From safety to stargazing, these apps will make your trip even more enjoyable
There’s something primal about hiking. Whether you are heading into the woods or perhaps the mountains, it’s you versus nature. But just because you’re hiking does not mean you can’t add some modern updates. Unless you plan to go entirely off the grid on your next hiking trip, you’ll probably bring your phone, and with the right apps, you can have an even more enjoyable experience. Here are some to consider downloading before you set off.
1. Gaia GPS
Nobody likes getting lost, and while frustrating in most situations, it can be downright scary when you’re out in the wilderness. So, it’s always good to know where you are and where you want to go, and Gaia GPS makes it easy. Trusted by experts, this app gives you easy-to-read satellite, road, and topographical maps. With the Gaia GPS membership, you can download these maps for offline use as well.
2. National Parks by Chimani
There are more than 400 national parks in the U.S., and this app has details about all of them. Whether you’re hiking, camping, or just sightseeing, you have access to maps, photo galleries, and information on things like historic sites, monuments, and battlefields. Plus, you don’t need Wi-Fi or a data signal to use it.
3. Weather Live
The weather may be perfect when you strap on your pack, but you never know when it will become nasty, or even dangerous. With Weather Live, you will be able to see live weather scenes that show you exactly what’s going on in your area, and the satellite maps will let you know what to expect.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could quickly identify any mountain peak you saw? Well, PeakFinder lets you do just that. All you have to do is hold up your phone and you will immediately get information about that peak – including name and elevation – and any others in a 100-mile radius. The app knows over 350,000 peaks around the world, and it also works offline.
If you want to record your journey (and perhaps later post it on social media), Relive lets you turn your adventure into a 3D video. You can showcase your highlights, speed, and elevation, along with any photos you take along the way.
6. Star Walk
Because of light pollution, most of us – especially city-dwellers – can’t view the full, majestic effect of the night sky. But when you’re away from the glare, the cosmos becomes awe-inspiring. And thanks to Star Walk, now you will know exactly what you are looking at. It will identify constellations, stars, planets, and other celestial objects.
You can never be too careful when hiking, and this is particularly true if you are hiking alone. Because cellphone coverage can be spotty in remote areas, it’s important to know where you can go to make a call. With Cairn, you can find areas where other people have found coverage. You can also use this app to let people know exactly where you are.
These are just a handful of great apps that can help improve your next hiking trip. If you’ve used any of these or perhaps there are others you find helpful, let us know! Feel free to discuss your favorite hiking, camping, or RV apps or anything else that’s on your mind, in our forums.