​National Parks Passport Program- There’s An App For That

Not long after I published my blog about the National Parks Passport Program I was informed that there is, in fact, an app for that.  I must confess that I (despite the fact I have a blog, Pinterest, Facebook, a tablet, smart phone, laptop.. etc.) am a bit of a luddite.  If I have a choice between a paper book and an electronic version, I’ll take the paper every time.  Still, I thought I would give it a try. 
I went to the app store and found that there are many apps for that. One, however, is the actual official app. It was made by Eastern National. It looks like this:

I downloaded it and opened it. The app is very simple; in fact, it might be a tad overly simple.  This is the home screen. I thought it would be easy to navigate, and it is, up to a point. 

I pulled out my hardcopy and started going through it to do my cancelations. That’s when it gets less intuitive.  At first I couldn’t figure out how to add a cancellation. So I searched for parks I had been to by name. That pulled up a pretty nifty park overview, that gives details, links to their stores, and websites. Cool. So how do I add it?

I did a search by name (I have since found that search by state or region is easier) and found a few parks that I had been to. After a few puzzling minutes, I found the little plus sign in the upper right hand corner, next to a star. 

I pushed the star and it notified me that it added the park to my parks to visit list. Er go, the plus must be an add button. 

While I’m not saying this isn’t a great app, it isn’t for me. I did rather like the overview feature that shows all of your visits in the nation. 

Many state parks have multiple cancelation stamps for multiple locations in the park, as well as often having some sort of park specific stamp- like gophers, loons or the like. The app doesn’t have those features, at least as I have been able to find. The extent of the customizationseems to be adding the date. 

For some people, this might be a great solution. For people that can’t wait to finish their entire paper passport, retire it and buy a bigger version with room for more stamps, like me, it just isn’t the same. I take great satisfaction from pages in my passport that look like this:

For the tech savvy, or the eco conscious, it might be the best choice. While I prefer paper, just know that electronic is an option!


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