Smart Phone Apps for Hikers

A large number of hikers now carry smart phones while hiking. There are beginning to be a number of hiking related applications that might increase your hiking enjoyment and safety (but beware the dead battery and no cell signal).

This topic is so varied that we rely on your input to add information and reviews via comments on this page. 

Comment: Please be relevant, civil, non-commercial.

noel.benford's picture

A few weeks ago, I got to try out NYNJTC's new Digital Maps for the iPhone and iPad on an overnight hike in Harriman State Park. I really like the app, and I found the maps with GPS to be very useful. Read the review here:

TrekkerHikes's picture

We have been using EveryTrail for a couple of years now. We use a map for our hikes, but we like to use EveryTrail to log our hikes. It keeps track of your route, mileage, elevation gain, and speed. In addition, if you take a photo, it shows where on your route the phot was taken. We've also used it like a GPS - when we're unclear if we've missed a turn. And, when we are trying to find the exact summit of a mountain on a bushwhack. It chews up your IPhone battery, but we have found it sufficient for the dayhikes we do. It works even when you don't have cell phone coverage. You can download map tiles as well.

We've had two issues with bugs -

On occasion, it has gone bezerk and had problems tracking our trails. A 9 mile trail showed up as 881 miles. Or, it somehow comes up with the incorrect start point - and draws a straight line from some unknown point to your actual point, which adds in excess miles. This has happened to us around 3 times out of 50 or so trips.


The other issue we've had is where it shows you the path that you have been hiking, with photos marked, and another beacon showing your current location (normal behavior). Then at some point, it stops displaying your path, and only shows beacons of where your photos were taken, and where you are now. This happens probably 1 out of 15 times we use it. When we save our trip at the end of the hike, we are able to see our full path. And the mileage is fine. It is just a disadvantage, because sometimes we want to compare our path with a trail path.

In some areas, probably if you don't have cell reception, you won't see a map (though you can see your path) unless you have previously downloaded map tiles for a region.

Also, the app doesn't give you map coordinates as far as I can tell.

It is however, very easy to use.

Unklmarty's picture

Starting in March of 2011,  I have just completed over 900 miles of the AT starting in Georgia and ending in PA.  This App saved me many times when I founfd myself lost and off-trail and no White Blazes to be found.  Since it doesn't need cell service to operate, only GPS service, I was able to see exactally where I was and this App has the complete ATalready included. so I could see where I was in relationship to the trail.  Walk a few steps and see which direction I was going then make corrections as needed and back to the trail i went.  You do have to download any maps you will be needing ahead of time. but hey they're free.  Just download them BEFORE you need them because when you need them there probabally won't be any cell service to download the maps. Just plan ahead!