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Apps for surviving the Great American Backyard Campout

Friday - 6/24/2011, 10:45am  ET


WASHINGTON -- Leave civilization behind and take to the great outdoors (or backdoors) on Saturday, by joining in on the Great American Backyard Campout.

Participants will camp out to raise money and awareness for outdoor programs like the National Wildlife Federation's Wildlife Watch and Trees for the 21st Century.

"No site is too big or too small to spend a night sleeping under the stars," the event description states.

Check out the program website to register, find a campsite and connect with other outdoorsmen.

Before you embark, make sure you're fully prepared. offers some advice for culinary-oriented campers with apps for feeding the troops, including Coleman's Camping Cookbook (free), Epicurious for picnic ideas (free) and Camp Recipes! ($1.99).

Don't forget to also pack the Bug Spray (free), which emits three high-pitched frequencies known to deter insects.

And in case the trip goes south...way might want to download the U.S. Army Survival Guide (free). It provides some hot tips on constructing makeshift shelters, integrating with indigenous cultures and how to maintain morale while enemy forces are in hot pursuit.

The guide begins with this advice for S.U.R.V.I.V.A.L.:

    S -- Size up the situation (surroundings, physical condition, equipment)
    U -- Use all your senses, Undue haste makes waste
    R -- Remember where you are
    V -- Vanquish fear and panic
    I -- Improvise
    V -- Value living
    A -- Act like the natives
    L -- Live by your wits, but for now, Learn basic skills

This could also be some good advice for crossing over the Potomac, in either direction.

WTOP's Paul D. Shinkman contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)