If you are currently on vacation, you may have planned to do one or more hikes in the week. And as you are organized and above all modern, you have probably said that it was possible to replace this good old paper card with your smartphone with a GPS. You are then on the right page of the Internet since we have selected a handful of applications able to make you come back safely before nightfall. Follow the guide.
Before you start Hiking
Some precision’s are necessary before starting. Know first of all that in the world of mapping, applications dedicated to hiking or bike rides are designed primarily for those who are used to reading topographic maps, who know how to use a compass and who are used to arid interfaces.
Finally, it is surely obvious for experienced hikers, if you go hiking, remember that your phone will consume more battery than normal using these applications. So remember to charge your phone to the maximum when leaving, or even to bring a battery backup. From this point of view, nothing will replace a good old paper chart.
Browse The Best Free Hiking Apps
ViewRanger is certainly one of the best hiking apps of its kind. It has a big advantage over its competitors: it is not necessary to have a Bac + 5 hiking to understand its interface. Everything is beautiful, clear and modern: to use it is a real pleasure. Its second good point is that it is free and allows you to download a handful of free cards. They are not as accurate as a good map IGN but they are ideal for a walk of a few hours in the countryside, on well-traced paths. For the picky, ViewRanger has a catalog of simply gargantuan cards in his shop. It is possible to sort by country (Germany, France, Belgium, United States and Canada and even part of Eastern Europe), by brand or category.
As for the application itself, its options are endless. We find the traditional compass, but also the scale, the ability to switch to night mode, to mark his hike, to record his course, etc. Cherry on the backpack, the basic version is free, there is no shadow of an advertisement and it is updated regularly. Hard to find better in this area.
ViewRanger is one of the best hiking apps. It allows very easy access to maps of OpenStreetMaps, but also the very famous IGN.
The interface is very clear, and the cards are clearly readable. It is easy to identify with the GPS built into the smartphone. It is also able to operate even without access to the network, convenient for the most rural areas and often underserved.
3 reasons to download it
- Clear interface
- Works without a network
- OpenStreetMap and IGN
Download ViewRanger GPS on the Play Store and on the App Store. You can also Download ViewRanger GPS APK file directly. Also you can check out the tutorial for how to install APK files on android smartphone or tablet.
We finish this small selection of application by MyTrails. Unlike other trekking map management apps, MyTrails does not grow so much on purchase and hides its pay cards at the bottom of a well-hidden menu in the settings. What is most valuable about Mytrails is the speed of loading and the fluidity of the application. From the launch, everything is indicated very clearly and the little button that shows the interface gives confidence. It’s simple, beautiful and fluid.
This does not prevent MyTrails from proposing many parameters and options in its menus. Elevation, highlighting of the tracks, notifications near the navigation points, recording of the course and gestures are part of the particularity of the application.
MyTrails is a free, ad-free app for hikers. It offers access to various maps (Cadastre, Satellite, etc.) including the famous IGN maps.
The application proposes to locate the GPS or the compass that will also benefit to record your circuit. This allows you to calculate statistics and draw graphs from your walks.
3 reasons to download it
- IGN maps
- Statistics tool and complete graphs
- Free and without ads
Download MyTrails on the Play Store and on the App Store. You can also Download MyTrails APK file directly. Also you can check out the tutorial for how to install APK files on android smartphone or tablet.
An important consideration for the vast majority of these applications is that they are almost never provided with complete and detailed maps. Some of these applications offer free maps but they will never be as good as IGN or Michelin maps. “Good” cards pay off and often require annual subscriptions. For example, to access IGN maps, you must pay a subscription between $6.84 and $96.96 per year to have access to the entire catalog of the French cartographer. Why does this price vary so much? Because the applications use one or more services of IGN and return to the French company a part of their income. However, count on average $22.81 per year to access a good part of the IGN catalog in an unlimited way and offline. This is the price of a single card and as long as you have a tablet or smartphone screen large enough, it is a very good investment.
For this price, however, you will have access to excellent maps, very accurate with the vertical drop, the views, the slightest bit of trail or forest path, in short everything you need to navigate correctly. The advantage of the majority of the applications that we will present to you is that they make these cards interactive. They make it possible to synchronize the maps with the GPS, annotate them, record their course, plan them, compare their performances with their friends, etc., etc.
Also note that we are talking about IGN maps because they are references in the field, but that these applications have the good taste to offer for some hundreds of other mapping companies at very different prices and in different countries. other than France. It’s up to you to look at what’s best, but always make sure you check them out without access to the Internet. We do not want to lose our precious readers on an error of inattention.