How to Get National Park Info On the Go, Even if You Don't Have Cell Service

New app offers national park travelers detailed guides, even without cell connectivity

How many of your mobile apps require a WiFi or 4G connection to actually be useful?

If we had to guess, we’d say it’s probably a vast majority of them. From music streaming to mapping out directions, if you’re not connected, then many times you’re out of luck.

But you can avoid this issue, at least while exploring America’s national parks, when you use the newly launched app called Chimani.

Just in time for National Park Week (April 18-26), Chimani serves as a platform that national park visitors can use to download free detailed park guides straight to their Android or iOS phones.

The app features guides for more than a dozen of the most visited national parks and allows park explorers to plan the details of their trips, offering everything from trail maps to sightseeing suggestions. The app also sends notifications for when parks are closed or under construction so travelers can avoid unforeseen delays.

Part of the idea for the app came as a way to help hikers travel with less weight in their packs.  

Chimani’s CEO and co-founder, Kerry Gallivan, essentially developed it out of necessity after he found himself in need of weather and trail info while on a hike through Acadia National Park.

“I had a iPhone with no signal and there were no apps that had the info I wanted,” he explained in a recent press release about the app. “Here was this amazing computer in my hands and it was useless and I knew it could be doing so much more. Why carry a heavy guidebook and maps in your backpack when it can all be on a device that weighs practically nothing?”

In addition to essentially serving as your own personal park ranger, Chimani features an augmented reality tool called “Viewport,” which allows users to “pan their phone around specific areas in the park and instantly be told background information about what they’re seeing.”

Other helpful features include: personally curated written content, professionally produced audio tours, and high-resolution topographic maps that are GPS-enabled and designed to work without any connectivity, no matter where you are.