Hiking is one of the most uplifting activities you can do. However it can be improved with the help of a little tech. With apps for hiking on your smartwatch you’re able to get a world of data that’s gathered while you walk.
Let’s look at five of the best hiking apps that you can take with you on your wrist.
The AllTrails free app offers more than 50,000 trail guides so you can bike, hike and more. You can search the trail list or browse for trails near you, look at the reviews for the trails, and add your own. AllTrails lets you access topographical maps, images and reviews and once you’ve found a route you’d like to try, you can save it for offline use later on. While you’re on the trail, you can upload photos that you’ve taken on the way. You can also create tracks of your own.
ViewRanger is a wonderfully versatile GPS trail navigation app offering great content on the free version and even more advanced options on the premium version. Account holders can download free maps for offline use later on. The premium option lets users access map data such as USA and USGS Topographical maps. If you’ve got your smartphone with you, there’s an augmented reality skyline viewer that signposts peaks, hills and general points of interest, through your camera.
There are 180,000 trails that you can download. You can explore them off-grid so long as you download the map before you go. ViewRanger comes with a handy WearOS compatible app. So you can hike knowing you have your trail right there on your wrist.
ViewRanger requires a lot of pre-trail prep, but where’s the harm in being organised before you go on a trail? It lets you set up a plan for an upcoming trip. If you use your GPS function you can utilise trail tracking with their BuddyBeacon and this shares your real-time location (privately) with your chosen pal.
ViewRanger works brilliantly on the Apple Watch.
Under Armour teamed up with MyFitnessPal to create MapMyHike and it offers a really comprehensive data analysis on your hikes, trails and runs by utilising your GPS function. MapMyHike gives you automatic feedback based on your completed hikes (or any other activity) and motivates you to make improvements so you’re more efficient. MapMyHike, despite the name, does more than focus on hiking. It actually has hundreds of other activities like running, swimming and cycling that you’re able to log through the app.
The differentiator here is the social element. You can engage with other users in the community, where you can challenge and go head-to-head with other people to improve your skills over time.
This app is free, but that means there are some ads unless you go premium. In-app purchases include live-location tracking, so someone always knows where you are, for safety. You can monitor heart rate zones, too.
The MapMyHike app works really well on any of the WearOS devices, but best with the Fitbit Flex 2. You can learn more about that here.
The app is free, but there is a premium subscription for $5.99 per month and that gives you access to things like bespoke training audio tips to keep you motivated along your route.
Endomundo is the most social app on this list. Created specifically as a social fitness network aimed at encouraging people to improve their health, users can monitor their fitness data using the mobile app and website.
Endomundo can track things like running routes, calories burned, distance and heart rate. You can analyse your training performance and it’ll look at your input and offer tips for improvements.
As with most of these apps, there’s a free and paid version. The former has ads, the latter doesn’t and brings additional features like being able to devise your own training plan.
You can get Endomundo on either Samsung Gear or WearOS smartwatches. Here’s an overview of some Samsung suggestions for women.
Hiking apps are great for monitoring performance on a specific hike and can help bring general improvement in fitness over time. The apps also open up the world, quite literally, with thousands of trails and maps for you to try that you might never have known about before.
If those two benefits weren’t enough, you’re able to keep loved ones’ minds at rest by utilising the GPS function on your smartwatch to keep a live-track of your location. Should you find yourself in a sticky situation, they can quickly find you. You can keep your independence if you enjoy a solo hike, with less of the danger.
Your smartwatch can act as a guide, instructor, fitness monitor and safety net, all in one.