10 Must Have Apps for Hikers

10 Must Have Apps for Hikers

When we start planning long hikes, we always think of J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan saying, "To live will be an awfully big adventure." It's impossible to list all the reasons why hiking is an addictive hobby. The fresh air is full of joy, pride and exhilaration. Whether you're new to hiking or a skilled adventurer, a good hike takes planning.


1. AllTrails

Not only can you search based on location for nearby trails, but other users can also leave photos of obstacles, scenic places and even tips on the trail.

With this app you’ll know just how many energy bars and pairs of socks to pack. Also, reading a normal map won’t warn you of downed trees or other things that inhibit your trek.

2. Map My Hike

Using the GPS sensor, Map My Hike will log data from your hikes, such as pacing, elevation, distance, and route. It will also calculate calories burned based on an estimate of the hike’s difficulty. All of this data can be viewed in graph format and it can even be uploaded onto a leaderboard per trail.

3. SAS Survival Guide

No survival guide can ever take the place of proper survival training, but training can take years and it’s always better to have a guide than no guide at all. The SAS Survival Guide is jam-packed full of helpful information that could prove life-saving if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation.

4. Weather Live

There is the standard meteorological data including wind direction and speed, humidity, precipitation, pressure and visibility as well as the very impressive satellite worldwide cloud and rain maps enhanced with animated weather radar (US only) allowing users to quickly see what weather is coming their way.

5. National Parks By Chimani

The app provides details on each of the 400+ units of the US National Park Service, including national parks (naturally), monuments, seashores, historic sites, battlefields, memorials, parkways, scenic trails and more. The app includes a photo gallery with thousands of images and the ability to collect badges and earn points for each of the parks visited. An in-app purchase unlocks a national parks news feed.

6. Camp Finder

Camp Finder app draws data from the popular CampingRoadTrip.com website and that means you get detailed and up to date information, photos, and reviews for each campsite. It integrates with Google Maps for easy navigation to your chosen destination and you can save a record of your favorite campsites for future reference. On Android the app costs $3, but iOS users will need to fork out an extra $1 for this app.

7. BackCountry Navigator

Another excellent resource for offroad back country maps is BackCountry Navigator, an Android app that can take map data from a variety of free and paid sources for offline use. Users can add or import GPS waypoints, record a track, and display a variety of map layers and sources. The app can take maps from a variety of sources, such as from free maps like OpenStreetMap and Open Cycle Map, various official mapping agencies for selected regions worldwide, as well as premium sources.

8. Ramblr

Outdoors types who like to document and journal everything about their trip should check out Ramblr, a mobile journaling app designed for hikes and mountaineering trips. Ramblr allows users to record everything from their route, statistics such as average speed, distance traveled, and highest point, as well as record geotagged audio, video, pictures or text, allowing you to easily create a blow-by-blow account or relive the trip in the future. Additional features include built-in mapping, the ability to upload and share your trips, or check out where other Ramblr users have gone to.

9. Cairn

Cairn is a outdoors safety app that does two things. First, it crowdsources information about where you can receive mobile signal on a map (and also logs your location). Second, it allows you to leave a trip plan with your friends. If you are ever overdue, your contacts are alerted, and are given a map of location data where you were tracked to. It allows you to plan ahead for areas on the trail with mobile coverage.

10. Audubon Birds

The Audubon Field Guides are a storied name in wildlife field guides, and they’ve also been adapted into mobile apps. The Audubon Birds app provides an incredibly detailed illustrated field guide that identifies 821 different bird species complete with recorded bird calls. Seasonal and migratory maps give you an idea of where to find particular species, while personalized accounts let you log bird sightings, keep a checklist, and share sightings over social media.


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