Best Hiking Apps for Android and iOS (2020)

by Vaibhav

New Year is here and I bet you must be overflowing with resolutions. A lot of us decide to travel and explore more but it isn’t always as easy as it sounds. You need to have an idea about the location, weather, safety, among many other factors. Pre-planning which requires making a list, checking all the things you should have, to being stocked on the trail with equipment like a flashlight, altimeter and probably a compass.

While you might have all these things already, you can turn another device, i.e, your smartphone into a tool kit for outdoors. So, here are the best apps for hiking in 2020!

Best Hiking Apps

1. Flashlight

Regardless of iOS or Android, a flashlight is often a tool in-built in the system which can be accessed through quick settings but if you are hiking, you need more than just a flashlight.

FlashlightFlashlight is a tool that not only converts your phone into a flashlight with on and off switch. In terms of extra features, you can adjust the strobe and also tweak the blinking (SOS). Compass is the most important tool outdoors and this app has it built-in, so you don’t have to download two separate apps. In addition to that, you can also convert the flickering light into morse code. The app is free but costs $1.99 to remove ads.

If you’re a smartwatch like Amazefit Bip or Apple Watch 5, chances are that you have a compass on your hand already.

Get Flashlight for Android 

2. Survival Manual

As the name suggests, this app provides an instruction manual with basic information about flora and fauna, water intake, shelter building, and even lighting a fire with natural resources. All of this information is well-organized in one single app.

Based on Field Manual (Wikipedia of survival), the app is a guidebook filled with skills and tips to tackle a survival situation. From areas like psychology, power, planning, shelter, basic medicine and many more, it makes you familiar will all the aspects important to travel, live and survive outdoors. It’s based on using plain text and pictures, so it’s more like a handbook on your phone, which also works without the internet. It also has basic info on knots and ropes which can also come to use in case of emergency. If you are an iPhone user, you can use a similar app called Survival Guide.

Get Survival Manual for Android

3. PackPoint Travel Packing List

Whether you’re traveling for the first time, or you are a seasoned traveler, a checklist of things to pack always comes in handy. And as you can guess from the name, this app helps you keep a list of all the things you should pack for a trip.

You can organize the list depending upon the number of days you’re traveling, weather, activities you plan to do, etc. Moreover, you can share your packing list, with your friends and family in case there’s a large group. To get started with the app, you simply have to choose your gender, punch in the dates and the city you’re going to. You can further select the activities (like hiking, biking, swimming) that you’ll do. In addition to the current weather, it’ll fetch you a customized list of items you should take with an option to add custom items as well.

Get PackPoint on Android or iOS

4. Naplarm – Location Alarm

I push myself to stay awake when I’m traveling because missing a bus stop or a railway station can not only waste valuable time but burn a hole in your pocket. But what if you’re able to receive a notification or an alarm as soon as you’re near the location?. You can do that with Naplarm while you sit back and relax.

You need to give the app permission so it can access your location. Then choose where you’re going or long-press on a location to pin it. You can optimize the radius when you need to be notified ranging from 50 m to 5 km. In case you are a frequent traveler you can save the alarm and also add a tag to it. Currently, it supports two themes, Khaki and shadow and you can also see the satellite view or know the traffic in the area. If you are an iPhone user, you can use WakeMeHere.

Get Naplarm here

5. Google Maps

Google Maps is a go-to tool to search for directions. It supports most of the places and has unique features like seeing the terrain, traffic, 3D view, etc. You can explore places, see public conveniences around and even share your location.

Read Best Offline Maps for Smartphones

One feature that is very important if you’re in a strange territory is being able to download the map offline. You just have to download the map for a given location or choose from the recommendations. Simply zoom-in the downloaded map to search for places or use directions, it’ll work flawlessly without the use of any connection.

Get Google Maps for Android and iOS

6.Repeat Alarm – Recurring reminder

I track my water intake which is important when the altitude is changing frequently.  And this app lets you do that.

Read Best Reminder Apps for Android

Simply adding an alarm and selecting the number of times you want to get notified will set the alarm. You can choose the days when the alarm will be active, set alarm time range and duration of the alarm. To add more to that, you can create an alarm history and preview alarm list. So if you’re traveling and there are recurring tasks like taking medicines, resting time, etc, this app will help you manage all that with ease.

Get Repeat Alarm here 

7. SOS Apps

We’ve talked about SOS apps before and they become more important when you’re traveling or are in an unknown space. It is always safer to share your plans with family and friends, in case of a mishap. If you have watched 127 hours, you will know, what I mean.

Most smartphones are hardwired to call SOS numbers by pressing the power button several times. But if you want more flexibility you can download apps such as Parachute (iOS) or Carelife (Android).

SOS apps for android and ios

You can add custom numbers which let you send a text message as soon as you anticipate an emergency. Another way would be using Google Maps to share live location. For added safety, you should always keep into account the local emergency number of services like fire, ambulance, and police.

8. AllTrails

Google Maps, as I said, is a great place to find your way, but off-beat locations are often hard to find and they need user-generated suggestions to make it more accurate.  AllTrails is an app that helps serious outdoor enthusiasts find trails spread across the globe. So it gives you a community and also lets you log in to your activity with a GPS tracker. It boasts of the largest collection of trails that can be downloaded offline. Moreover, you can filter trails in terms of being dog-friendly, kid-friendly or wheelchair friendly.

With pro features, you get a lot more, so if going outdoors a usual deal for you, you should consider buying. It gives you the ability to download trails with off-line notifications. You can assign safety contacts who can track your progress and see real-time overlays, like air quality, weather, pollution and more. It makes the app ad-free and donates a percent of your subscription to saving the environment. The pro version comes at $29.99/year.

Get AllTrails on Android and iOS

9. Altimeter Ler Live Gps Geotracker

I kept this at the last because the UI is a bit complicated to look at so I wouldn’t say it is one of the most friendly apps to look at. Nonetheless, it’s a complete package, and worthy of a mention. There are many factors to keep in mind when you’re traveling and if you’re hiking altitude is one of them.

The UI is divided into two sections, at the bottom you have the map and the top, you’ve all the data, like temperature, wind speed, visibility. You can even check the time of sunrise and sunset. An inbuilt camera, lets you click pictures with weather, altitude and other details. Enabling the grid, changing to satellite mode are map options you have. In addition to this, you can record your trail with all this information by simply pressing start at the start of the trail.

Get Altimeter Ler Live Gps Geotracker here

Closing Remarks

More often than not, you’ll have to improvise, study and learn from the environment around. While these apps are a great way to add to that experience, I’d suggest to rely more on local accounts. In terms of functionality, having a compass and an altimeter is important and Altimeter Ler offers a complete package. You can also explore trails with AllTrails and help others find more. In case you’re a seasoned hiker,  Location Alarm and Recurring Reminder are apps that are optional to look at but I’d strongly suggest using them if you’re beginning to camp. I hope you find more such ways to get outdoors, Happy Year Ahead.

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