New camping app connects all your trip details and friends

A new trip-planning app called Moonlight is helping camping buddies coordinate logistics ahead of time so they can get more out of the outdoor experience.

The slick technology was just launched by ACTIVE Network, which already dominates the online event-registration space.

“We’re pioneering it,” says Micah Kropp, director of commerce at ACTIVE. “Moonlight is the new hub for planning and coordinating camping. It shows you who’s shopping for the steaks and who’s bringing the tent poles.”

The Moonlight camping organization app makes suggestions like meals and activities. Photo: Courtesy of ACTIVE Network

The Moonlight camping organization app makes suggestions for things like meals and activities. Photo: Courtesy of ACTIVE Network

Instead of using several different channels to update everyone, camping friends can build outdoor activities around categorized topics and import national camping-reservation information right into the app.

“We discovered a gap in the industry for a good planning app that would help people research, plan and organize the camping experience,” Greg Ingino, chief information officer of ACTIVE Network, told GrindTV.

“More and more people are coming together to camp as a group, including friends, families and youth organizations, and planning a group trip can be a confusing, time-consuming and frustrating experience given the many checklists, texts, emails and social media used to coordinate and plan a trip.”

Even if you're off the grid you can access shared info on the Moonlight app.

Even if you’re off the grid, you can access shared info on the Moonlight app. Photo: Courtesy of Istock

After a multi-month beta period, Moonlight has just been updated with a cleaner, more streamlined user interface, plus a breadcrumb feature that allows campers to post photos and insights about their experience in the outdoors.

“Let’s say you went to Yosemite and found a cool trail to a waterfall. You can post that like a review and the next person can share in the same kind of experience,” Kropp says.

“You become the pioneer.”

The app works for both newbie campers and avid outdoorsy types. Photo: Courtesy of @zacharygilbert/Twenty20

The app works for both newbie campers and avid outdoorsy types. Photo: Courtesy of @zacharygilbert/Twenty20

Kropp, 31, shared his own experience using Moonlight for a family camping trip to the Tallulah River in Georgia.

“They are rugged outdoorsy types, whereas I grew up as a city slicker. So camping has never been my forte,” he says.

“Using the packing-list functionality within the Moonlight app helped me prepare for my first camping trip and one in the company of camping pros. The content in the app also gave me ideas for what to pack, from clothing and gear to food that’s easy to prepare without things like electricity or a microwave.

“I would have even packed the cornhole boards that the app recommended, but they wouldn’t fit in my luggage, since, as a city slicker, I took a flight there.”

For many, the shopping-organization aspect is the most helpful. “The ability to assign things to different people will make you more efficient,” Kropp says.

“My buddies don’t all want to bring the same beer and hamburger patties.”

Moonlight makes sure everyone packs their fair share so it's all good when you get there. Photo: iStock

Moonlight makes sure everyone packs their fair share so it’s all good when you get there. Photo: Courtesy of iStock

In addition to the grocery lists and camp-meal recommendations, Moonlight features options for researching, planning and scheduling everything from campground reservations to hiking routes.

Users can invite friends, assign to-dos and sync real-time logistics in the app. Of course, sharing is also a big part of the app’s appeal. You can post pictures of accommodations and adventures, save your favorite locations and share recipes and tips.

And when you get way off the grid, the app accommodates. Just go to “offline mode” to view your plans in remote camping locations without cell service.

Moonlight is free on the Apple App Store. An ad-free version that unlocks a full database of additional content is $5.99.

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