Camping and hiking are a core part of the American identity. Over 52 million households (out of approximately 123 million) went camping at least once in 2022. While many families like to car camp, many others like to backpack, sleeping in tents outdoors and venturing far from facilities. While this can be a liberating experience, it’s also a way to get in closer touch with nature. Like so many other things, however, getting in touch with nature is a double-edged sword. Unexpected weather events such as thunderstorms, snow, and high winds can significantly take the fun out of a backpacking adventure and can even create a dangerous situation. Lives have been lost many times when the weather turned and caught hikers off guard.
However, with ever-improving technology, backpackers with even a modest signal can create a customized weather alert, ensuring they maximize both fun and safety. For this tutorial, we will use Tomorrow.io weather API to create an alert that only tells us what we need to know when we need to know it. One element of safety that is often overlooked is creating the right level of caution and alerts. On one hand, if we have to remember to check the weather forecast every 15 minutes to ensure unexpected weather shifts don’t surprise us, it’s going to be a tedious hike for all the wrong reasons. On the other hand, though, setting up alerts with a general weather app often leads to alert overload, which can create “alert fatigue” and result in missing the few alerts that are genuinely important. With a customized weather alert, we can ensure that only those events critical to our situation interrupt us, creating a more serene experience and peace of mind knowing that our custom API call is looking out for us.