The Best Apps for Hikers 2020
- The Best Apps for Hikers 2020
- OS Maps
- AllTrails App
- Footpath Route Planner
- Go Jauntly
- Outdoors GPS – Offline OS Maps
- Geocaching® App
- British Red Cross First Aid App
- Myradar Weather Radar
- SAS Survival Guide
While most of us will look to take up hiking to escape from our phones, there’s no denying that these days, the phone really is an essential part of hiking gear that we need, whether its taking photos of that epic sunset, or using it to navigate the trail; it’s borderline essential.
While times have moved on however, we do still recommended learning how to use a hiking compass to refine your overall skills as an avid outdoorsman/outdoorswoman!
So what are the best hiking apps to use?
The best hiking apps allow you to plan your route along a specific trail and factor in local campsites, wooded areas and of course places to eat close to the trail you’re on. A good app will also allow you to select trails of different difficulties and lengths.
There are many great apps out there that do such things, but which one is the best? Here is our list of the best hiking apps in the uk that you should (or may already) be using!
OS Maps are the classic Ordnance Survey Maps in a beautifully made (and paid) hiking app available on Android and iOS that allows you to discover and download hiking trails near you and visualise them in 3D so that you can plan your route ahead.
It contains over 500,00 trails and over 607 maps in it’s database and allows you, once subscribed to view OS Explorer 1: 25,000 and OS Landranger 1:50,000 maps in amazing detail, making sure that you never hike in the wrong direction again!
The ability to view the trails you want to hike in 3D is such a huge advantage over other apps, and allows you to see where you’re going, as opposed to seeing it on the map and being surprised by the tricky terrain when you get there!
With the hiking app from AllTrails you can explore over 100,000+ Trails and mountain bike routes, if that’s what you prefer instead of hiking!
You can log, track and record all of your trail data, helping you to not get lost the next time you choose to do your favourite new trail. This is a feature in most newer hiking apps, and helps when you revisit a trail and want to know where you went last time.
It’s available on an annual subscription at $29.99/year, which isn’t bad considering some of the other competition on this list. It’s worth checking out.
Komoot is a hiking app that allows you to plan, save and download hiking trails so that you can follow them even when there’s no signal up in the hills.
A great feature of Komoot is that it has turn by turn voice navigation, and if you’re familiar with Google Maps Navigation, then this won’t be a new thing, but having this feature out on the trail is a super useful feature, and being able to just pop your phone in your pocket and listen to the turn by turn navigation is a fantastic feature.
Viewranger is a fantastic hiking app that won the 2018 Top Innovation Award by Great Outdoors Magazine. It is available on Android and iOS.
It also utilises Augmented Reality Technology to highlight peaks and places along the trail so you can visualise it while hiking; which is an award-winning feature and sets it apart from some of the other walking apps on this list.
Viewranger is available as a free download but there’s also a premium version for £4.99/yr. The premium version includes the augmented reality features and Live-Tracking with BuddyBeacon which is a safety feature that updates family members in real time of your location.
Maps.me is perhaps one of the older apps on this list of best hiking apps uk. However, that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in terms of features.
Maps.me includes offline maps, navigation and travel guides, for a variety of free to paid subscriptions once the app is downloaded.
Similar to some of the other apps on this list, maps.me allows you to use turn by turn navigation, and it highlights any potential places you may like to visit, such as tourist spots and cafes / places to eat.
Cairn brands itself as the ultimate safety hiking app, and this is for good reason. It features live tracking functionality which allows your friends and family to track you wherever you are, as well as notifications that are sent when you’re overdue on your hike.
Of course, as a hiking app, it also allows you to record and log data from your trail, which is actually very essential in a hiking safety app.
MapOut is an app for hikers, cyclists and city dwellers looking to navigate the urban jungle.
It is based on the open street map project and utilises some cool functionality such as having a 3D tilt view to make viewing your potential trail a lot easier.
Another useful feature is that you can draw out your own trail and plan your route that way instead of sticking to predefined routes that are laid out for you. This is super handy especially if there’s a new trail that isn’t in the app yet and you want to go and explore it!
Overall its a very useful hiking app with fast map displays and the ability to see detailed topographical maps, definitely a useful app. For $4.99 it’s one of the cheaper options on our list also.
Footpath Route Planner
Footpath Route Planner is a handy little hiking app that allows you to plan routes with your finger! It also features high res topographical maps of surrounding trails, roads and popular locations; allowing you to plan your hiking trail with ease.
It can be used for running, cycling & mountain-biking, and even sailing! Making it a very versatile app, which for a free download (with additional in-app purchases) is a fantastic app to use.
Another useful feature is that it allows GPX import and export, so you can load in or even export your favourite hiking trails, a feature which is shared by a lot of the apps on this list.
Similar features to the other apps mentioned also include turn by turn navigation, 3D Visualisation of trails and the ability to export routes and trails to apple health, which some other apps cannot do.
GoJauntly is a relatively newer outdoor exploration app, and sits on our list of top hiking apps uk not because its the most feature-packed, but because it’s a good all-rounder, with over 1500 Walks loaded into the App (UK walks) along with international walks too.
It’s a great app and is great for encouraging people especially in inner-city London to get out and explore their surroundings. You’ll also be able to export GPX Files and save various routes that you take.
You can also save the routes for offline use and it works well for low-connectivity areas.
Outdoors GPS – Offline OS Maps
OutDoors GPS is a hiking app available for hikers, runners, cyclists and even photographers, allowing you to choose from 200,000 free routes using the compass & direction views.
You can also download Landranger 1:50 & Explorer 1:25k Ordnance Survey maps which is extremely useful if you’re hiking through a complicated or tricky trail.
Geocaching is the worlds largest treasure hunting & treasure hunting community app, allowing users to search for hidden gems scattered across the UK. So why is this in our list of best hiking apps? Well, while you’re out on the trail, it’s quite a cool app to reference and see if there are any potential treasure hunting opportunities around; You never know what you may find!
Its also a navigation app at core, which means you can view maps in street, satellite and hybrid views, and use their “trails map” features to explore roads off the beaten track.
The reason we have Strava on this list is because it’s an app that allows you to monitor your fitness levels while you’re out on the trail hiking or walking along your favourite coastal hiking path.
You can log your elevation, speed, time and distance, and these metrics are incredibly helpful in helping you along your fitness journey. The health benefits of hiking are huge, and you’ll be surprised by how many calories you can actually burn while hiking, so Strava is the perfect app for this, even if you just use this for your fitness tracking and another app to monitor trails more in depth, it’s still worth using.
British Red Cross First Aid App
You won’t be able to use the British Red Cross First Aid Kit App for downloading, saving trails, finding new routes etc like most of the other walking apps on this list. However, what you will be able to use this for is to refresh your first aid knowledge and know what to do in an emergency.
While basic first aid is pretty much well known, being out on a trail in the middle of nowhere in poor weather conditions is not something most people are prepared for, but with this app you’ll be prepared for whatever medical situation you come across, and for this reason it’s a solid addition to this list.
Myradar Weather Radar
Myradar Weather Radar is a solid addition to this list of top hiking apps uk because you always need an app that allows you to check the weather conditions on the trail that you want to use.
Staying one step ahead of the weather can pay dividends when you’re on a long distance hike or camp and you’re camping near water especially. There are many documented cases of hikers/campers who’ve stayed in the wrong spot at the wrong time and been victim to flash flooding or adverse weather conditions.
With this app you’ll be able to predict the weather conditions and prepare yourself for the worst, in advance.
SAS Survival Guide
Finishing our list with more “hiking safety” hiking apps, the SAS Survival Guide App is a fantastic example of an app that you should probably download and use, if only to learn how to prepare yourself for that rare, but possible sticky situation you find yourself in on that new trail in the middle of winter!
Sas Survival Guide provides videos, guides & photo tutorials on how to protect yourself in the wilderness and shows you exactly what to do if you get yourself into trouble while out hiking in the great outdoors.
That being said, it does not offer any topographical maps or turn by turn navigation like a lot of the high-end hiking apps, it’s more of a pure survival guide, so more of an app that you should download and use when you’re cosy in your camping tent just before bedtime!
No matter what hiking app you choose, we hope this list has helped you to find the best outdoors app for you, and fundamentally has got you out exploring in the great outdoors, which is why all of these apps were made.
As a backup however, it is always recommended to take a paper map and hiking compass, which is especially handy for those newer trails that may not be in the databases of the hiking apps mentioned.
What are the best hiking apps for iphone uk?
As mentioned in this article, most hiking apps have two versions available, typically an android version and an iOS version which is obviously for iphone. There will also typically be a desktop version available, but for those out and about, this will probably not be used much at all.
What are the best hiking apps for garmin devices?
Unfortunately a lot of these apps are not compatible with Garmin devices, but fortunately Garmin create a lot of apps for their devices, and their Hike2+ App has been well received by the community and works well on Garmin devices obviously as it’s a native garmin app.