The idea struck when I was taking photos at Banff National Park and wanted to know the direction of East and West so I could determine which way the sun was going to set. I took my phone out of my backpack and opened my Compass app. This app, among a few others, are crucial for me to use on my adventures. I’ve seen many blog posts showcasing apps that assist in comparing and booking flights, accommodation, restaurants and car hire. However I haven’t come across a list of apps revealing the favourite apps used by adventure travel bloggers around the world. So with that in mind, below are the apps I personally use, and adventure travel bloggers use, when we are travelling.

Adventure Travel Blogger Apps Pin It
Adventure Travel Blogger Apps Pin It

Star Walk 2 This app is used widely by adventure travel bloggers and photographers, and is my personal favourite. It uses GPS to track your location and shows the location of the sun, moon and the stars in the sky in relation to where you are standing. All you need to do is point your device at the sky or tap the Compass icon to kick start it, it then shows you the sky on the screen, which will match the sky above you. You can view the sky in an augmented reality or in x-ray, fast forward time, switch to red viewing to preserve your night vision, find out the current Moon phase and exactly when the Sun sets, as well as access live data on the planets of the solar system.

How do I use it? Sometimes the Milky Way is not easy to see with the naked eye. I use this app to locate the Milky Way when I am photographing astro.

Aurora Forecast When I was in New Zealand photography astro for the first time, I was introduced to this app. It showcases auroral forecast in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere as well as activity probabilities. It’s quite a technical app but it’s very easy to navigate.

How do I use it? I use this app find the location and strength of the aurora. I click on the interactive globe in the app and zoom in to see which countries, cities and specific locations are currently covered by the aurora.

Scope Nights This app is great to used to predict the weather and how optimal it is for astrophotography for the next three days. It rates conditions as Good, Fair or Poor during three phases of the evening sky. Good represents clear skies and optimum conditions; and makes me very happy! Average represents partly cloudy skies or fast moving cloudy conditions, and makes me somewhat hopeful but also doubtful I’ll be able to shoot astro. When the conditions are Poor, I don’t make plans at all.

How do I use it? When I want to shoot astro, I use this on the day of, or a few days ahead, to see what the weather forecast is and if it will be possible for me to head out and shoot astro.

Moon For all levels of astro photographers, the Moon app is essential. It gives a six day prediction of the moon phases, a brightness percentage, the location in the sky (moon rise and moon set) as well as when the next Last Quarter Moon, New Moon, First Quarter Moon, Lunar Eclipse and Full Moon will be. I prefer to shoot astro with the darkest sky possible (most professionals don’t mind that much) and if I know I am going to be travelling to a location where I want to shoot astro, I check the future forecast to see what phase the moon will be in.

How do I use it? I use this app to find out what time the moon will rise and how bright in the sky it will be.

Compass The reason why adventure travel bloggers and photographers use this app is pretty simple - it helps us locate direction of the sun, moon and stars in the sky. It also helps me choose the best location to shoot astro, and most particularly, the Milky Way. I also love this app because I don’t need mobile data or wifi to use it. So no matter where I am in the world, at whatever time of day or night, I can use the Compass app.

How do I use it? If I want to shoot astro, sunrise or sunset, I use this app to find the location of the stars, Sun and Moon as well as where I need to stand when I take my photos to ensure I am in the best location possible.