Eight Best Hiking Apps (Paid)
Best Paid Hiking Apps for IOS and Android Phones
By Kiel Bowman
In our previous installment, we detailed the five best hiking apps that you can get for free. Now, we go into the depths of the extras you can get when you’re willing to put a few dollars into the mix, and provide a selection of what we think are the eight best paid hiking apps. Aside from upgrades of free apps to include more robust features, there is a plethora of options out there for enhancing your hiking experience.
1. Gaia GPS – Offline Topo Maps and GPS Tracker (iOS, $19.99)
Although there are a lot of great free GPS apps available, this app offers a more feature-full experience than others we’ve tried out. Included are road maps and topographic maps for both the United States and Canada, and familiar features like geotagging and being able to search for waypoints previously established by other users. In addition, you can customize every aspect of this app, from color and sounds to coordinate types and so on. With this app, it can safely be said that you may never need another GPS device.
2. Camp Finder (iOS, Android, $3)
This app has a database with over 17,000 campgrounds and counting located across the United States. What makes this app better than other similar applications is that you can filter your search results easily on the factors that matter to you. Amenities, activities, discounts, and more are all factors you can include in your campsite search. This hiking app also integrates with Google Maps for ease of navigation, and with Campingroadtrip.com to offer detailed information, reviews, photos and more for each campsite.
Unlike many of the best hiking apps, this is one that works worldwide. Not only can it be used anywhere in the world, but it works both online and offline. Intended for mountaineering enthusiasts, this app will give you information on mountains within a 125 mile range of your present location. You can also download maps, and sort summits by distance or elevation. If ever you’ve wanted to tap into your inner alpinist and try to tackle some of the more untamed peaks out there, this will provide a perfect starting point for exploring some of the lesser known mountains of the world.
Not intended specifically for hiking, but an extremely useful store of knowledge anyway. A huge variety of emergencies are covered, from sprains and breaks to stings, cuts, poisons, and other serious medical emergencies. Although this is not meant to be a substitute for professional care, it could make a huge difference when you’re out alone in the wilderness with no hospital for miles and miles, while lying injured on the trail. Step by step instructions guarantee an ease of use that could make all the difference.
5. Apps for the Burgeoning Scientist
It was impossible to choose between these three apps, and as they all cover a similar desire, we’ve decided to put them in one big category for your pleasure.
A. Leafsnap (iOS, free)
This is actually a currently free app, but it fit so well with the following two apps that we decided to keep it here. Leafsnap features the incredible ability to analyze photos that you take of tree leaves and comparing it to the app’s database of different leaves, providing you with best-match results that can teach you more about the plant life around you. This was developed by a collaborative effort between the Smithsonian Institute, University of Maryland, and Columbia University. Maybe one day they’ll upgrade it to include an even wider range of plant life, not limited to trees!
B. MyNature Animal Tracks (Android, iOS $6.99)
This addition to the best hiking apps arena, features a strong database of animal footprints and scat that you can compare with the remnants left behind in the wake of an animal’s path. For the aspiring biologist, the wealth of information available on animal life cycles, gait, track measurements and more is incredibly interesting. This app works both on-line and off-line.
C. Star Watching Apps
There are different apps available depending on your OS system, but all feature the same basic ideas. Most allow you to hold your smartphone to the sky and compare it to a database of star systems and constellations, as well as the planets in our own solar system. Many of them also include a “time machine function” that allows you to watch the progress of star positions through time, which is a real treat to see. For iOS, try Star Walk ($3). For Android, there’s Star Map (free), and for Windows phones you can use SkyMap Free.
So here are what we thought were the best paid hiking apps. Now go out there and see what the world has to offer! If you have other suggestions for the best of what smartphone app markets have to offer, sound off in the comments below.