This article was published in 2012, and many of the apps listed here are no longer supported. For an updated list of Florida Rambler’s favorite apps, go to floridarambler.com/florida-outdoor-news/best-apps-florida-outdoors/

FLStateParks – A well-organized and comprehensive resource on Florida’s State Parks by hiking guru Sandra Friend, who has written several Florida hiking guides and publishes the web site Florida Hikes!  As you might expect, much of the content in this app is geared toward hikers, but she also does considerable justice to other state park activities, especially paddling.  The app includes essential information on each park, including photos, maps, phone numbers and links to related subjects, including tours and nearby outfitters.  Although arranged alphabetically, there is a state map that plots each park, and each entry measures the distance between your current location and each park. (Published by Sutro Media)

ALL STAYS RV Dumps – OK. OK. This is not the most appealing thought, but when you gotta go, you gotta go.  That part is easy for RVers, but they also gotta dump what went.  This app identifies hundreds of dump stations, including truck stops, using your location settings.  My complaint about this app is that it’s not always clear that you can dump, especially at private campgrounds, but it does provide contact information so you can call ahead.  On a positive note, it also offers details about campgrounds on your route, gleaning that info from the vast ALL STAYS database that supports other camping apps.  A menu can be accessed that allows you to filter results to, say, highway rest areas or truck stops.  Unfortunately, Florida is one state that does not provide dump stations for travelers at rest areas, but most state and county park campgrounds do. They can also be filtered. Happy Dumping! (Published by All Stays)

ReserveAmerica.  ReserveAmerica is the online reservations system used by Florida State Parks and many other private and public campgrounds in Florida.  I use it all the time and was tickled to find their mobile app.  I still book reservations from my home computer when possible, but this app is ideal if you are on the road and want to check the availability of campsites at your next destination.  Just enter your location, what days you want and search for available sites at a campground near you, also location-based. Or you can enter the name of your destination and see what’s available, then book your site.  You only get campgrounds that use ReserveAmerica, such as state and national parks, so your choices are somewhat limited.  But the app is easy to use, campground descriptions are excellent, and you can even see photographs of the included campgrounds.  (Published by The Active Network)

Launch Points. When you are in unfamiliar territory, it can be difficult to find places to launch your kayak and canoe, so this app takes out most of the trial and error by identifying launch points near your location (if you activate your location settings.) The 15,000-location database is constantly being updated by users, so when you find a good spot, enter it in the database for others to follow. You can also rate launch points already in the database and share your experiences. The app also provides access to blogs, videos, “how-to” articles and paddling news. The database is maintained by Austin Canoe and Kayak, a quality online retailer of paddling gear. I’m a loyal customer. (Published by Phunware)

BOAT RAMPS. This is an interactive app published by TakeMeFishing.org, and it is a really useful tool for all boaters.  Locator settings make this app easy to use, even when in unfamiliar territory. You get some details about the ramp or launch points, including GPS and a map. The big failing is that it doesn’t tell you whether the ramp is available to the public. For example, when I checked ramps near my home, the list included several inside gated communities or private clubs that would never allow access. Another drawback is the large number of duplicates that come back in search. Users can add their own ramps, or details about existing ramps. If I was just looking for ramps for my kayak, I’d use Launch Points.  But this app is free, so it’s worth having. Designed for the iPhone. (Published by TakeMeFishing.org)

BAIT SHOPS. Similar to Boat Ramps, this app allows you to identify nearby bait shops or en route to your fishing hole. The interface is similar to Boat Ramps, and it allows users to add bait shops. It appears to have better editing than Boat Ramps because there are very few duplicates. You can also search by city or zip code, as is the case with most other apps included in this article. iPhone and iPad versions are available. (Published by Derek Trauger & Associates)

Audubon Nature Florida.  Discover the diversity of Florida’s wildlife with the ultimate guide from Audubon.  Identify everything from birds and fish to spiders and sea creatures, shells and wildflowers, even butterflies, with more than 4,000 professional photographs. This app has in-depth descriptions for over 1,900 species of birds, butterflies, fish, insects and spiders, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, seashells, seashore creatures, trees, and wildflowers. What’s more you can hear the birds sing!  Over 1,100 bird songs and calls.  Range maps show migration paths and rookeries. (Published by Green Mountain Digital)

GEOCACHING. I’m a novice to geocaching, but from what I see in Florida’s outdoors, it appears to be growing in popularity by leaps and bounds.  Participants stash their cache and challenge others to find it, a sort of hide-and-seek for grownups. The app gives you access to 1.5 million geocaches around the world and includes hints and descriptions. Using your locator settings, you can get a list of geo caches near you. When you find a cache, you log the location and include field notes. I have not specifically reviewed this app, but I thought it worthwhile to let you know it is there. There is a FREE version called GeoCaching Intro to get you started. But be aware that this sport is a bit controversial because it involves leaving caches that some consider debris, especially rangers in some public parks. Others see it as a way to expose more people to their environment and the great outdoors. I’ll remain neutral, for now. (Published by Groundspeak).