Best Hiking Apps for Android
Best Hiking Apps
The early morning air is damp with the scent of sweetgrass and wild lilac. The sun is just up over the horizon hiding behind a small scattered batch of steel grey clouds, emptied of their moisture from the night before. Songbirds trilling from tree to tree echo across the expanse of wooded scrub. As you walk toward your hiking partner’s tent you remember what it was you missed about hitting the trail: No morning traffic, no bad McDonald’s Coffee, no having to look at your mobile for updates and emails. You’re here, in the present, crunching through bark and small twigs in the cold, clear air of rural America. You haven’t showered, you haven’t brushed your teeth, and the cleanliness of your delicates…questionable. But for the moment…you…just…don’t…care. If this is something you’ve longed for then why not start the year off right planning your next hike? We have just the solution for you with our selection of Best Hiking Apps to help guide you to those places that call to you in the middle of the 60-hour work week.
U.S. Army Survival Guide FM 21-76
This isn’t your typical Boy Scouts handbook. The first segment of the book addresses the core psychology behind the need to survive in hostile situations. The first rule of fear is usually: Fear is useful, it keeps you alive, it makes you cautious, it also drives you to be resourceful and mindful of your life, and the lives of others should you be in a group at the time of survival. The right amount of fear is essential. Fear left unchecked will–as a rule–get you killed. The United States Army has done an excellent job in taking the introduction to a level that causes one to reflect on their own emotional state and how important that is in a situation where they may need to stay alive when it seems much easier to give up.
That being said, it covers everything you might need to know:
- Basic Survival Medicine
- Food Procurement
- Poisonous Plants
- Environmental Factors in Survival
- and many, many more.
No one, skilled or unskilled should ever go out into the bush without a copy of this book, this app makes it easy to use, is free, and requires no internet connection after download.
Another big thing with hiking is, the better your phone, the better the sensors on the device. Some devices do not come with a compass or other sensors such as gyroscopes or thermometers. At the very least you might find the level useful. However if you have one of those phones with tons of sensors, this is the app to get, if not just for the compass, for the other measurement devices.
Because… let’s face it, you really should have a standard handheld compass or at least know how to orient yourself with the sun or by starlight.
ViewRanger GPS – Trails & Maps
Being able to take out your device and pick a nearby attraction based on your time of year, location, and other filters is very useful. When was the last time any of us went out and researched the various hiking locations around us? Being able to find them all in one spot with various characteristics of your choosing was impossible just a few years ago unless you knew an experienced trail guide. Today that isn’t the case any longer.
Background information is included on each trail, complete with topography, and location sync with BuddyBeacon. It is also compatible with Android Wear for those less-than-a-day plans.
Map My Hike GPS Hiking
While the previous offering consisted of using an app to find various hikes in areas near you, this one here places less emphasis on the hiking aspect and compliments what’s already been established by adding with coverage on the physical workout that comes with hiking. It functions much like a pedometer but with the added bonus of being able to log the specific places that you hiked.
The record workout function is great for those special places that you routinely visit that may never mean as much to others as it means to you. The details in each workout is superb as well with tracking that reflects both duration, distance, and elevation. Pacing measurement might be a little much but we’re sure you can think of a few ways it might be useful. In addition to details and recording, you are also able to log into your profile and update information by event, with a log of weekly averages and all-time total values regarding distance, calories burned, workouts, and duration. Did we mention that it includes a nutrition tab complete with various foods and daily goals? Well it does, it also includes parity with Android Wear, so if you happen to be an early adopter of wearable tech, this app has a lot to offer.
Coming back from Utah today has opened our eyes to the many geological formations that make up the Southwest. There was a time when we thought all we would be able to experience are the sand, sea, scrub, and mountains–as everything else didn’t seem that appealing. Though driving through the Rocky Mountains though has changed all that for us. As someone who is one day going to go back and plot out a trail, the most important tool of any hiker is respect for nature and the environment you find yourself in. Sometimes docile and serene, nature is full of unforeseen hazards that no one should just throw themselves into without some planning ahead. Read the survival manual first, as it covers everything of importance that needs to be covered from how to build shelters to what to pack in a survival kit, then do your research and most importantly, tell people where you’re going to be.
One can’t be too careful today, nature may be a player in the background but it doesn’t always play fair.