Going outdoors is a good time to unplug, but there are ways smartphones can make it more educational and more lightweight than a dozen guidebooks. Consider these downloads:

Geocaching to find hidden treasures across the state.

• Map and trail programs such as AllTrails for gentle hikes, adventurous bike trails and scenic climbs.

• Nature guides such as Audubon Birds help identifying birds, animals, trees and plants.

• Night sky maps such as SkyView and northern lights forecasts.

Weather.com for early warnings when storms threaten safety.

• Minnesota Department of Natural Resources apps for finding lakes, recreation areas, and buying hunting and fishing licenses.

• First aid (American Red Cross) for emergencies.

Lisa Meyers McClintick