It took a while to get here, but it’s finally happened: warm weather is on the way, and spring is in the air. What better way to celebrate the changing seasons than by spending some quality time outdoors? But what if you don’t quite know where to begin? Or what if you’ve exhausted all the hiking options in your area? That’s where technology comes in. We’ve rounded up some of the best apps out there for hiking enthusiasts. Pick a few to download, then get ready to step out in confidence!
Feeling the itch to hit the hiking trails? If you’re looking for variety in your paths, this is the app for you. AllTrails provides users with tens of thousands of trails perfect for hiking and biking. Browse an assortment of trails to determine which is best suited to your specific needs. Want something easy to start off with? Or perhaps you’d prefer a challenging trail to tackle? Whatever you opt for, AllTrails not only provides you with exhaustively detailed information, it even lets you record your hike and save your favorites for later. For those that love the outdoors, AllTrails is a must-have hiking app.
Maps 3D Pro
If you’ve got a real love for maps, get ready for a dream come true. Maps 3D Pro is a sublime app for those that love to explore nature. It brings the trails and paths through nature to life with detailed 3D maps that leave no stone unturned. While the variety of maps are indeed impressive, Maps 3D Pro shines most of all when your device goes offline. It lets you save all the data surrounding your planned route, so even if you lose your signal you don’t have to worry about losing your way. When you’re back to civilization, you can share your trek online for other would-be explorers.
For more advanced hikers — particularly those that enjoy braving mighty mountain peaks — there’s no better app than the aptly named PeakVisor. Just use your phone’s camera to scope out the mountain you’ve set your sights on. PeakVisor will come back with the name and elevation of every peak and mountaintop in view. You can share your own impressive pictures when you reach the top, enjoy comprehensive 3D imaging of the terrain, and learn an assortment of fun and fascinating facts about the area you’re exploring.
Map My Hike
Love to crowdsource information and experiences? Then you’re in for a treat with Map My Hike, one of the most fun and interactive hiking apps out there. Map My Hike allows users to join an international community of hiking enthusiasts for an in-depth experience that’s an awful lot of fun. Users can track their progress hiking an assortment of trails, sharing stats and pictures with friends along the way. The app provides you with exhaustively detailed information every time you step out for a hike. You can even discover amazing new trails in your area courtesy of fellow hiking enthusiasts. This is a must-have for the fitness enthusiast who loves the great outdoors.
This is hands down one of the most fun and informative hiking apps out there. It’s designed to work offline, so you never have to stress about finding a signal or draining your battery. Spyglass is a dream come true for those of us who love gadgets and fun devices in their apps. This GPS tracking system has all the basic features you would expect from such a service — but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. This app also serves as a set of binoculars, a compass, and even a gyrocompass! You can take pictures and overlay the images with relevant data about the trails and landscape. But our favorite feature has to be the one that allows you to track the positions of the sun, moon, and stars. You can even use them to calibrate your compass. All in all, it’s a fun and informative way of combining cutting edge technology with one of the oldest forms of navigation out there.
When hitting the trails, safety is always of paramount importance. This is the app to use if you want to keep in contact with your loved ones, and let them know things are going fine on your adventures. Cairn is all about keeping you and your loved ones informed. If you’re heading out on an untested or lengthy hike, you can send friends and family a detailed itinerary: exactly where you’ll be heading, and how long it should take you to get there. Contacts can keep an eye on your progress in real time. And if things go sideways or you’re overdue, this app will send out an alert to contacts you’ve specified. Make no mistake about it, this app could be a lifesaver — literally.
Know of any other cool apps to use when heading for an outdoor adventure? Tell us about them in the comments.