Apps, apps, apps, and more apps. There are a terrifying amount of apps to chose from for you iPhones, iPads and Android phones. If you have a Windows phone, don’t worry, there are a very manageable amount of apps to choose from. If you can get beyond the irony of getting an app specifically designed to enhance an experience which is intended to remove you from tech side of life, hiking apps are extremely useful. Social media functionality, huge, highly detailed maps and GPS capable, hiking apps turn your phone into the ultimate map.
Previously known simply as AccuTerra, NeoTreks HD by AccuTerra is one of the best popolar, and most expensive, trail map apps available. It features 5 million square miles of map from National and State parks as well as general recreation areas. It also features offline terrain maps that you can access by downloading the bundle that corresponds to the area where you’ll be hiking. During your hike, get tracking features and make waypoints. When you get back, easily upload your hike and share with friends on Facebook or through e-mail.
ViewRanger is a relatively new app that started in the UK and has since come to cover the U.S. It has fantastic maps and functionality, especially when it comes to social media. You can take photos and add them to your hikes as waypoints, sharing with friends and family. ViewRanger is also unique in it’s ability to let you create custom hikes before you head out, saving them for offline usage. It’s also more affordable than comparable apps, like NeoTreks HD.
AllTrails partners with National Geographic to create this inexpensive hiking app. There are better trail maps than those that are featured on AllTrails, but the app does have one interesting and useful feature: events. You can browse for outdoors events put on by local hiking groups to find like minded adventurers to go exploring with.
EveryTrail features all the basics of most hiking apps, but includes an extra fun feature in the way of audio guides. Record your audio commentary on trails to share with others and listen to commentary by hikers who have come before you. You can also pair videos for your hikes for sharing after uploads.
Gaia is the go-to app for hikers who want to go off the beaten path, containing several tools which are beneficial for backcountry work. There are more statistical options and tracking features than many similarly priced apps. Gaia hasn’t been around for long, but it’s already getting lots of attention. We suggest looking at this app before it gets even more expensive.