hours of bird sounds. I like that 8 percent of every sale goes directly to Audubon to support its mission to conserve and protect nature’s at-risk birds and wildlife.

Download: Android. iOS.

Scouting-apps-camera+CAMERA+

Devices: iOS

Cost: $1.99

Description: My favorite iOS camera app, it’s an upgrade to Apple’s built-in Camera application, featuring lots of handy tools to capture Scouting memories.

Download: Here.

Scouting-apps-camera-zoom-fxCAMERA ZOOM FX

Devices: Android

Cost: $2.99

Description: My favorite Android camera app, this one’s fast and feature-rich to make your Scout meetings, campouts and trips look even better.

Download: Here.

Scouting-apps-star-walkSTAR WALK

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: $2.99 for iOS, $3,17 for Android.

Description: There’s something magical about the night sky, especially on a camping trip. This app helps you understand just what you’re seeing. I love the augmented reality feature that labels all the stars, constellations and satellites you point your phone at.

Download: Android. iOS.

Scouting-apps-first-aidFIRST AID BY AMERICAN RED CROSS

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: Free

Description: The only app on this list that may some day save a life. The official American Red Cross First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand. Includes videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice.

Download: AndroidiOS.

Scouting-apps-adobe-readerAdobe reader

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: Free

Description: Save a tree! The BSA is making more and more of its forms and guides (like the Guide to Safe Scouting) available online as PDFs. A PDF reader allows you to easily view these, fill them out, search them and share them. There are others with more features, but this one’s free.

Download: AndroidiOS.

Scouting-apps-gaiaGaia GPS

Devices: Android, iOS

Cost: $19.99

Description: It’s not cheap, but Gaia GPS is by far the best hiking GPS app around. It offers the functionality of a standalone backcountry GPS unit and lets you download maps for those times when you don’t have a cell signal.

Download: AndroidiOS.

Advancement-tracking tools

I know that many advancement-tracking tools are out there on Android and iOS, and most have robust Web features, too. But I didn’t want to single out one as “best” because I don’t have enough experience with them. If you’ve found one you like, share your experience in the comments section.

Your turn

Which of the apps above do you like or dislike? Which of your favorites are missing from the list? Your comments below will keep this list fresh. Thanks!


Note: Prices were accurate at time of posting but may have changed.

83 Comments on Best Scouting apps for iPhone and Android

  1. Thank you for not listing advancement tracking apps… Apps like that are great for the youth, but parents or (gasp!) Leaders tracking the path to individual advancements for the Scouts is WAY off the “Boy-led” experience of Boy Scouting.

    • Couldn’t agree more here. Specifically why our Troop (and soon the Crew) is switching over to using Scoutbook.com where the boys (and girls) can track their own progress with a simpler “approval process” than showing all of the “back of the books” to the Leaders.

      • I have been using Scoutbook for my cub scouts since August, I really like it too.

    • Concur for Boy Scouts, but they are helpful for us Cub Scouters though :)

  2. Dutch Oven Helper is an iOS app for calculating number of briquettes.

  3. Thanks, Bryan, for this quick list of Great Apps. I think that the comments will clearly point out many more hit or miss Apps for various scouting functions.

    As you request, one such Advancement Tracking App that IS NOT HIT OR MISS can be found at SCOUTBOOK.COM

    We have been using it for several units over the past couple of months and it is growing in functionality ALL THE TIME. The nicest thing is that is at the right place at the right time (Smartphone, Tablet, Computer, etc.) and that the families and even the Scouts can track themselves with automatic reporting up to the Leaders for Approval, Purchasing, and then Awarding which is all tracked.

    The TRAINED LEADER reports are a wonderful thing for Units that truly believe that units with Trained Leaders will yield better program opportunities for their Scouts.

    • Hi, Scott. Thanks for this. It’s exactly the kind of feedback I’m looking for on this one!

  4. I like QuickOffice for Android. It’s made by Google, it’s free and allows you to open, edit and create Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. It also has a built-in PDF reader. The swiss army knife of apps.

  5. “My Badges” by HandyApp.com is useful in that it has all the BSA requirements for rank and for merit badges. Unfortunately, it is not being updated. It would be great if the BSA produced this, but I’ll be satisfied if I could get a PDF of the requirements book.

    I have a copy of the BSA handbook on my phone. That comes in handy to check requirements, too.

    For weather forecasts – I use Weather Underground. For storm tracking, I use “RadarScope”. I also have “River Guide” for checking river flows.

  6. I highly recomend c:geo for geocaching fans. It’s a streamlined UI with many features not included in the official app (listed above.) Best of all it’s free!

  7. We use etrailtoeagle. It tracks the scouts from scout to eagle, keeps track of activities, campouts, meetings, service hours, leadership positions, etc. It has a report for Court of Honor that lists who earned what and when, what badges need to be purchased and what needs to be awarded. After the COH, you click “awarded” and it clears the report for the next time. It also is web accessible but has IOS and Android apps as well.

    It also has a “report card” feature, where a status report can be emailed on a regular basis to remind the scouts of what requirements they need to get to their next rank.

    Advancement reports can be exported and imported directly into the BSA system.

    The cost is reasonable as well, at about $20 per troop per year.

    • We started using etrail when I became our troop’s advancement chair last year. What I like is not having to do double duty; all merit badge, rank info uploads directly to Internet Advancement. This saves time. I love the phone app which I use all the time. It’s to be able to upload things on the fly; like while at camp. The reports are AMAZING! I can create reports for just about anything. And the price just can’t be beat.

      I’m also currently trying out Scoutbook, and find it has a lot of great things. However, I doubt I will continue using it because most of my troop members are not willing or not able to do online tracking. Plus it cost a lot more that etrail.

  8. I like Run Keeper for tracking mileage on hikes. There are better ones out there, but Run Keeper is free.

  9. Don’t forget the Scouting Radio app Bryan, for the latest news and information on global Scouting available free of charge for iPhone, iPad and android phones.

    Download the app here http://scouting.mobapp.at/

  10. “BSA On-the-Go” is the advancement app that I use. As an ASM I don’t track the advancement of the Scouts on it, but use it as a requirement reference. It has all the advancement requirements AND merit badge requirements and they do a good job keeping up with all of the latest changes. It also covers Cubs, Venture, and Varsity requirements.

    “BSA STEM” is another good app out there that covers all of the STEM award requirements for Cub, Webelos, Boy Scouts, and Ventures.

    “BSA Square Knots” gives a good explanation of all of the square knot patches (including retired patches).

    “Virginia Tech Tree ID” is a great tree identification app that walks you through a series of questions to identify the tree you are looking at.

    I’ve heard that BSA has an electronic version of the Boy Scout Handbook for iOS, but it hasn’t gotten very good reviews. Most users have found that it is just an scanned version of the handbook and that it isn’t interactive so you can’t actually use it for tracking completed rank requirements.

    • LOVE BSA On-the-Go. It’s Droid only though.

      • ScoutLeaderMom // September 19, 2014 at 11:33 am // Reply

        I use BSA On-the-Go during cub scout den meetings. It can track multiple kids and you can instantly mark off the achievements they have done.

  11. I use Trail to Eagle for iPhone. I find it very useful as a Merit Badge Counselor and District Commissioner as all of those requirements for merit badges and rank advancement are in one handy place. The app is continually updated to stay relevant.

  12. I would love if you could cover all the advancement apps. My scoutmaster and I were just looking at Scoutbook.com, but I know there are a ton out there and would like to hear your opinion. One of the biggest problems with the scouting experience right now is the lack of technology.

  13. All for IOS, but I imagine their are similar apps on Android

    You left out the Boy Scout Handbook app :O

    Leafsnap – take a picture of the leaf and it identifies the plant/tree
    Night Sky is a winner in my Book
    Geocaching (by Groundspeak)

  14. There is also Guide to Safe Scouting for Android.

  15. Electronics have no place in Scouting. This is an attempt to make Scouting popular by matching up to what youth want in an attempt to be cool and entertain them. That is not what Scouting used to be (back when it was popular with 7 million+ members). Scouting was a back-to-nature themed club for young men who gave service to the community. Today, it seems BSA is interested in attracting members by making scouting appealing instead of making scouting something that we cannot do without and therefore is in demand by communities.

    Reduce the merit badges down to the essentials. Scouting is not a career program. There are better ways to learn about and get mentoring on a career path than merit badges.

    Stop it with the apps and latest cool tech and things like that. Focus on providing highly visible community service instead of selling popcorn. Make scouting something communities support because they cannot live without it.

    If you want to be cool for kids, let’s overhaul the uniform to something a boy will wear to school.

    • Except that “electronics” are here to stay. As a parent and ASM it is hard to fight the increase in technology when I am using them constantly for work out side of scouting and the boys are using it in school and will be using when they get older. And isn’t scouting about preparing the boys to be adults?

    • Scouting has changed and evolved as needed for well over 100 years now. It is my hope that it continues to do so to continue the program. Technology is here to stay. We can and are using it to make our programs better.

    • Frank
      I would advise you to look “back to when scouting was”, in the year 1920. In that year, a book (Aides to Scoutmastership) was published, written by Lord Robert Baden-Powell. In it, he addresses how many scoutmasters found the new technology of the age a distraction to scouting. He went on to say that he saw it as a tool that could be used to benefit scouts if used properly. Movie (moving pictures) are a main staple in our lives today and are for entertainment but also ARE used to teach people of all walks of life.
      The Boy Scouts realize that we can not stop technology, but must use it as a tool. If you do not agree, you would have to give a lot of things that you take for granted. Automobiles were a more specialized technology in 1910 than electronics are now. Would you really be willing to give up your car and walk, or use live stock for your travels?
      Instead, as I see it, we need to follow the lead of scouting’s founder and embrace these new tools as the tools that they are. We may need to remind scouts that they are tools, not toys and of how the principals of scouting (Oath and Law) should guide all of our actions.

  16. c:geo is a great free alternative to the geocaching app. I also use BSA On-the-Go for quick access to requirements for both Cub and Boy scouts. It is a great way to show the boys how things that we are doing relate to advancements that they are working on. It is also great for helping to create teachable moments that may have otherwise slipped away unnoticed.

  17. Google My Tracks on Android – for tracking hikes. Gaia GPS is another one – provides topo maps. I believe I got it as a free app of the day some time ago on the Amazon App Store.

    • Oops. Gaia GPS was already mentioned in the article… how’d I miss that.

  18. Excellent info on scouting apps. Thanks to all!

  19. You missed the Scout Handbook App, Scout Trail, Trail Tracker and Leafsnap

  20. I really like WhatKnot and Take Ten

  21. My Android list:
    WeatherBug Elite (which I think was free when I installed it), DroidLight and/or MotoTorch LED (free flashlights), Army Bugle Calls (free), Compass and/or Urban Scout (free), First Aid (free), Google Sky Map (free), c:geo opensource (free), and of course Camera (free).

    • Google Sky rocks!

  22. Reid in Juneau // April 23, 2014 at 4:48 pm // Reply

    Scoutbook.com has revolutionized how we track and manage advancement within our pack! It covers almost all of the Cub advancements and awards in a great graphic format. Highly recommended!

  23. Vinnie Close // April 23, 2014 at 5:15 pm // Reply

    You missed the free Guide to Safe Scouting app for Android. Very helpful to always have as a reference at any time.

  24. Do you know what would be wonderful? If the suite of tools at my scouting.org would be accomplished through an app or series of apps. Tour plans, submitting advancement reports and leader training.

  25. Shawn Cook // April 23, 2014 at 7:26 pm // Reply

    Scoutmaster Minute Boy Scout Skits on Android

  26. My son uses Scout App it is free and you can mark off the badges you have earned and when you earned what part of it, and it has all the requirements listed. You can also keep track of Ranks, outings, service time, leadership, hiking, camping. It really helps him to see how close he is to the next rank and what he has to work on to make it!

    • TheScoutApps // April 24, 2014 at 4:39 pm // Reply

      Thanks for posting, I’m glad he is finding it useful!

  27. joselepervanche // April 23, 2014 at 8:17 pm // Reply

    Reblogged this on Scouting Adventures and commented:
    Be prepared for emergencies.
    FIRST AID BY AMERICAN RED CROSS
    Devices: Android, iOS

    Cost: Free

    Description: The only app on this list that may some day save a life. The official American Red Cross First Aid app puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in your hand.

  28. The list is missing some great apps for Scouting: LeafSnap, Commander Compass, AllTrails (super! like carrying huge, detailed terrain maps with you in a compact device), Grog Knots, WhiteNoise (via headphones to drown out the snores of sleeping scouts and scouters who are just a few feet away through thin tent walls), musical instrument apps (guitar, piano, etc), Evernote to keep everything organized and in one place (meeting notes, duty rosters, pictures, files, etc), calculator, Flashlight, clock (for alarm clock and reminders), a Bible app and a hymnal app (especially for Chaplain’s Aide, because a Scout is reverent), Paypal and Square for Popcorn sales and other fundraisers, and lastly social media apps to share the adventure with the folks back home in real time.

    • Missed one we have: Knot Guide HD.

  29. James Duane // April 24, 2014 at 1:09 am // Reply

    Honestly, you would think the Boy Scout Handbook would be the number 1 scout app out there…I’ve had it downloaded to my iPod touch then onto my IPhone when I got one…

  30. The Scouting Radio app!

  31. I agree with a lot of your iPhone app recommendations, such as Star Walk and First Aid. Thanks for the pointers to some I hadn’t heard of.

    I also have the Boy Scout Manual on my iPhone, which is great at meetings or where ever. It’s a bit pricey though and I doubt I’ll get a free upgrade when they release the next edition! :-/

    My favorite hiking GPS app is Motion-X GPS for $.99. It lets you download and save topo maps of the areas you’re going hiking in, so you don’t need a cell signal to get download them when you’re on site. It has lots of ways to navigate to spots, such as street address, Lat/Long, point on the map, etc. The company produces a great line of apps, all for $.99.

    As for Advancement apps, all I had seen seemed WAY over-priced, until I saw the mention from Scott Fisher above. I’ve never tried it, but at least they have a decent pricing model (1 Scout in a family is free, Troop for $10). I can’t believe that other apps/sites wanted $60 per year, which is the opposite of THRIFTY. (No, I’m not affiliated with any Advancement software company.)

    • Oops, I just read the Scoutbook.com pricing structure more thoroughly and the $10 is for the first 5 boys in the troop, so our 15-boy troop would cost $25 per year. Still do-able, but not the bargain I thought. Sorry for the misleading info.

  32. Reblogged this on South Florida Council • Boy Scouts of America.

  33. With the upcoming change to the Cub Scout curriculum, will BSA be releasing their own ‘official’ achievement tracking app? Seeing as how it will be obsoleting all the existing cub scout tracker apps currently available, it’s a great chance to position themselves as a market leader in that category. Plus they still have a year to build it, plenty of time.

    If BSA is looking to outsource this, they should look at the folks who built the Boy Scout tracker TheScoutApps. https://thescoutapps.com/ That is my vote for best tracker app. Excellent interface, web/cloud integration, feature upgrades, so pay for what you need.

    No affiliation, in fact, they are my competition (I wrote the Cub Scout Achievement Flow app for iOS). :-)

    • TheScoutApps // April 24, 2014 at 3:55 pm // Reply

      Thanks for the shout out :) We are a little bit new to the scene, but are excited to try our hand at creating awesome tools for Scouters!

      • Patsy Morris // May 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm // Reply

        I just downloaded the Scout App. I love it so far.

        Can you add the Rock Climbing Merit Badge to your app?

        • TheScoutApps // May 22, 2014 at 4:55 pm //

          Thanks! Glad to hear it :) I’ll add your request to our log and we’ll get it out with our next update.

        • TheScoutApps // May 22, 2014 at 4:57 pm //

          Are you referring to the Climbing merit badge? If so, that is already in the app.

        • Patsy Morris // May 22, 2014 at 5:16 pm //

          Haha! Sorry. I didn’t realize.
          My son wrote “Rock Climbing” on the blue card, but the award card says “Climbing”.
          Thanks ;)

    • Bob Johnson // April 26, 2014 at 6:08 pm // Reply

      I have heard lots of good things, but my issue with the scout app is that it is ios 7 only. I am an android user but I also have an ipod with ios6. I cannot use the app.

    • Been using the Scout App for quite a while and am growing to love it. Can’t wait for add-ons for awards other than rank and merit badges! Love that it backs up and syncs between multiple devices!

      • Check out Scoutbook. (Found at Scoutbook.com ). They are already rarin’ to go for the upcoming program changes. I don’t foresee them getting outdated any time soon regardless of program changes.

        I came across Scoutbook a few months ago and have become a big fan!

  34. Backcountry Navigator for Android is a little pricey, but indispensable for navigation with topo (and other) maps when going out in the great outdoors where there is no data connection available.
    http://backcountrynavigator.com/

  35. Goggle Sky (free) is an excellent star map.

    If you’re going to pay for knot-tying app, then Animated Knots by Grogg is the best thing out there.

  36. The US Army Survival Guide has lots of useful tips. It is available on both iPhone and Android and does not need data connection to use

    • BTW, if he is talking about the iPhone app “Army Survival Study Guide”, it’s $1.99.

      Another app with similar name “Survival Guide” is free and says “… it is completely based on the U.S. Military Survival Manual FM 21-76.”

  37. I use BSA On the Go SD on my android. I like that I can see all achievements needed for Cubs, Scouts, Venture and Varsity, as well as telling me about Scouter awards. You can put in as many scouts as you’d like for free. It allows you to check off what has been completed but won’t show you unless you open that category. It also has all merit badge and belt loop and pin requirements. It becomes very useful when you don’t have a scout book around. http://www.georgercainjr.com
    We also use KnotsGuide and Knotster. Both show 3D steps on how to tie each knot and what they are used for. Both also free on Andriod. http://www.facebook.com/knotster http://www.susasoftx.com

  38. Maryanne Sweat // April 24, 2014 at 4:27 pm // Reply

    There’s a free IOS App Called “Path to Eagle” which has all the rank requirements for each rank, and merit badge offerings. In addition, virtual notebooks and quizzes for boards of review. Very handy indeed

  39. I use the scout trail app to track my scout’s achievements and look up merit badge requirements. It’s great although it only allows you to add one scout.

  40. Would love to see the full handbook on an app. Even better would be on Nook.

    • Steven,

      The full Scout manual is available on iPhone for $9.99.

      They also just released the new Scout Fieldbook on Kindle for $19.99. (Yeah, it’s pricey)

  41. OffMaps – assuming you’re successful at getting out of cell tower range, OffMaps provides GPS-only access to your current location.

  42. Consider using Swingbot for the Golf Merit Badge: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/swingbot-golf-swing-video/id516200328?mt=8

  43. Gary Wilson // April 24, 2014 at 7:09 pm // Reply

    MyRadar gives you a very readable NWS Doppler weather display on your phone so can see where that storm is relation to your campsite in real time.

    Topo Maps allows you to download actual USGS 7 1/2 minute topographic quadrangles to your phone or tablet. Most other online maps lack decent contour lines for route planning.

  44. Chris Preu // April 24, 2014 at 9:06 pm // Reply

    Do you have any recommenations for those of us using Windows Phones?

  45. On Android, try “Backpacker GPS Trails Lite” (free!) or the “Pro” version ($4.99). The same functionality described here at less cost! It also can use USGS topo as the basemap, and gives you stats such as elevation change and distance for your hike, ride or walk. It will also cache your chosen area and works fine without a signal.

  46. I love seeing the BSA embrace environmental friendly ideas for their books.

    Though, I’d love to see the BSA start also releasing their books on Google Play.

    DRMs are a pain, and a lot of people hate using multiple apps for books – myself included. I mean, I guess I *could* have my BSA books on Amazon and use the Kindle app, and have other books on Play and use the play app … … but its more likely that someone (*cough*) would just attempt (and succeed) to breach the DRM on the book and convert it as a PDF or upload to another eBook reader program (like Google Play Books).

    The better option would be to not force the hand of people to violate the DMCA and release it on additional publishers. Not that I am endorsing that kind of action in any way.

  47. In honor of John James Audubon’s 229th birthday, seven of Green Mountain Digital’s excellent Audubon apps: Birds Pro, Trees, Insects and Spiders, Wildflowers, Butterflies, Mammals, and Mushrooms for Android & iOS are all on sale for $0.99 (Google Play/iTunes App Store sale ends May 1st; Amazon sale ends May 4th)
    http://contentz.mkt4800.com/mson/2014/04/25/Yen9ooYD1a2Y/index.html
    I also recommend BSA On-the-Go SD, First Aid-American Red Cross, Google Sky Map, MapMyRide (all free) & Nynix Knots 3D ($0.99). I’d rather carry a 2nd battery in my pocket than 5+ pounds of guidebooks. :)
    I do keep paper guidebooks in the Scoutmaster’s box for Scouts to borrow during camping trips.

  48. Mark Kottmeyer // April 25, 2014 at 9:15 pm // Reply

    For geocaching we prefer c:geo. It is better overall than the geocaching app. It allows offline (no cell coverage) geocaching (as long as you have stored the cache ahead of time), it does not limit number of caches per day,
    it has seamless integration with GPS Status, and it’s free. The only drawback is that it is not available on iOS. If you need iOS, iGeoKnife is recommended. It has most of the benefits of c:geo.

  49. I came to add my favorite apps to the comments and there are already 61 comments. Perhaps we need our own version of the Appys focused on Scouting.

    I am going to provide my favorites in short form. I am an Android user with a preference for free community supported apps where available though I’m not afraid to put money down for a quality product.

    Weather
    1Weather (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.handmark.expressweather) with ad supported and paid versions is a beautifully designed weather app. You can track weather in multiple locations and receive weather alerts as they occur. You can also view satellite and radar images.

    Geocaching
    c:geo (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=cgeo.geocaching) is a free geocaching app that works well for beginners. More importantly c:geo allows you to host your own geocaching server which makes it easy for Scouts and Scouters to create a private database of caches that could be used on private or BSA property.

    Navigation
    Locus (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=menion.android.locus) provides an add supported and paid navigation app useful for the outdoors. It includes many of the features of popular GPS devices and can be used offline.

    Navigation in the woods is only half the problem. How is your patrol getting to and from the trail head. Waze (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.waze), a free in car navigation system now owned by Google, not only allows you to route around traffic jams it has collaboration features that will allow you to track the progress of all your unit’s vehicles. Having tools of this nature can help alleviate the temptation to caravan, but they are best employed in the hands of the navigator and not the driver. Waze also has a companion website that can be used to help plan routes.

  50. John Deegan // April 29, 2014 at 3:33 pm // Reply

    Has there been any thought about making on-line BSA training – such as (and especially) Youth Protection Training – available for IOS/Android mobile platforms? Clearly, making a training course like YPT available for mobile devices should increase its availability to the nation of Scouters requiring this training, which should in turn increase the completion percentage of that training.

    • Even just converting all of the training courses to something that is MOBILE-COMPATIBLE (even if not an actual APP) would be nice.

  51. Not an app but don’t go out with your smartphone as your ‘map’ without a solar charger (one that charges a battery that you use to charge your phone) or an external battery that’s good for 3 or 4 cycles.

  52. Patsy Morris // May 22, 2014 at 3:34 pm // Reply

    Do these apps work if there is no cell reception?

    • TheScoutApps // May 22, 2014 at 4:54 pm // Reply

      I’m not sure about the others, but TheScoutApp works offline and syncs any changes back online when a connection is restored.

  53. I’ve always sort of really not trusted 3rd party Advancement applications (not too happy with the current BSA one either but…) however, after using if for almost 3 years now I really and very much like etrailtoeagle.com….and I’m a bit picky being a current member of our Council Advancement Committee and my unit person for a long time also…take the tour, it works and will be my choice until I see what the ‘new’ BSA offering will be

  54. I love the MyNature Animal Tracks and MyNature Tree Guide. They provide a lot of excellent information, and are easy to use. I do believe they’re paid apps, but I got mine free on Earth Day a few years back

  55. Viewranger GPS Open maps is the best mapping tool I have found and sync’s across your phone and ipad. OSM anywhere for keeping my scout paperwork up to speed and making life as a scout leader so much easier. Lastly My Badges to keep you up to speed on bad requirements including placement for all scout sections.

  56. I use a stand alone gps unit. Loaded with a topo map. It’s a lot better than the cell phone option. I also carry an emergency locator beacon for those serious situations that Mr. Murphy might toss my way.

Join the conversation