A little more slowly...

Sadly, I've had to take the Afield Rocky Mountain National Park app out of the app stores. In 2016, I started Afield dreaming of using technology to deepen my own connection to the world as I hiked: to learn what trees and rocks I encountered, and what to pay special attention to.

Many people scoff at hikers who spend too much time distracted by their phones, but I dreamed of a more virtuous "personal assistant" that could act as a field guide, with offline-by-default access to maps, navigation, and interpretive information. "Afield" to me meant being out, in-the-field, with purpose.

I think the Afield Rocky Mountain National Park app succeeded greatly in that regard. We had great information about ecosystems, such as where to find aspens, and an amazing flower guide - leveraging that ecosystem data and phenology data, it was usually one of the first few flowers shown. Some of our other features, like offline maps and navigation have become more common in outdoor apps.

Alas, it's difficult to do everything. I couldn't afford to run the startup any longer as it also became clear that the app and business model needed to change. The last update to the app was in 2018, and I took the app out of stores in 2019, if I remember correctly. Many, many thanks to Aaron Sidder, who joined me in this vision and taught me so much about ecology and science writing, Cast Iron Design, who helped refine the concept and brand, and ProTrails, for their experience, enthusiasm, and support.

This is no longer my full-time job, but is still a passion project, and will be still exploring the ways all the amazing scientific data available can be accessed in the field. Stay tuned - things are moving, but more slowly.

Patrick Lacz

Afield Trails founder