Going on an adventurous trip outdoors is a great getaway from the monotonous hustle and bustle of daily life. This also means you need to put your smartphone aside for a while and unwind. While this is mostly true, once in a while, your smartphone can come to your aid, especially if you plan to head into isolated areas. And this is when hiking apps come into the picture. If you’re new to hiking, it’s advisable that you go through the reviews of the best hiking apps to figure out which app is suited for you. Herein, we answer some of the most common questions one would ask about hiking apps.
As hiker of any level experience level, one would want to first gain awareness about the various aspects of hiking as well as the destination and its topography. As the name suggests, hiking apps make your experience smooth and easy by keeping you informed about the various trails, paths, mountains, and many such geographical and topographical elements that you might encounter during your hike.
Most hiking apps allow you to even save maps offline so that you’re not lost in case you lose network. These apps also let you share your hiking experience on social media and use your device’s camera, GPS, and storage space.
A hiking app uses your GPS to keep track of your location. Depending on the same location, it prompts various landmark spots and represents it on a topography. These apps also have an inbuilt hike database that contains maps and information on several trails, Gaia is one such example. These apps also use your smartphone’s camera so that you can take pictures and share them with friends and family on social media.
Yes, hiking apps do use data that has been pre-fed to the app and data fed by the user. In terms of the latter, almost every app has a community of contributors who submit their trail data. The app’s algorithms present this data in the most comprehensive manner, an example of such a hiking app is Mountain Hub.
Almost every hiking app you will come across will give you an option to download maps, which can come in as aid should you lose signal. Some hiking apps, like Gaia, automatically take a backup of all maps, photos, and other databases across all connected devices.
While hiking, you have to be very careful about the weather conditions, and this is where hiking apps can be your savior. Some apps are prudent to prompt you on wind direction, pressure, precipitation, humidity, rain, etc. How do they do that? This data comes from the satellite they are connected to.
In most apps, you do get the offline functionality, which means you can use the downloaded maps and topography offline in case there is very weak or no signal. For example, Gaia’s GPS lets you download offline maps. Moreover, certain hiking apps even offer offline GPS navigation support. However, you may have to check from app to app if the offline functionality is free or requires a subscription.
Yes. Hiking apps give you the functionality to save, pin, and review trails so that upcoming hikers can be benefitted from these submitted trails.
Modern smartphones can function as accurate GPS devices and have eliminated the need and expense of purchasing a separate GPS device. However, it is important to keep in mind that a smartphone may lose signal while on lonely trails. The chances of a GPS device losing signal are relatively lower. Also, your smartphone can get damaged in rain or if it falls down. This can leave you lost without GPS. So, your need for a GPS device would really depend on how isolated the area is where you plan to travel to.
Also, if you are stuck deciding between using a hiking app or GPS on your phone, a hiking app is definitely the way to go. Apart from defining the route to be taken, it does so much more like crowd-sourcing spots with good cell coverage in lonely areas, keeping a record of hikes, and sending safety notifications to your loved ones.
If you’ve been going through reviews of the best hiking apps for iOS and Android, you may have already stumbled upon the ones mentioned below:
Explore more than 100,000 mountain bike routes and trails with reviews and photos provided by other hikers. If you’ve found a trail that is truly worth the hike, you can save it and get back to it later. Some of its salient features of this app are
This hiking app is a treat for outdoor enthusiasts who love going off the beaten path. It’s extremely easy to use and can simultaneously track multiple destinations. Other features that make this app great are
This app is a boon for mountaineers as it provides information regarding elevation and topography prominence. Its most prominent features are
Hiking apps are definitely worth a shot, especially if you are a beginner. Knowing the fact that every topography would pose challenges, these apps put forth trails that will motivate you to take up to hiking. You can say goodbye to those intimidating paper maps and keep track of your real-time position with dedicated GPS functionalities embedded in the app. You can also keep loved ones informed of where exactly you are headed.
This ensures you make choices within your means.
Simply buying the first product that fits your budget is unwise. Keep an open mind and rely on your research.
It is vital to the buying process. Research online as well as offline stores for best results and narrow down your options to the top 10 rated ones making a wish list of sorts.
Read expert insights and check what other consumers have to say about a product to narrow down the top-rated options.
Weigh the pros and cons of owning the product – the feasibility, the long-term value and the immediate need.
Bring the competition down to the top 3.
From the warranty to the customer service, read everything there is about the product.
Once you have all your ducks in a row, buy the one that fits your requirement to a T from an authentic vendor