5 apps to download before heading to the cottage

Victoria Day weekend marks the official start to “Cottage Season,” and whether you’re heading to the lake, mountains, or just to the closest camp ground, it’s always good to be prepared, and with these apps, you will be!

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Just a warning before we get into this that most of these apps require an Internet connection.  So, if you’re destination is way out in the boonies somewhere, you may want to find some offline alternatives.

1. Waze

First you have to get to where you’re going and Waze can help you do just that! But, even if you’ve been to your cottage a million times and don’t need directions, this app provides more than navigation.

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It can also give you…

  • Alerts about traffic, police, hazards and more.
  • Instant routing changes to avoid traffic and save you time.
  • An ETA based on live traffic data.
  • The cheapest gas along your route.

Free for iOS and Android.

2. PlantSnap

Once you get to the cottage or campground you may want to spend some time outside, and Plantsnap is the perfect app to take with you!

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Plantsnap instantly identifies plants of all kinds, anywhere in the world! Flowers, trees, succulents, mushrooms and more can be quickly recognized. It could come in handy to find out whether that was poison ivy you touched!

Free for iOS and Android.

3. Canadian Red Cross First Aid App

If someone gets hurt or sick at the cottage, getting to the hospital might take a little longer than when you’re home.  In that case, the Canadian Red Cross First Aid app would be great to have!

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This must-have app features…

  • Simple, step-by-step instructions to guide you through everyday first aid scenarios.
  • Full integration with 911, so you can call EMS from within the app itself.
  • Preloaded content to allow instant access to the information  without reception or an Internet connection.
  • Safety tips for everything from severe winter weather to hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes, to help you prepare for emergencies.

Free for iOS and Android.

4. Star Chart

While you’re at the cottage or campground, you should really take advantage of being far away from city lights and do some star gazing.  To do that there’s Star Chart.

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Just point your smartphone or tablet at the sky, and this app will let you know what stars, planets and constellations you’re looking at. In a fun twist, Sky Chart will even let you point your phone down at the ground to see what people who are on the other side of the world can see in their sky.

Free for iOS and Android.

5. WeatherCAN – Environment Canada’s official weather app

Our final app for the cottage or campground could prevent you from being in the middle of the lake when a storm hits, or worse!  It’s WeatherCAN from Environment Canada.

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With this app you’ll get…

  • Current conditions, hourly and 7 day forecasts.
  • Push notifications for all weather alerts issued for your location and saved locations anywhere in Canada.
  • Weather information for your location (following you as you travel) as well as for saved locations.
  • High resolution radar animation on a zoomable map background.

Free for iOS and Android

These are just a few app recommendations for your trip to the cottage or campground this summer.  If you have some additional suggestions, please let me know!

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