We all love adventures and exploring the unknown once in a while. Undoubtedly, such activities are also beneficial for our physical as well as mental health. Hiking is a perfect thing you can do to relax your mind and body. Believe it or not, there is no better way to interact with nature than hiking new trails. However, disconnecting from the digital world does not mean you should leave behind the power of technology.
There are a huge variety of tools that can elevate your hiking experience or trail outdoors. So, whether you are up for biking, hiking, camping, or soaking in the views of the mountaintop, technology can do wonders for your safety and make your experience way more enjoyable.
Here are some must-have apps for hiking and other adventures that can help you to get out speedier, smarter, and above all safer.
PeakVisor: Best for Peaks Navigation
Have you ever been out on a hiking and wondered “What Mountain is that?” If yes, then PeakVisor is a great app for you. You just need to open it and point it at the peak, it will show you the names and elevations of 1,016,681 peaks all over the world using your phone’s camera and state-of-the-art 3D technology. Most importantly, it tells you about the mountain huts, viewpoints, and hiking routes that lead to some of the peaks. You can also upload past pictures of mountains from your mobile device and this app will identify those as well.
This app is available in both paid and free versions. The free version comes with limited features, however. The pro version is beneficial in offline peak identification and you won’t need any cell service.
AllTrails: Best for Finding Trails
AllTrails is the best hiking app for novices and experts. With just a few taps, you can find the curated running, biking, and hiking trails with various difficulty levels. Once you find a hike, you can see all the details including distance, elevation profile, tips on getting to the trailhead, and the time it will take. It also shows the reviews from other users so you feel satisfied and safe. Moreover, you can also record your hikes, and track the route using the GPS feature.
If you are a causal explorer then its free version is enough for you, however, for experts, this app offers additional features like offline 3D navigation/off-route and real-time overlays.
Gaia GPS: Best GPS App for Hiking
Gaia GPS is a trusted hiking app for navigation. This allows you to do a lot. For instance, you can find new trails, record your route and save hiking statistics and performance. Moreover, this app also gives updates on the weather and helps you in finding a camping place near your hike.
Its free version is perfect for day hikers since you can view both satellite and topographic maps while tracking your hike using a mobile service. However, for backpackers or advanced hikers, its paid version is great as it offers various premium features. You can unlock offline maps including off-road driving, backpacking, and backcountry skiing.
Cairn: Best Hiking Route App
Cairn is a popular hiking app that helps in planning and sharing your hiking or walking route. With this app, you can easily plan your route. It provides helpful estimates of how much time you are going to take to complete a particular trail. For this purpose, it uses your personalized data and tells you about the areas with weak cell reception.
You can share your real-time progress with your friends and family. In case you are taking more time than expected, it notifies your emergency contacts about it. Its premium version is good for enjoying advanced features offline and sending live updates to your contacts.
Star Walk 2: Best to Find Constellations
If you are on an evening hike, the Star Walk 2 app can help you to find out constellations above you. You can easily discover the celestial objects which move across the sky. With their movement, you can quickly figure out where you can see planets or any stars.
If you have kiddos and want to check out the gaze upward, this app can help you in finding wonderment in the sky. Its latest version shows the real-time map of the sky, constellations models, astronomical news, and augmented reality.
Seek by iNaturalist: Best for Nature Lovers
Seek by iNaturalist uses image recognition technology to discover plants and animals when you are out for an adventure. You can find already recorded flora and fauna near you. You can also take part in the monthly observation challenges to find different types of birds, amphibians, fungi, and plants.
Every new day, a lot is being added to our digital world which screams for our attention. We hope you found these apps interesting enough to try at least once. No two hiking or adventure apps are created in a similar way and all the above-discussed apps serve in a whole different way. It’s time to start your hiking journey with these apps installed on your smartphone.