Monday, August 3, 2015

Apps for your Outdoor Life!

We all have been there. You're hiking along, enjoying a beautiful trail when suddenly the trail splits in two different directions. Somehow, you are blanking whether your friend's mother's brother told you to go left or right at the third fork in the trail. One way leads back to civilization, while the other almost certainly leads to impending doom.

Don't worry, we've been there too and found the best apps to get you down the right trail and back to that half melted power bar in the trunk of your car. Whether your trails are out in the boonies, or in famous national parks, here are the best apps we found:

AllTrails - Hiking & Biking
Available: iOS & Android 

Description: Browse through guides for 50,000 trails across North America complete with photos, reviews, and tracks for outdoor activities including everything from hiking and mountain biking to fly-fishing and snowshoeing.

How to get started: First download the app from the app store. Once Alltrails is downloaded open the app and login to your account. If you don’t have one you are able to create on directly through the app, or with your facebook. Once the account has been created search a city or state for local area! It will give you the level for the trail along with user reviews Get directions to the site and start recording. 

User Experience: 4 / 5
This app earned the 4 because of its simplicity and what you’re able to view. If your planning a trip you can look ahead of time at that area. The app layout is easy to navigate and there are a good amount of search results.. The only downfall is the the app no longer tell you if other people are on the trail. Also there are a few places im aware of that do not show up. 

Best Features:
  • You can save trails
  • See pictures of the trails
  • Get reviews of trails
  • Track yourself 

Hiking Tracker Pro
Available:  Android
Description: Hiking Tracker Pro provides you a simple and easy tool to track (record) your hiking trails (routes) and share with your friends. Unlike other similar Apps in Google Play, Hiking Tracker Pro does not require internet data access for most of the functions (except Hiking Trail Map ) as you may not be able to access internet during hiking.

During hiking, you only need to turn on the GPS function of your phone, and you can enjoy tracking and recording your hiking trail details (GPS information) with Hiking Tracker Pro. After hiking, when you can access internet data, you can open the online hiking trail map to view and save a map image. After that, you can view the offline map image any time.

How to get started: Download the app from the app store and start tracking .

User Experience: 5 / 5
Simple and easy to use. Go for a hike and simply start tracking. I like this app because I can keep track of hikes I’ve done, share the map image with friends, and print the map image and add it to a scrapbook.

Best Features:
  • Record Hiking Trail Details
  • Elevation Charts
  • Share Elevation Chart and Hiking Trail Maps with friends 

Available: Android & iOS
Description: Browse over 400 national parks, monuments, seashores, historic sites and more.

Getting Started: Download from the app store and find the national park you are planning on visiting. Once found, hit "Install Detailed Guide." This button will take you back to the app store where you will download a packet specific to that national park. The packet will include maps, trails, and a plethora of other options including nearby restaurants and water fill stations.

Rating: 4.3 out of 5
It’s a great app to plan an adventure to some of the coolest places. You can search by destination type and each destination has a ton of educational information. I was very impressed with the amount of pictures and updates in the app.

Best Features:
  • Digital Passport
  • Earn badges by visiting different locations
  • Destinations are split into categories.

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