There is a flood of apps and websites that intend to make your outdoor experience easier, safer, more enjoyable and more interesting. However, only a handful keep their promise. In this post I want to give you an overview of the most helpful ones. In case you think that I have missed an absolutely essential app or website, feel free to leave a comment.

Please bear with me that many of these tools focus on Northern Europe.

Apps for Maps, Tours and Points of Interest

Locus Map
A map app with loads of features (it might take you a little while to get to know all the features). A compass is integral part of the app. In case the rich set of features is not enough, you can even install plugins (e.g. for GeoCaching). Choose from a wide range of free online maps or download whole regions and countries (e.g. from https://www.openandromaps.org/). I recommend the Pro Version.
Available for: Android

Maastokartat (English name: Topo Maps)
Provides topographic maps, aerial photos and nautical charts for Finland. For Norway and Estonia it provides topographic maps.
Available for: iOS and Android

Karttaselain
Provides topographic maps, aerial photos and nautical charts for Finland. Furthermore, it displays property information (which can be helpful for contacting the land owner when organizing tours).
Available for: iOS and Android

Norgeskart outdoors
Provides topographic maps, raster maps and sea maps for Norway (excluding Svalbard). The pro subscription enables many map layers such as avalanche risk, snow depth, sea depth, etc.
Available for: iOS and Android

GeoViewer
Enables you to import e.g. offline Svalbard Maps from the Norwegian Polar Institute.
Available for: iOS and Android

Soviet Military Maps
Maps for Russia. Also available as a Pro Version with extended feature set.
Available for: iOS and Android

OS Maps
Standard, greenspace and aerial mapping of Great Britain from the Ordnance Survey. Also available as a Pro Version with extended feature set.
Available for: iOS and Android

Sky Map
Point it towards the sky and it will show you the star signs. Also includes visible planets.
Available for: Android

Sky View
Same functionality as Sky Map.
Available for: iOS and Android

Websites for Maps, Tours and Points of Interest

Retkikartta.fi (Excursionmap.fi)
Map of Finland provided by the Finnish Parks and Wildlife Service (Mets√§hallitus). Within national parks it displays routes, campfire places, huts, shelters, …

NLS (National Land Survey of Finland) File Service
Get maps of Finland as files (e.g. png).

Retkipaikka.fi (in Finnish)
Are you bored and do you look for outdoor activities? This website helps you find DIY activities in Finland.

Laavu.org
Lists all the Laavus (shelters) and wilderness huts in Finland with their locations. It is possible to download the locations in the gpx format and import them into most map apps.

Ut.no
Map and tour tips for different activities in Norway



Apps for Flora and Fauna Identification

The following apps are useful in Europe. If you want to use them somewhere else, check if the apps support also other regions.

Collins Bird Guide
The popular book is also available as an App. What I find especially helpful is to switch languages in the app. So you might be lucky to read the descriptions in your mother tongue.
Available for: iOS and Android

Ornidroid
Another app for identifying birds.
Available for: Android

UK Bird Sounds
Birds Sounds compilation with high quality sounds
Available for: iOS and Android

Pl@nt Net
Take a picture of a wild plant and the app gives you suggestions on what it might be.
Available for: iOS and Android

Websites for Flora and Fauna Identification

Luontoportti.com (English name: Nature Gate)
Find fascinating information about hundreds of wild species together with thousands of images. NatureGate works in eight languages.



Apps for Forecasts & Conditions

FMI Weather
Weather forecast by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (of course it also supports locations worldwide)
Available for: iOS and Android

Northern Eye Aurora Forecast
Displays the aurora borealis forecast on a map. It is also possible to enable notifications.
Available for: Android

Moon Phase Calendar
Gives you all the info you need to know about the moon. The next full moon, the next new moon. Also helpful for photographers: The app tells you when the blue hour is during dawn and dusk.
Available for: iOS and Android

River App
Water level of rivers in various countries
Available for: iOS and Android

Varsom
Avalanche forecast for Norway
Available for: iOS and Android

Websites for Forecasts & Conditions

Owm.io (Open Weather Map)
Check the weather on a beautifully visualized map. Provides layers for temperature, precipitation, wind speeds, clouds, …

Openseamap.org
Check the weather on a map with many details. Provides layers for temperature, precipitation, wind speeds, clouds, …

Senorge.no
Snow depth map for Norway

Regobs.no
Map for different forecats in Norway

Lavinprognoser.se
Avalanche forecast in Sweden

Lightningmaps.org
See where lightnings currently occur to avoid getting into thunderstorms on your trips.



Apps for Emergency Situations

Echo 112
Calls local emergency services and provides exact location
Available for: iOS and Android

Suomi 112
Calls Finnish emergency services and provides exact location
Available for: iOS and Android