There are almost as many travel apps out there as there are travel destinations. In general, they all do some things well, and some things not so well. WikiCamps is certainly in the same, erm, camp. With a focus on – you guessed it – camping, the app can help you find nearby places to pitch your tent, park your RV, or take in some local sites. And while it can certainly be helpful, the app also suffers from so not-so-great features that might make it not worth paying to own it.
Like many apps, WikiCamps comes with a 14-day free trial. After that, it costs a one-time payment of $1.99 for lifetime access. The free trial period is well worth it because you can try out different destinations to see just how well it will work for you. Many users report a lack of data on local attractions and campsites, while our tests were data rich, so it might just depend on where you’re looking. It seems WikiCamps has a strong following in Australia, so the crowd-sourced information it relies on might just take some time to fill in around the rest of the world.
Beyond the actual data it contains (or doesn’t contain), WikiCamps has a wealth of smart features. Tap the hamburger button in the top-left of the screen, and you’re presented with a list of nearby attractions, campgrounds, hotels and more. Or you can enter a destination to see what might be in the area where you intend to travel.
Tap on any one attraction and, if available, you’ll find contact details, photos, web links, user ratings and a mapping button that lets you load directions into your favorite mapping app such as Wayze, Google Maps or TomTom Go. You also get a week-long weather forecast for the site. Plus, because this is a Wiki built by members, you can edit the site if you notice that something is wrong or if you want to add additional information or photos, and you can also leave and read reviews from other users.
A filter button lets you sort sites according to what you’re looking for and helps clear the clutter. You can for example, switch the toggles to include only free campgrounds that accept pets and have water facilities. You can see results either on the map or the list. One unfortunate thing is that the app seems to use Google Maps, so you wind up seeing all of the destinations that Google provides, but they aren’t all clickable so things can get a bit confusing.
Another nice aspect of WikiCamps is the ability to download offline data on a state-by-state basis, so you can access sites even in remote areas where you might not be able to get online. Also, there is a travel forum where you can ask others any questions you might have about destinations.
While the app offers a trip-planning function, we found it difficult and confusing to use. You can search on your destination, but there seems to be no easy way to indicate that you want to add it as the end point in your trip. Instead, you can try to build a trip by tapping on sites and tapping “Add To Planner,” but it’s a cumbersome way to go about things.
Worth A Try?
Because WikiTrips is built by the community, it can be hit or miss in terms of the information it provides. Some spots have lots of entries, while others are fairly bare. And the Trip Planner doesn’t seem to have much utility. But, for just $1.99 it might be a worthwhile tool to add to a frequent-camper’s resources, and it’s certainly worth taking the two-week free trial out for a spin.