Until recently, Remembary was an iPad-only app, so I didn't think it would be very useful out in the wilderness where wifi is scarce and plug-in power is scarcer. Earlier this year, I drove from Edmonton to Halifax, camping and hiking along the way. A few weeks later, I spent a week in Newfoundland's spectacular Gros Morne area. I had an early test version of Remembary for iPhone on both of these trips - and even in prototype form, Remembary totally changed the experience.

Whether I was walking among the hoodoos of Writing-On-Stone Park in Alberta, or scrambling up the scree face of Gros Morne Mountain in Newfoundland, I took a lot more pictures knowing that they would automatically become parts of my diary and would also show up on my map of the day. Every picture becomes a jog to my memory, and a point on a map to show my progress.

Writing in my diary in the tent at the end of the day was made much easier with the "Lights Out" theme, which was specifically designed to not dazzle you or anyone nearby in low light situations.

But I also found Remembary really useful while on the trail itself. The picture list and map view showed me where I had gone and when. By taking a picture of each wayfinding sign, I could see how long it had taken me to go measured distances, and so get a sense of how fast I was walking. Seeing the picture points over the satellite view gave me an instant birds-eye view of my progress and how much further I had to go. 

Out in Gros Morne, I was often out of cellular data range, but I got around this by checking the maps where we were going to hike when I was in town and had wifi access. The iPad caches the map tiles, so they were available later on when I was on the trail. 

I've made sure to keep the photo albums from my trips in my iPad's photo collection, so the picture are always available to Remembary. If I want to show people where I went on my trip, I often just hop over to the appropriate day in my diary and show them the map of where I went, tapping on the good pictures to show them in zoomable full screen.

AuthorAndrew Burke