The power of the outdoors is strong enough that many of us may even leave our phones behind. But sometimes, the smartphone can be the window to better navigation and adventures. The outdoor community has utilized the smartphone as a powerful tool so that you can hike faster, smarter, and safer.
Many people have turned to phones from preparation for the next adventure until reaching the endpoint. There is an array of hiking apps that can help you consistently throughout your journey. Here are the 25 best ones for your next hiking trip.
The Gaia GPS app is available for both iOS and Android users throughout the world. It is an outdoor navigation application that has a rich variety of maps. They are available in road, satellite, topographical, and even NatGeo Trails Illustrated map series so that hikers have no problem navigating the thick wilderness.
The app also tracks the hikers and measures their elevation, distance, and pace as they hike. You can also download the offline map for areas that will potentially be off-grid so that you aren’t caught off guard while on the adventure. The app also allows you to print the map if you prefer having a hardcopy in case your phone battery dies out.
The interface of the app is pretty intuitive and easy-to-use. Users can easily synchronize and import more trails and data points from other sources as well. The app is free but there are some other Premium features that you have to buy.
Peakvisor is a magical app that recognizes the name of any mountain peak. All you need to do is point your phone’s camera at the peak and through high-precision 3D mountain panorama and location tracking, the app will get you the name of the mountain. It also uses an altimeter and 3D compass that can measure elevation as well. This makes it a really great app for navigation since knowing the names of the places around you can come in handy when you are following paper maps or offline maps. It helps you track your progress.
Cairn has been hailed as the Ultimate Hiking Safety App by a lot of experts. It an essential part of the safety kit, especially if you are planning a solo trip. Cairn crowdsources cell phone coverage spot by tracking where others have found coverage on the trail. This can be really useful if you want to make an emergency call or update your family and friends on your location.
You can also customize the app to send you any updates on more important named contacts. It will even push overdue notifications in case you don’t check-in for a while, which can help protect you. Cairn also allows you to download topography maps offline. This can help you navigate the trail even more effectively.
This application is only available for iOS users.
If you love exploring peaks then this app is made for you. Mountain Collector is like Google Maps but for mountain climbers and hikers. It is a very easy-to-use and simple hiking app that allows users to access mountain lists, statistics, routes, and locations. With just a couple of taps, you can view all the mountains in a selected area.
You can also look at websites and stats about each mountain which can help you map out your adventure more effectively. It will also use GPX files to gauge any hiking routes on the mountain. Once you have a mountain marker, you can always add it to your custom list and/or calendar. This will ensure that you have a record of every mountain you have been to.
This app is only available for Android users.
Maps 3D Pro
Reading maps isn’t a strong suit for many travelers. If you don’t know how to interpret the intricate contour lines of the topographical map then using 3D maps is the best option for you. Maps 3D Pro makes it easy for users to visualize the upcoming cycling or hiking trips. It makes it easier to interpret the terrain such as footpaths, trails, ridges, and hills.
You can plan, share, and save routes to make it easier to navigate in the wilderness. If you may go offline, you can pre-load maps to view them whenever you need them. Users can also record the trip with exact coordinates and elevation data. This can make it easier the next time you take the trip or share it with other enthusiast hikers.
This application is only available for iOS users.
MapMyHike Gps Hiking
The MapMyHike Gps Hiking is a community-based fitness and hiking app that allows you to record your hikes. You can also record your food intake for the day to keep a track of your calories and nutritional content. The app also syncs with a wearable device so that you can motivate yourself during a hike by staying connected to the community.
The application has unique features like connecting to smart shoes by MapMyHike, which helps to track your pace and stride length. This can help you in the long run (pun unintended) since the app also gives personalized coaching tips to the user. The Premium feature has personal training plans and heart rate analysis.
Spyglass has become really popular over the years because it is by far the most visually impressive. The cool outdoor app is a complete GPS toolkit which also offers features for tracking. The stunning augmented reality view helps outdoor enthusiasts make a better sense of the wilderness around them.
The application also incorporates a high-quality compass with map overlays so that you always know where you are going. It also has a heads-up display, gyrocompass, altimeter, speedometer, sextant, inclinometer, astronomical object finder, angular calculator, and a lot more!
AllTrails covers almost 50,000 US and Canadian trails, with an additional 3.5 million downloads available. AllTrails is one of the most popular hiking apps for this reason alone. The free version of the app allows you to create your own trails as well to expand the database; this is based on the ability to use GPS tracking, texting, and photos to save or share with others.
There is an annual membership that allows you a premium version where you have the ability to edit and print maps, as well as take advantage of the National Geographic Maps partnership.
This is the best weather app available on iOS and Android, especially its display features. Weather Live shows live weather scenes according to the real world conditions and has a customizable layout. It has standard meteorological data which includes humidity, precipitation, wind direction and speed, pressure, visibility, etc.
It also has impressive rain and cloud maps that are enhanced with animated weather radars and worldwide satellites. This allows users to predict what weather is coming their way, which ensures they can prepare camps on time as well as move quickly to get out of the area before the rain comes.
National Parks by Chimani
National Parks by Chimani is highly-reviewed and popular. It provides details on the 400+ US National Park Service. This includes national parks, seashores, monuments, battlefields, historic sites, parkways, scenic trails, memorials, and a lot more!
This app allows you the chance to navigate through all the different facets of the sites under the US National Park Service so that you can have an easier time exploring these areas. The app has a photo gallery of thousands of images, as well as features to earn points and collect badges for every new park you visit.
If you love climbing mountains or hiking to the peaks, you will definitely love PeakFinder. It works mostly the same as many astronomy apps since it allows you to point your camera at the view and learn the names. This helps you track the landscape around you so that you can navigate more efficiently in the wild. It also makes it more fun to explore the area around you by learning about it.
The app works offline, so you can use it even in a low coverage area. It knows more than 350,000 peaks, which means you will definitely love using it in your travels.
First Aid by Red Cross
The First Aid app by Red Cross is the first of its kind and tailored to its many Red Cross organizations like America, Britain, and Australia. The application comes with pre-loaded content that provides the user with instant access to all safety information whenever they made need it. This also includes expert advice for everyday emergencies.
It has diagrams, videos, quizzes, and simple step-by-step advice to help people deal with and prepare for emergencies. This can come in handy during your adventures when medical services may not be readily available and may even serve at saving a life or two.
It is commonly known that sailors in the ancient world navigated through the seas using the stars in the sky. Modern technology has made it easier to navigate now but many still love the wonderment that stars present. With Star Walk, you can identify the constellations in the sky above you when you are backpacking through natural landscapes.
You can discover the magnificence of celestial objects and see how they move across the sky. You can figure out where to look for any special planets or stars you want to see in the night sky. The wonder of hiking and camping is the opportunity to indulge in stargazing from remote areas, and this app can help you learn more about the night sky in just a few clicks of a button.
Getting lost while hiking or simply being unable to find the trailhead can truly ruin the plans of any adventure seeker. The Hiking Project app by REI is a thorough database of 35,000 trails that will allow you the use of detailed maps and data. This ensures that you can have a great hike without any hitches. Users also submit trails, photos, and reviews so that you can have a more thorough idea about the condition of the trail. It allows you the chance to avoid pitfalls and go to all the never-miss areas on the scenic route.
The app will allow you access to trails that you have never even heard of right in your area. It stays up-to-date about trail conditions and even gives driving directions so that you know where you are going. The on-trail navigation also helps you find your way while you are hiking so that you don’t get lost. You can tick off what you’ve done and where you have reached on the trail. You can easily browse details about the trail and save the ones you are planning to do in the future.
Relive: Your Outdoor 3D Videos
Relive: Your Outdoor 3D Videos allows you to turn your hiking adventures into amazing 3D videos with no effort! You can track your route and then use Relive to turn it into an outstanding sharable video to show your friends and family. You can edit the video to fly over all your waypoints and then see the highlights of the trip.
You can add photos that you took along the way where it seems fun. It also shares your speed, elevation, and other relevant information. This makes it easier for other hikers to gain knowledge about the trip and plan their own outdoor adventures. There are plenty of other hiking apps that you can link it with, which makes it even more fun.
Animated Knots by Grog
Many people go hiking to mountain climbing, fishing, or boating. There are many important knots that you may need to learn for the adventure ahead of you to ensure that everything is secure. Animated Knots by Grog was named the best knot-tying app by Outside Magazine for a reason.
You can watch a step-by-step process of tying knots through photo animations. You can also get the advantages or disadvantages, uses, and other crucial information about the knots through the app. This can help you gauge whether the app is meant for you mountain climbing ropes or to anchor your boat.
While you explore the nature around you, you should also help to record what insects, animals, birds, and plants you find on the road. You can join a community of like-minded nature enthusiasts and share your discoveries with them. You will be able to upload the photos to the app and share them with people around the world who appreciate the majesty of nature. You can also record the organism and ask the community to help you identify it in case you don’t know what it is.
The RouteBuddy app supplies users with the road, topographical, aerial, and Ordnance Survey mapping. This allows you the chance for users to know exactly where they are and where they are going. This is a great route finder app and has excellent way-point direction functions. Hikers can’t always follow difficult paper maps to locate where they are.
These 16 are the best hiking apps for hikers and will definitely make it easier to enjoy your time in the great outdoors. They help you from the planning phase of the adventure to the actual trip through mountains, forests, meadows, and any other scenic route you take. These apps come with mapping, tracking, and safety features that can ensure your adventure is fun. You can also learn more about the area you are planning on visiting with these apps.