all trails apps gaia Gear Guides google maps gps guthooks hiking project Latest map my hike navigation New Features outdoor active ramblr rei spyglass Topo Maps+ viewranger

Navigation and GPS application reviews

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When the smartphone has risen during the last decade, navigation software has risen accordingly. Because the hardware has develop into more durable as a result of the battery life is longer and the affordability of chargers and battery banks with solar power is growing, using a smartphone in navigation on the sector has turn out to be far more practical than earlier than. 19659002] DSC02705 "width =" 1600 "height =" 1217 "/>

Andrew and Paul use the GPS application of the smartphone loaded into the USGS 24k rectangles to navigate the complex cross section in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness as part of the Backpacking Light 2018 Wilderness Adventures Whitetail Trek

In this review, I will look at the applications found on both iOS and Android platforms, and there may be some good apps left out because they are only one or the other, but for this article we use "all or

Many of those purposes are free, however require membership or application buy to get probably the most out of the application. Guthooks

  • Outside Lively
  • Rambler
  • REI – Nationwide Parks
  • S pyglass
  • Spyglass
  • Yonder
  • This listing just isn’t exhaustive! New purposes are being developed and deployed all the time. There are additionally some apps on this listing which were around for a while (like Topo GPS) as a result of I’ve no personal expertise with them.

    In this assessment I take a look at an important navigation application criteria. These features are:

    • Downloadable maps
    • GPS navigation
    • Import and export of GPX monitor
    • Making a route and waypoint
    • Velocity ​​and distance meter
    • Altimeter


    Analysis standards [19659025] Evaluation standards [19659025] Gaia gps application instance "width =" 250 "height =" 541 "/>

    An off-trail route from Gaia, completed a year earlier, proved to be critical to find a very subtle route that safely landed near vertical cliffs when the route Source: Ryan Jordan

    Downloadable maps

    For those who are planning to take a longer trip and may not want to increase the weight of the battery stock or want good old-fashioned printable maps, this feature is the key. comfortably and then transfer it to your phone or print it, you get more options during the hike na

    GPS Navigation

    Modern cellular coverage is difficult to find places without coverage 50 kilometers from the motorway or 100 miles from the city. However, there are no signals for many of the canyons we get to or to the mountains we rise to. This means that the application that uses the GPS function of your phone is much more useful than not.

    Importing and Exporting GPX Track

    The GPX file standard has been in use since 2004 and has become a vital part of every GPS unit. GPX stores longitude and latitude in decimals when the height is recorded in meters or feet. Depending on what you use under GPX control, it may be important to note that times are not recorded in a local time, but in a co-ordinated global time (UTC). Simply put, this is a system that allows you to mark and share waypoints on multiple platforms and devices. This is crucial when tagging a group where some members use their own GPS device, such as the Garmin inReach Mini, while others use the application on the phone and others using printed maps.

    Routes and Waypoints

    A short hike or a longer hike, using an established path or bushwacking point from one point to another, is a good place to know where you are going, how you are going to get there and where to go. If you're interested in a new area, it's nice to know where the water source can be found or where you can find a nice campsite. It may also be good to know what hazards are found and where they are found on a particular route. This is where the routes and waypoints come in. Can I use the app to mark a waypoint with a detailed description? Can I attach a photo to a waypoint? Can the waypoints and routes automatically coordinate or need additional steps?

    Speed ​​/ Distance Tracker

    If you do any kind of training, this is crucial. For those of us who want a small amount of multifunction gear, it is important that the navigation application can also store speed and distance. This function can also be used to predict how long it will take to get from a waypoint to a waypoint or how long it will take for the group's fastest or slowest members to reach the point to point. A good speed and distance tracker can help you know if you need speed, or if you can take a few more pictures along the way


    Knowing the altitude can tell you why you can't feel the breath, how much fuel is imported a hike. The ability to easily get an accurate elevation can be a vital tool when you stay safe while the mountains are being held at the same time, while tracking the increase or loss of height is crucial for performance monitoring and height altitude monitoring.


    Scroll Right See All Table Content

    Rechargeable Map GPS Navigation Compass Import / Export GPX Trax Routes and Waypoints Speed ​​Monitor Distance Meter Distance meter altimeter Cost
    AllTrails yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes Yes [19659062] Free – $ 29.99
    Gaia Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes [19659053] Yes Yes Yes Yes Free
    Google Maps Offline Yes Yes Yes No No No No [196] 59061] No [196590] 67] Free
    Guthooks Yes Yes No No yes No No No No No [19659067]
    Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No No Free Free No No No No Yes Yes Yes No Free – 29.99 $
    Outdoor Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Free – $ 8.99
    Ramblr Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Free – $ 10.00
    Yes REI – National Parks No No [19659] 049] Yes yes No No No No No yes Free
    Spyglass No yes yes [19659056] no yes yes yes yes yes 5,99
    ViewRanger yes yes yes yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Free – Variable

    All Routes

    AllTrails allows you to save routes and use them for statistics and chart everything on an easy-to-read display. Expanding the map is as easy as touching!

    This application includes hiking, biking, and running routes around the world. All routes have 50,000 route maps and regularly updated reviews and photos from millions of users. This will give dog lovers, hard hikers, mountain bikers and other users the opportunity to give local and valuable recommendations on all walking trails in urban parks between Continental Divide Trail and everything.

    • With annual membership you can download and print custom maps. There is also a real-time satellite weather controller. Map layer options include topo, terrain, open street maps, and more.
    • Without an annual subscription, you can still store and track data during your trek. This allows you to follow the adventurers who inspire you while saving your favorite routes to challenge yourself. This feature is suitable for anyone who is interested in the fastest known time or the fastest personal time. Finally, without membership, your map will still show topo information during the hike.

     rsz bpl recommended 1

    All routes are a power transmission application that combines path evaluations and beta benefits for some users; Although the interface is not as stylish as Gaia, All Trails is a strong competitor in this market and has all the features required for a positive navigation experience. It deserves the recommended evaluation (read more here)

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    One particularly beautiful feature of Gaia is the ability to define images as waypoints. This allowed my brother to follow the route I took and use to get a better camera for better quality images.

    Gaia has been featured in several publications, such as the New York Times and Outside Magazine. This app is designed to provide hunters, hikers, cruisers, backcountry skiers, mountain bikers and professionals with a one-stop solution for their mapping needs.

    • At the level of free membership, the user can explore the global map list, but downloading it offline is not available. You still have the ability to track important statistics, such as speed, distance and altitude, and you can also save trips, add waypoints with notes and photos, and share them with your friends and group members.
    • you can access downloadable maps, including topo, road and satellite map layers. You also like all the important features of free membership that make this application so practical in backcountry.
    • By updating the "Premium" membership you can use the following complementary map sources to download:
      • National Geographic Trails Illustrated
      • US Hunting Maps
      • European Maps of IGN
      • Land Maps of Neotreks
      • Land Management , altitude shading and gradient analysis

     rsz bpl highly recommended
    Gaia's set of features, highly customizable display, powerful user interface, regular application updates, map layers, ease of use and excellent desktop / tablet design features deserve the highly recommended review of this app (read more here).

    All of the world's most famous mapping tools. Although much can be said about this application, in the navigation program for hiking destinations, a great attraction is the ability to save the route to the trailhead and even take a detailed view of the area around the object.

    This app does not support support for other GPS applications or other tracking features in this list.

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    The Guthook application displays elevation profiles by completing waypoints, making planning and navigation easier. 19659005] With Guthook, you can find waypoints such as campsites, water sources, and great information about cities that go on longer hikes. Users can update the current terms from any of these waypoints, but cannot determine their own waypoints. The height profile can tell you where you are along the path and the distance to the nearest waypoint. Unfortunately, it does not allow you to track your personal information. Also, import and export of GPX is not available

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    MapMyHike's primary display shows that its niche market is a fitness market with significant training statistics but no navigation tools.

    fitness follower as a navigation application, Map My Hike is developed by Under Armour and gives you all the information you need to optimize your performance, including community challenges that help you stay motivated. It can be connected to other applications and consumables, including various Garmin and Fitbit models.

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    Outdoor Active is able to design a route on the desktop, allowing it to seamlessly access the phone.

    Outdoor Active is specially designed for hiking, cycling and mountaineering. With this application, the user can design all kinds of trips with the help of the desktop or the application independently or in unison. This makes sharing friends one of the easiest parts of a design process. In addition to the tracking and mapping features expected in the navigation application, there are also some thoughtful security features. These include emergency call options and up-to-date weather conditions.

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    With social media, Rambler's routes around the world are just a finger. 19659005] Rambler is designed to share trips through social media. It allows you to plan your trips, track all your important statistics. You can also draw waypoints and attach photos and videos. You can also download maps for offline use based on Apple and Google Map data. All of this is integrated into Facebook and Twitter and seamlessly and effortlessly distributes tricks to many different groups and friends.

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    Each national park uses the same program as HikingProject. Paths and jewels of objects that can be sorted by action and difficulty.

    This application contains complete path information for most of the most popular national parks. You can search for hikes in each park using the map screen. Every park also has a "greatest" record that looks for hikes. Hikes might be sorted by problem, star, or peak profiles.

    REI – Nationwide Parks even have a real-time GPS tracker that includes a peak profile on terrain or satellite tv for pc map. In an emergency, it’s also possible to ship coordinates to rescuers.

    If you would like a printable map, the app can hyperlink you to where they have a small choice.

    ] Spyglass Application

    Spyglass acts as a hi-tech compass that features the anticipated GPS tracking program, speedometer, altimeter, altimeter, mixer, tilt meter and angle calculator, speedometer, altimeter, and Along with the waypoint, tracker

    All features work in 3D with added actuality. This allows you to monitor the celebs with a cloudy night time or overlapping instructions and info by way of the digital camera or a printed map.

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    Viewranger provides you the power to download maps for offline use, nevertheless it makes use of the credit score system in the direction of the map or obtain bundles at a better worth. With a bit of warning, you’ll be able to browse some pretty credible sources, such as the Backpacker Magazine's trekkers, maps and routes posted.

    Like many other navigation purposes, you possibly can monitor the situation (which could be shared privately in real time by choosing buddies), velocity, and distance. In addition to this application, others have the power to make use of the telephone's digital camera to display prime names, routes, and waypoints with Skyview.


    Probably the most essential options to be thought-about within the navigation application. The 2 most important options of the design are the power to import / export GPX and obtain maps for offline use. In the event you can't draw factors at house for use on the sector offline, you could possibly obtain one other route and get back from your journey. If the application does not allow you to do this, it’s unlikely to be value a lot as a navigation application.

    Import / Export GPX

    Alltrails, Gaia, Outside Lively, Ramblr and viewfinder are doing nicely in this class. Sadly, Outside Lively has a tendency to crash whenever you add a waypoint when saving a route. Google Maps Offline has the power to obtain maps for offline use, however they are for street-level views that are not trail-level.

    At the finish of the export of the products, it is good to keep a report of where you have got had your private info or present your mates how cool you’re. All classes, Gaia, Outside Lively, Rambler and Viewfinder are also robust in this class, regardless that all of them require you to buy an updated membership or pay for the download.

    Rechargeable Map

    In a method or another, all these purposes assist you to download maps. The function works especially nicely with all paths and Gaia, which lets you draw a path with waypoints on your desktop and easily transfer them to your telephone. Guthook additionally makes an easy-to-download map, but doesn't provide the alternative so as to add your personal waypoints.


    It's straightforward to say you've been there and executed it, however it's utterly totally different when you have accurate statistics to again up your claims. It's also good to keep monitor of performance and enhancements or to know that the subsequent water beam, campsite or summit is at a certain distance. To do this, it is advisable to know your actual location alongside the route so to monitor your velocity and altitude as well as the space and distance to your next level.

    Velocity ​​/ Distance

    Virtually all purposes work properly on this class or they do not comply with this info at all. I used to be capable of communicate with Guthook's developers and attempt to integrate velocity followers with future updates.


    It is troublesome to see if the application truly adopted your elevation or solely offered the elevation profile route. Often, if the app follows your tracking, it should also offer you a peak profile. Quite the opposite, just because the application offers a peak profile does not mean that the rise or fall has been followed. Anyone with primary arithmetic expertise can work around this, but for many who don't need to do math on the end of an extended day, the tracking perform is necessary.

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    The Gaia function set, a highly customizable show, a strong consumer interface, common application updates, map layers, ease of use and wonderful desktop / tablet design features deserve this extremely advisable evaluate.

    In case you are in search of a very good all-around application for navigation then all Trails and Gaia are two. Each are straightforward to navigate in planning and monitoring features and are straightforward to share on totally different platforms and units. Gaia has a highly customizable studying that allows you to see crucial info for you and not fear about other issues.

    Gaia's function set, extremely customizable display, highly effective consumer interface, frequent updates, map layers, ease of use, and wonderful desktop / tablet travel options deserve this highly beneficial assessment.

    If you want to do one thing more exact than a national park or Continental Divide Path, you might need to go to Guthook or REI Nationwide Parks. Guthook is particularly snug for hikers who are confused by the expertise of backcountry and may have the incessantly updated info offered by Guthook.

    For many who are more concerned with using a longtime social media website to share with you, Ramblr is for you. It has all of the tracking options that emphasize synchronization together with your social media account.

    In case you are most concerned about health and health monitoring, Map My Hike will do Beneath Armor and synchronize all of your GPS units together with your watch to observe your watch when Viewranger syncs your telephone with the health monitoring application.

    • How we bought these products: The writer of the product (s) mentioned in this assessment was either purchased from a retailer or in any other case provided by the manufacturer without obligation to offer the producer (s) with media or product reviews
    • We don’t settle for cash or contributions in sort media: Backpacking Mild doesn’t accept compensation or donated product in return
    • Affiliate Hyperlinks: Some (however not all) of the hyperlinks on this evaluate could also be linked, which signifies that when you click on the link o our affiliate companions (often a reseller website) and then shop with that supplier, we get a small premium. This helps us finance editorial tasks, podcasts, instructional webinars, and far more, and we recognize that a lot!

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