8 Hiking Apps That Will Transform Your Time in the Woods

Hiking apps can not only help you get closer to nature, but they can also increase your knowledge and safety when hiking in the mountains!

hiking apps that transform your time in the woods

As an avid hiker, I’ll be the first to admit that one of the things I love most about hiking in the German Alps is getting away from technology! That’s why I don’t recommend being glued to your phone, tracking every step. Instead, put your phone away. Bring it out occasionally when there’s a peak you want to identify, know whether a certain berry is safe to eat, or are unsure of which way to go at a crossroads. That way, these hiking apps are enhancing, not hindering your hike!

The 8 Hiking Apps That I Recommend:

MapMyHike is a popular hiking app that includes a hiking gps and tracks your progress.


This app enables you to both plan and track your hike using GPS. You can choose from one of the 70 million routes. Then, while hiking, track your progress, including your distance and pace. I used it extensively combined with a paper map when walking the Wicklow Way in Ireland. I also regularly use it in conjunction with a guide book. I especially love the hiking GPS feature. That way I can check it to see if I’m headed in the right direction.

PeakFinder shows hikers the names of nearby mountain peaks


Have you ever been hiking just to realize that the only mountain peak you can name is the one that you’re on? PeakFinder solves that. Just hold your camera up and you’ll find all the peak names in a 360° panoramic view. With a database of 50,000 peaks worldwide, you’re sure to find the name of the peak that you’re looking for!

a flashlight app can come in hand when hiking

Flashlight App

You may be planning to go for a day hike, but if you get lost or injured it may turn into an evening hike. Panic can start to set in when it gets dark and you can’t see where you’re going. Enter a flashlight app to save the day! You can find these for both iPhones and Android devices. Note: Also bring a physical flashlight with you as well in case your phone battery dies.

Audubon Bird Guide App is a nice accompaniment when you

Audubon Bird Guide

One of the ways to really immerse yourself in nature, is to be able to identify birds. They are  providing you with a free symphony while hiking after all! This app helps you to identify over 800 bird species in North America, including their habitat and behaviour! This app can really enhance your hike. You’ll never say that you didn’t see any wildlife again!

American Red Cross app is an app that shows how to deal with first aid emergencies. It

First Aid by American Red Cross

This app will provide you with instructions on how to treat the most common first aid emergencies. If your hiking partner is bleeding or has a broken bone, you’ll be able to come to the rescue!

AllTrails - a hiking app for the mountains


Not sure where to hike in Canada or the U.S? This app has 50,000 trails that you can choose from. It also includes hiking maps so you can choose a linear or loop trail. Once you’re hiking, it provides you with the route information and tracks your hiking progress via GPS!

Leafsnap is an app that helps hikers identify fauna.


You may or may not see wildlife while hiking, but you’re almost certain to see trees. LeafSnap uses visual recognition software to help you identify tree species found in Canada and the U.S.  All you need to do is take a photograph of the leaf. It’s a cool way to learn more about flora while hiking – and which berries are safe to eat! There’s also a Leafsnap UK version, available for iPhone only currently. It includes 156 tree species found in the UK. This hiking app will give you a new appreciation for your surroundings and help you see the trail with fresh eyes!

SAS Survival App is a must-have app for all hikers

Ultimate SAS Survival App

Unlike all the other hiking apps listed, this one isn’t free – it costs ~€7. I’ve included it since it’s considered to be the most definitive survival guide around! It was created by former SAS soldier and instructor, John “Lofty” Wiseman. It comes with the text of the his best-selling book, videos, photos and checklists. There’s even  an Extreme Climate Survival section. It’s an app that you hope you never need to use, but worth purchasing as it may save your life!

A Few Things to Keep in Mind When Using Hiking Apps:

  • Download the recommended hiking apps when connected to a power source and wifi. You don’t want to waste data and risk running out (if you’re on a limited plan) of data while hiking, since some of them do, but not all, do require a live connection.
  • Bring an external charger. If you’re using an app that has a hiking GPS it can quickly wear down your battery and you don’t want your phone to die halfway through a hike.
  • If you’re using a hiking app for route info, bring a paper copy as a backup. You could drop your phone and it won’t work anymore (has happened to me on two occasions), or the battery could die. It’s always important to have a backup plan.

Now that you know what apps to download, check out my day-hiking packing list so you know what else you need to bring! I’d also love to hear which hiking apps you find useful!
Happy Hiking!

hiking apps that transform your time in the woods

Laurel Robbins is the founder of Monkeys and Mountains, an adventure travel blog and company that helps people plan their active holidays in a sustainable way. Although Canadian, she lives in Germany. You can find her in the mountains on most weekends.



  1. Xplorato June 26, 2016 at 9:32 am - Reply

    Thank you for this it will come in handy next time i go for my hiking retreat 🙂 thank you for sharing

  2. Neil @ Best Flight Deals July 20, 2016 at 9:38 am - Reply

    Great posts, thank you so much to providing the hiking app. it is perfect travel deals.

  3. Adrian Casamonte June 8, 2017 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    For my hikes usually the only app i use is the music player … ahahha…. I just somedays take the long road to home , my agm x1 (a great rugged phone), some music and enjoy the afternoon 🙂 i didnt like the battery enough nad now there is a gold edition with 5000 battery 😀 ! i hope can get one soon 🙂

    • Laurel June 12, 2017 at 10:02 am - Reply

      @Adrian – Music is a great addition 🙂

    • Julián Casamonte July 26, 2017 at 10:10 am - Reply

      I love the social aspect of some apps like STRAVA to compete and sahre with others… i ll love there was something like it for hikers too… somedays just like to put my headset on, take my agm x1 (a great outdoor phone that endurance falls, water, aaaalll) some water … and I lose a few hours in the road ♥ btw: the agm x1 has now a new gold edition with battery for days :O !

      • Laurel August 21, 2017 at 8:37 pm - Reply

        Thanks for the tip! I’ll have to check STRAVA out.

  4. Julián Casamonte July 26, 2017 at 10:09 am - Reply

    I love hking in the rain … so strongly prefer a waterproff rugged phone ! … I discover the agm x1 time ago and still loving it. That line is quite good and not so expensive :S … oh … dang it! now i want to TAKE MY MUSIC AND DO A GOOOD HIKE XP !

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