ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Pruning High-Tech Naturalist

Updated on August 5, 2016
Utilizing my tablet and GPS during a wilderness tour to estimate storm arrival and intensity. Still everyone should know how to use the tried-and-true compass.
Utilizing my tablet and GPS during a wilderness tour to estimate storm arrival and intensity. Still everyone should know how to use the tried-and-true compass.

You may feel like your cheating at times and perhaps taking from the natural experience by monitoring heartbeat, cadence, route elevation profile, points-of-interest (POI’s,)air temperature, wind speed, and barometric pressure. Though combined with identifying wildlife by sight and sound field guide applications it takes the nightmare out of carrying maps and reference books into the forest that you’re feeling geographically displaced. As a wilderness guide I would carry up to 10 pounds of books on tours in a separate dry bag even with years of experience in a particular area. Sure I can look at the sun to know my direction or better, know my exact coordinates with my GPS.

Technology and nature don’t seem like they should go together though nature geeks are bringing the tools to your smartphone that allow budding naturalist looking to stay fit a wilderness experience like never before. Gone are the days of getting lost reading a guidebook or the poisonous trail mishaps of uncertainty. Become a cartographer, entomologist, a geologist, and biologist with a quick download to your smartphone or tablet with these applications to get you started:

Audubon Nature Applications - A Field Guide to North American Mammals & A Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians: Developed by Green Mountain Digital (in alliance with the National Audubon Society), a digital media publisher from Vermont specializing in outdoor-oriented apps, brings the helpfulness of the Audubon nature guides to your smartphone. With this app you can browse the mammalian, reptile, and amphibian species of North America by shape, family, name, or by using an advance search query. The species fact sheets include nice photos, range maps, voice sound clips for some species, and a cool function to locate, report, and share your sightings. You can also keep a journal of the species you have spotted for later reference. There are over 25 Audubon Nature Series applications for specific species and regions of the world you can learn more about at

iBird Pro Guide to Birds: Developed by the Mitch Waite Group it is by far the best bird identification application on the market, Loaded with features I’ve used to call-in predator birds, owls, and during breeding. Allowing for song recognition and habitat descriptions I’ve been able to trump ole school birder’s identifying song and shorebirds alike using this application.

Leaf Snap: A joint project by Columbia University, University of Maryland and Smithsonian Institution is assisting people identify plants with a photo. Using facial recognition software for trees–all you need is a leaf and a white background and this application should be able to help you. The app currently covers trees of the Northeast and Washington, DC.

MyNature Tracks: Need help identifying animal tracks or scat? This app has a number of animal tracks, scat and sound information that can come in handy when you’re exploring the great outdoors. Keep in mind, it helps to measure the length of the track when it comes time to identify! MyNature also offers several other great applications like MyNature Tree Guide and even park specific apps. Check them out if you are planning on visiting a specific area, like the Grand Canyon for regional identification help.

The above applications should answer your nature identification needs though the one I’m most excited to introduce you is the Map My Fitness application at . Here is where I’m going to do more than tell you about a trail by defining its route and challenging us all to get out and enjoy what we drive by without wonder in during our busy days. Conditioning us to pack a lunch and hit a trail instead of a drive-thru with a colleague or friend at noon. To answer the question, I’m bored, what can we do during the weekend with the kids.

If you haven't tried the exciting sport of geocaching with the family visit, and hit me up if you find calling card! Happy caching!
If you haven't tried the exciting sport of geocaching with the family visit, and hit me up if you find calling card! Happy caching!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)