While we hike and enjoy the great outdoors in order to get away from technology and the fast-paced world around us, we cannot deny that we often use our iPhones to assist us in our workouts and outdoor activities.
There are applications for just about every area of fitness, from phones and wearable technology that keep track of workouts; calorie-counting apps; GPS apps that help with directions when hiking, running, jogging, or camping; and other iPhone applications that are intended to make hiking safer and easier than ever.
You no longer have to bring a paper map, separate GPS navigation system, or use a compass—if you are a high tech hiker or simply want a convenient alternative or supplement to your existing hiking gear, you have plenty of options to choose from.
For iPhone users who love to hike, take a look at our top 3 hiking apps available for use today! You can use these applications on a serious national trail or your favorite hiking spot. Take a look at our article below.
- MotionX GPS
MotionX GPS is the iPhone’s leading GPS Application that is made just for hikers—this app allows iOS users to check their position and see hiking trails anywhere in the world using MotionX’s open topographic and road maps.
Using Satellite, Apple Road, and Hybrid maps, this software is an excellent guide to bring with you as you hike. Better than navigation GPS units, this app uses updated information on roads, tracks, topography, and even NOAA’s experimental marine charts to offer users a fast and accurate look at where they are and where they are going. No other application offers nine different map choices to choose from.
MotionX GPS can record your track time too—up to 101 separate tracks. You can even see your current track in real time with “Track-up,” “North-up,” or “Direction-up,” and use it to retrace your path later.
Not only can you take live photos during your progress, but you can see your total ascent, descent, maximum positive gradient, negative gradient, and keep track of your altitude on an easy-to-read visual chart. If you map out your hike, you can set up waypoints and this app will keep track of time, your ETA, miles completed, and show you a visual representation of your hike.
500 waypoints can be saved on this app so that your favorite locations can be revisited and locations such as your home can be saved. What makes this app perfect for hiking is you can download and store maps for offline access—this is not only quicker to do than when online, but hiking often results in lack of cell phone service.
For safety and fun, you can use the Auto Live Updates feature which shares or posts your tracks and waypoints to social media or email—your friends and family can keep track of where you are if you want that extra bit of security.
The navigation uses compass for orientation for Magnetic or True bearings with iPhone’s magnetic compass integration. If you are the technical type, you can view your coordinates in MGRS, UTM, OSGB (for UK users), and Latitude/Longitude formats.
As the number one iPhone app by Backpacker Magazine, this useful MotionX GPS app is available for only $1.99!
- PeakFinder Earth
This next application is a very useful application for hikers who are offline during their hikes and who trek in regions where there are mountains, big or small.
The PeakFinder Earth is another iPhone app winner that supports a huge variety of languages to offer its users the best and most accurate experience possible. This application shows you the names of all of the mountains and peaks around you with a 360-degree panorama display.
PeakFinder Earth knows more than the large mountains, but that obscure hill down the road from you, too! With more than 250,000 peaks identified in this app, you can hike anywhere, worldwide, and receive information about the world around you, immediately.
This app works worldwide and best yet—it works offline. Fast rendering of the surrounding landscape with a range of 200 miles (300 km) allows for quick identification of peaks and mountains in order to better orient you to your location. Included are digital binoculars that can select less visually-prominent peaks in order for you to receive full and complete information.
This application uses your phone’s GPS to receive your current location and this allows for a complete 360-degree inventory of the peaks and mountaintops around you. This will aid you in your hikes whether it is for fun or to guide you through unknown territories. The maps can be used offline for viewpoint selection and there is a dialog box for entering coordinates manually.
Not only does this app use GPS from your phone, but it also uses sensors for your compass and accelerometer for keeping track of your location and altitude. Every week this application receives new updates of the peak directory, ensuring the most accurate and up-to-date information.
PeakFinder Earth can be purchased and downloaded for iPhone for $3.99, which is well worth the price for extensive offline-use of this application. It has won “Best of AppStore,” “App of the Week;” is recommended by macnewsworld.com, nationalgeographic.com, outdoor-magazine.com, digital-geography.com; and is used by iOS users all over the world.
- Backpacker Checklist
To have a good hike, you must properly prepare for your hike. iPhone applications are useful to provide maps, topography information, and keeping track of your progress and location; however, your prep for the hike is equally important.
The Backpacker Checklist app is an excellent, thoughtful iOS application that helps you plan out your hike before you leave the house. You have the options of configuring the checklist and to customize it to your preference. You can add, edit, delete, rearrange, check/uncheck, and hide portions of the list in order to help you organize your hiking or backpacking trip. You can also create multiple lists for different types of hiking—for example, you can create a list for a one-day hike, two-day hike, or a week long backpacking adventure.
Backpacker Checklist contains a ton of features, including the following:
- New checklist creation from pre-loaded factory templates or from your own personal checklist
- Ability to add new items and new categories
- Thumb-friendly checking and unchecking options
- Option to check or hide items and categories
- Ability to rearrange items, categories, and edit them
- You can delete items and categories
- Includes an indicator of the total number of items that need to be completed
- Color coded (using green, red, and yellow) for a visual organizational presentation
- Reusable lists
- Unlimited number of lists
- Pre-populated with a plethora of common items you can save so that you do not have to input all items manually
- Deletion of personal lists
- Ability to import the factory default list any time you want
- Search feature to quickly search through the factory lists and personal lists
- Easy Share function that can be filled with email of friends and family
- Easy print function
Backpacker Checklist costs $0.99 and is 100% refundable if you do not like it. However, this app is very popular despite it being so new—this is an instant classic that every hiker needs to have on their phone and utilize before they begin their trek.
You will thank yourself later for your pre-hiking organizational skills when you have all you need for your exciting hike—this application makes organizing your hike easier than ever with a checklist that you can double check before leaving the house.