Outdoor Apps

Kit Guide, Trekking, Walking

9 great phone apps for walkers and hikers

22 Jan , 2013  

Please note this post was published in 2013, we have a more up to date 2015 post on 10 more great apps for walkers here.

The fast-growing world of apps offers host of useful aids for walkers and hikers. We do love maps. They are wonderful, tactile items. Like a bookcase of great reads, a container filled with maps is to be treasured. A used maps collection reveals many stories of favourite walks and areas. In fact if you’re are embarking on a remote walk you should never leave home without a map popped into a waterproof case and then placed in your jacket pocket or rucksack, alongside a trusty compass.

However, there are numerous mapping additions in the 21st century and a wealth of great apps for your smartphone. As we have said, a map is your fail proof method of navigation but a smartphone app can also be a wonderful asset when out in the hills and walking trails. You just need to remember that gadgets can stop working, batteries can decharge and it’s not always possible to pick up a satellite.

The choice and range of walking and hiking apps is huge, so we have picked some of the most useful.

9 walkers’ apps for smartphones

Mudmaps

Platform: iPhone

Scales: 1:50 000 – 1:25 000

Cost: Various.

Mudmaps provides a range of mapping for outdoor adventures. It uses the iPhone’s in-built GPS to pinpoint where you are and then displays your location on screen. You can ask it to tell you how to get to your destination. The app relies on internet connection.

Viewranger

Platform: Android, iPhone and Symbian

Scales: 1:50 000 – 1:25 000

Cost: Free for some android phones, £9.99 for iphone

The great thing about Viewranger is that it works without mobile coverage because the maps are stored on the phone. The app displays maps, records tracks, helps you to navigate and even shows you points-of-interest along the way. When you have internet connection the app will show your actual position, too. You can also store and share your routes.

Outdoors Great Britain

Platform: iPhone and iPad

Scales: 1:50 000 – 1:25 000

Cost: Initial app is £4.99 but the price jumps steeply for further mapping

Outdoors Great Britain offers the full range of Ordnance Survey maps all in one app. It can be quite pricey but once the maps are downloaded to your iPhone or iPad, you’ll have them for life. OutDoors will work anywhere regardless of phone signal and if you have internet connection it will find your location in seconds. You can choose maps according to your favourite walking areas.

RouteBuddy 

Platform: iPhone and iPad

Scales: 1:50 000 – 1:25 000

Cost: Free to £40

RouteBuddy supplies topographical, aerial, road and Ordnance Survey mapping “to help you wherever you are or wherever you’re going”. This is a great route finder app although you do need to buy each OS map you require. The advantage is excellent way-point functionality. The RouteBuddy Atlas for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch is free from the iTunes store. There is also a paid-for app.

MemoryMaps app

MemoryMaps app

MemoryMap

Platform: iPhone

Scales: 1: 50 000 – 1: 25 000

Cost: Free version, as well as a more sophisticated £20 version

The Memory Map mapping application turns your iPhone into an outdoors GPS. It allows you to view and navigate with OS maps as well as topo maps and marine and aviation charts (should you need them!). Maps are stored off-line so you can use them when you don’t have a phone signal.

GB Nat Parks 

Platform: iPhone

Scales: 1:50 000

Cost: From £7.99

This GB Nat Parks app offers full access to viewing all of Britain’s fabulous national parks on UK 1:50K Ordnance Survey maps. This happens from the point of installing, which means that you do not need to download anything.  It works brilliantly wherever you are without any worry about future planning or internet connectivity.  The maps are clear and accurate, although you should remember that 1:50K doesn’t offer fine detail viewing.

Sustrans

Platforms: iPhone and android

Cost: Free

If you’re looking for inspiration for where to walk, Sustrans app offers details and routes of more than 25,000 miles of walking and cycling networks across the UK. The aim of the app, created by the Sustrans charity, is to help people to make more of their everyday journeys on foot (or by bike).

MapMyWalk GPS Walking

Platforms: iPhone, Blackberry and Android.

Cost: Free and some paid for versions

MapMyFitness has apps for walkers, hikers and runners and allows you to map and measure your route, see your speed and calories burned, and save and share your routes. MapMyWalk claims to make “walking fun and easy, turning iPhone into a social training partner while tracking your pace, distance, and route using GPS”. If you’re looking for motivation to get out and start walking, and your aim is to lose weight and get fitter, this is a great app to have.

Abvio walkmetre

Platforms: iPhone and iPad

Cost: £2.99

Abvio is an iPhone app that uses GPS to measure the distance of your walks and hikes. In fact, Walkmeter continually records your time, location, distance, elevation, and speed. You can see the results on maps, graph and a calendar, which offers total results, such as how many mikes you’ve walked in a month.  This app could be the motivation you need to get out walking because you can even compete against previous walk times to beat your own previous best!

Do you have any recommended walking and hiking apps? Or any quibbles with the apps we’ve suggested?

Put your app to use on a Walking Holiday!

By  

A journalist, web copywriter blogger and social media chatterbox, Fiona combines her love of the outdoors – especially Scotland – with a diverse freelance work life. If she’s not at her desk writing about the outdoors, she’ll be outside cycling, running, kayaking, snowboarding and walking Munros. She shares her outdoors passion with partner, the G-Force. Sometimes her teenage daughter Little Miss Outdoors tags along, too.