6 apps to make you a happy camper this festival season

6 Jun 2016

Festival season is here and, to help you navigate and survive the trials and tribulations that come with it, here are six apps that will help you have the best time possible.

While your first thoughts about heading to a festival are typically to do with summer sunshine, great music and partying with your friends, the desire to bring all of the tech comforts of home isn’t far behind, and presents a few challenges.

Given the difficulty of keeping your phones and devices charged in a socket-free world – people worried about that might find these tech tips handy – just trying to keep your phone alive to stay in touch is difficult enough.

Doing any more than that is even harder. Where in god’s name did I leave my tent? Where did my friends go? Is that sunburn?

These type of questions come up an awful lot, but, thankfully, there are some apps out there to help you navigate your way to being one happy camper.

Tent Finder (iOS, €0.99)

While not the only app of its kind out there, Tent Finder is one that will help you on your slow and meandering journey back to your tent.

While, until now, campers had little choice but to buy the most outrageous-looking tent or distinctive flag, this app will let you save a location quite accurately and guide you back to where your canvas-sided salvation lies.

You could argue that there’s nothing fancy about an app that can read your location and use free mapping software, but it does definitely cater to festival goers.

For Tent Finder, in particular, the app supports use on the Apple Watch, although I feel you’d have to be mad to bring that particular luxury device with you to a festival.

Android users might want to check out another app, called Find My Tent, which provides a similar service.

Tent finder

Find My Friends (iOS/Android, free)

This might not need any explanation, but Find My Friends will be handy to help you keep track of your friends in the likely situation where you all get split up.

Whether that’s because you ran into an old friend, or you just stopped to hear some dreamboat with a guitar play some tunes, the app can quite accurately keep track of you as long as your battery stays charged.

You can chat, as well, within the app, to all agree on a location to meet or, if a friend is lost, simply note the location of their icon on the app’s map and direct them to the meeting point.

All-in-all, pretty darn handy.

Festival phone

Festival goer with phone image via Chris Beckett/Flickr

Waterin (iOS/Android, free)

I will admit I have laughed at crowdfunding projects that try to sell you expensive products that tell you when you need to drink water, but a festival is a totally different ball game.

Given the excessive heat and alcohol being consumed, you can often get seriously dehydrated and not even know it.

With Waterin, you can set it to notify you when it’s best to drink, once you’ve entered in a few details.

So, keep a water bottle with you if you can, and your phone can become your nagging friend who has a good point to make.

Irish Red Cross (iOS/Android, free)

Face it, we’re not all medical experts and, when it comes to issues like sunburn and dehydration, we know next to nothing.

That’s why it would be very handy indeed to download the Irish Red Cross’s first aid app, which can tell you what to do if someone you’re with is in trouble.

With a handy and clear guide, it covers everything from burns to what you need to do in the event of an asthma attack.

The content is all pre-loaded, so you don’t need to have online access to use it, and it’s also integrated with the 112 emergency services number if things get really bad.

Irish Red Cross

Festival Ready (iOS, free)

It might come as a surprise to know that the people who manufacture the legendary Swiss Army Knife, Victorinox, have also created an app with festival safety in mind.

Much like its older knife sibling, the app is multifunctional, with a basic navigation tool and weather info.

But perhaps its best feature is its tools. Aside from a torch – a pre-requisite on most smartphones already – the app also includes a very specific sound flare to help guide people towards you.

Also, if you’re tired of trying to shout a message to your friend over the blaring music, you can type out a message to appear on your phone’s screen like an LED display, making it easy to see over longer distances.

The app also has some handy tips for where you should locate your tent, which could always come in handy.

Greenify (Android, free) and Battery Doctor (iOS)

Anything that can keep your battery going for longer is an absolute must for festival goers, and there’s quite a few handy apps out there to download.

Probably the two best ones – depending on what operating system you’re running – are Greenify on Android and Battery Doctor on iOS.

Rather than shutting down apps that aren’t in use, Greenify forces hibernation instead.

This is smart. Given that booting up an app takes more energy than waking up a sleeping one, it actually makes a good deal of sense.

Meanwhile, Battery Doctor follows a similar concept, but also includes some personalised tips on how to better handle your phone’s energy consumption.

Greenify battery saver

Festival image via Paul Townsend/Flickr

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic