No one can overlook the importance of smartphones and GPS apps in the contemporary era. Whether you are driving to a location for the first time or monitoring your child’s movements to and from school, GPS tracking devices and apps have become a part of our life. Just think how safe you feel when you have turned on the GPS and track the cab’s movement in which you are travelling alone in an unknown city. In a similar manner, a smartphone with a GPS app installed on it when you are going on hiking is a must-have irrespective of the fact that you are going alone or with your family or friends.
- AllTrails: With AllTrails, you can explore more than 50,000 hiking trails and mountain bike routes. The app includes photos of the place you are hiking and reviews on the paths. The app will even guide you to a kid-friendly trail. You will be able to access maps and can also download them. They can be accessed offline so you don’t need to be dependent on the internet where there is low connectivity. You will be able to record your tracks and post it on the AllTrails platform such that other tourists can access them and have a safe hiking experience.
- Gaia GPS: Gaia GPS is known for providing accurate topographical maps. The app includes road, satellite and the NatGeo Trails illustrated map series. Gaia GPS has been recognised by Apple, Outside, TrailRunner, New York Times and FOX News TappedIn. In the free level, the users will be able to access the topo maps only with the help of the internet. But if you become a member of the app, you will be able to download the catalogue of road, topo and satellite maps. You can access them without turning to the internet of your device. It is the Premier Member Level that will have access to NatGeo Trails illustrated, ESRI World Satellite Imagery, and hill-shading, contour lines, slope angle etc. features of the topographical maps.
- ViewRanger: With ViewRanger you will be able to download offline maps for the trail you will be hacking from your home itself and can use them offline when you start the hiking journey. You will also be able to access trail guides from leading publishers like BBC CountryFile, Walking World, MBUK, Trail, and many National Parks. Skyline, the app’s new augmented reality technology will provide a touch of life to your outdoor map. You can create your own route with the help of ViewRanger and share your location with your dear ones.
- Maps 3D Pro: The GPS enabled app Maps 3D Pro will provide detailed illustrations of the topography. You will be able to download the topo maps offline and use them on a rugged terrain. Not all of us may have the ability to read topographical maps so, Maps 3D Pro will the users to read the map. Therefore, it relates to much easier navigation during hiking.
- Cairn: Along with the topo maps and trail stats, Cairn also has many safety features. So, if you are travelling with your children or alone you will feel most safe with this app. Like many GPS based hiking apps, Cairn also has the offline map download feature. The distance stats and ETA feature will not drain the battery of your smartphone. It will give information about whether the track you are proceeding on is safe or not. You will be able to check out live distance, elevation gain and other statistics of numerous hiking trails and summits.
- Spyglass: Spyglass has one of the most impressive interfaces among all the GPS based hiking apps. The usual GPS features are available here along with a realistic view. In other words, you will get a 3D view. The app incorporates speedometer, astronomical object finder, sextant, angular calculator, and altimeter. The app also allows to track multiple targets at the same time.
- Ramblr: Ramblr, the outdoor journaling app that has route tracking features and provides GPS directions. Other hikers will be able to follow your hiking route and video if you record and upload them. You can post pictures and add text descriptions about your experience of the hiking.
- Peakfinder: Peakfinder is perfect for hiking in the mountains. You will simply have to capture the mountain range with your smartphone camera and it will automatically detect the name of the mountain range and all the accessible tracks. It works offline and the digital telescope allows you to track less prominent peaks. The app features compass and motion sensors.
All the above-mentioned apps can be downloaded from Google Play Store and Apple App Store. By installing these GPS-based hiking apps you do not need to worry about your safety and depend on a third person as you are completely guided by GPS.