This is exactly where Bivy, a multi-activity outdoor adventure planning site, comes in. Bivy launched in 2016 via an avid mountaineer, rock climber, outdoor adventurer, and longtime software developer, Vance Cook. Vance created Bivy to help people find, track, and share outdoor adventures all over the United States.
“I was frustrated with how difficult it was to find adventures in my area or in a new area I visited,” Cook told Digital Trends. “I was forced to either go buy guide books or find a friend who knew the area. Even then, guide books were really difficult to follow, especially on activities like rock climbing. With cryptic instructions like ‘park by the big cottonwood tree, follow the gulley until the scree field empties into it, and then go left following the deer trail,’ I knew there needed to be a better way.”
With the growth in numbers and capability of mobile phones, Cook decided to solve this problem by blending his love of the outdoors with his software development background. Now, anyone looking for an adventure simply visits the site or downloads the app to their iPhone — both of which are completely free. The Bivy cartography team uses a variety of sources for data including sending people armed with GPS devices, cameras, and computers all over the U.S. to catalog details for 17 different outdoor activities. This group identifies locations and full paths of tens of thousands of trails, waterways, and climbing routes.
“It’s been an exhausting effort because we’ve mapped the full path of every adventure and not just the start and end points,” Cook said. “We’re very happy and proud of the result.”
Since Bivy launched, its online community helps build the database by tracking and uploading new adventures, photos, corrections, and comments. With thousands of people already registered and contributing to the information on the site, new and updated information hits the app every day. For Android users, the company plans to release a compatible app this summer, meaning the reach and user capabilities of Bivy is only expected to grow even more.
“We’re also working on a host of new features for the next update of our iPhone and web versions,” Cook added. “We are very product focused and as our user base grows, so will Bivy. The more accurate and easier it is to use, the more people will be motivated to get outside.”
Not only does Bivy help people find, track, and share outdoor adventures across the country, it also includes tens of thousands of adventures in 17 different adventure types including hiking, biking, climbing, skiing, paddling, and running. It’s a tool that helps you find and choose the ideal adventure in your area and within your abilities. All of which are found by selecting the search parameters you enter on the Bivy site.
Bivy also uses GPS technology to monitor progress and track positions, while also providing a social community to help users learn from others and build a reputation. Additionally, Bivy boasts important safety features which allow users to share locations with family and friends so in the event they don’t come back on time, they know where to begin the search.