Are you one of the thousands of people who enjoy going into the wilderness on an adventure every chance they get? If so, you can enhance that experience by using the right mobile hiking apps.
The aim of heading into the wild might be to stay away from technology. However, mobile apps can help you get on those adventures faster, take the worry out of getting lost in the woods, and help track fitness gains from hikes. your long distance much easier.
In this article, you’ll discover three important apps that work together to make any hiking enthusiast’s experience that much more enjoyable.
AllTrails: Find, Download and Track Your Hiking
The first and foremost hiking app you should download when hiking is AllTrails. You can download it AllTrails App for Android or for iPhone. You can also access the service through AllTrails website.
AllTrails has one of the most comprehensive libraries of hiking, biking or running trails worldwide. No matter where you live or are traveling, it will tell you where all the best trails near you are.
The AllTrails Trail Guide includes all of the following information about each trailhead.
- Description of the trail
- Rating of difficulty
- Rating Reviewers
- Trail length, elevation and route type
- The map has small lines marked in red
- Trail weather, sunrise and sunset times and UV index
- Collection of reviews by hikers who have visited the trail
Note: You should subscribe to AllTrails to get all the premium features like no ads, download maps to your phone, map overlays on weather and air quality etc. It only costs $29.99 each year.
Search and download new tracks
From the main page of the app, you can search for trails using the town or park location or the name of a specific trail you may already know.
When you select any path in the results, you will see all the details listed above. Scroll down to see maps, weather details, trail features, and more.
With the premium version, you can choose Download on the trail details page. This will download the trail details page and most importantly a map that you can use while on the road, even if you are out of grid and have no cell signal.
Access and use your downloaded tracks
Option Plan at the bottom of the app to see features that will allow you to plan your next trip. To view your downloaded maps, select Map from the menu.
When you tap on a downloaded map that interests you, you’ll see a large view of the map with a blue dot showing your location. You’ll also see how high you can expect while traveling along that trail.
If you choose Download other classes, you can load more information into the downloaded map. Make sure to do this before you head out onto the trail and find yourself off the grid.
Available map layers include:
- USGS Topo
- World Park
- OSM (OpenStreetMap)
- OCM (Open Cycle Map)
Each layer that you download will appear as an additional information overlay on the original AllTrails map.
Note: Remember that each class you download consumes more memory of your phone. So only download only the classes that you really need for your trip.
On the trail details page you can tap Direction from the menu to see directions to your trailhead. The app will let you choose from any navigation app you have installed on your phone.
Google Maps: Offline maps to plan your trip
Which leads us to Google Maps. This is the second hiking app for outdoor enthusiasts.
This may not seem obvious since most people use Google Maps for driving directions, but Google Maps has a specific feature that is important to anyone planning to explore off-grid.
That feature is the ability to download maps to your phone that you can use even when you’re driving far away from any cell phone tower.
To use this feature, it is best to search for the street name you found on AllTrails. This will show the trailhead as the destination.
Tap the title name at the bottom of the screen to see the location details window. To download a map to that location, tap the three dots in the upper right to open the menu. Option Download offline maps from that menu.
You should see a blue outline appear on the map. Pinch or spread your fingers on this screen to resize the map to the area you want to download.
You should make sure to include your entire driving route so that even if you have to drive outside of cellular coverage along the way, Google Maps will still work fine.
Option Download to store that map on your phone. Now, the next time you search and start navigating to that destination, Google Maps will use the maps you have stored on your smartphone, instead of using internet and mobile data.
Google Fit: Log workouts on the trail and fitness progress
The third hiking app every hiker should use is Google Fit.
There are plenty of other fitness apps to choose from, but Google Fit offers a much-appreciated simplicity when you’re on the trail.
Google Fit helps you track your physical activity progress as you embark on each hike. To get started, simply launch the app, tap + in the bottom right and select More activities from the pop-up list.
This will launch the activity tracking window. Simply select the activity from the Activity Type box (Walking or Hiking Active Trail Hiking), then select Start walking to launch the real-time activity tracker.
When you’re done hiking, simply select pause and then select the stop button under the track map.
You can tap Logs at the bottom of the app page to see all of your past hikes. Selecting any of these will show you all the health stats associated with that hike.
- Route map with each mile walked indicated by a marker
- The total number of steps accumulated during the increase
- Total time elapsed during the increment
- Increase the distance
- Calories burned
Google Fit also lets you share these hikes. This is especially fun if you’ve reached a hiking goal and want to share it with your friends on social media or just want to text a few friends about hiking. your.
To do this, simply tap the share icon at the top of the hiking description screen. This will open an image of the walking route map. You can edit the appearance of the map, then tap the check mark to continue.
Select the app you want to choose to share your walking route with, and Google Fit will open it with a new post or text message so you can share it.
The hiking app that will improve your outdoor adventures
You might be tempted to leave all your electronics behind when heading out into the wilderness. But if you carry your phone and use these three apps, you can track your location, log your hikes, and track your fitness progress.
And if you download the maps as described above, you can do all of this completely off-grid. After all, that’s where all the best hiking can be found.