The pandemic closed gyms, fitness centres and studios worldwide, so it’s no surprise that 52% of Brits plan to use digital fitness post lockdown. On top of attending virtual classes and engaging in online fitness forums, U.K. residents will also turn to mobile apps for motivation and assistance in reaching their goals. Among them is a long list of hiking-specific apps that can elevate your walk and make your time outside more enjoyable.
Get the most out of your hike with these app-solutely brilliant tips — and a few top recommendations.
Locate Nearby Hikes
Not sure what’s in the area? Download an app like OS Maps to locate trails nearest to you. Filter your search by distance, difficulty, length, popularity and more to find the best hike for your personal goals and fitness level. Some apps even provide photos of each trail so you can make a better choice based on scenery. Use in-app features like maps and search engines to find adventures near and far.
Identify Flora and Fauna
Perhaps you’re less interested in scenery than you are in the plants and animals you’ll meet along the way. In this case, you’ll want an app that can help you identify these creatures and differentiate between friend and foe. Some, like EWG’s Food Scores app, can even tell you the likelihood of contaminants being in your food. Others like LeafSnap will let you know whether you touched poison ivy or a harmless vine.
Check Weather Forecasts
It’s important to check the weather before a hike, regardless of when or where you’re trekking. The sky can change in an instant, even on a bright, sunny day. If you’re unprepared, storms, floods, high winds and other inclement weather could put you in grave danger. Keep an eye on the forecast with a comprehensive weather app that discloses details like wind chill, temperature, cloud cover and live radar.
Donate to Charity
Maybe you need some extra motivation to get up and move. In this case, downloading a charitable hiking app might be all the inspiration you need. Raise money for those in need with an app like Charity Miles. This one tracks your mileage and donates to a cause of your choice based on how far you hike. You can even log indoor workouts if you’re training for a tough climb or prepping for a longer backpacking trip. Every step — and penny — counts.
Find Your Favourite Hiking App
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of hiking apps to choose from, regardless of what kind of smartphone you own. Here are a few of the most popular among outdoor-loving Brits.
- OS Maps: This app includes thousands of ready-made routes and allows you to also create and plot your own routes. It also has augmented reality and 3D aerial features to help you feel inspired for your next hike.
- Walkingworld: Do you want something a bit more local? Walkingworld offers access to over 7,000 British walks. Use the app as a personal guide and pay special attention to waymark positions as you hike so you can easily navigate each course.
- GPS-Routes: This one is technically a website, but it’s just as helpful as an app if you’re a Brit. GPS-Routes might look rather amateur at first, but it offers more than 3,000 U.K. walks, from national trails to canal paths.
- Pub Walks: If you’d rather hike to the local pub, this app is for you. Choose from over 200 circular walks from around the country and skip the taxi fare altogether.
Get Outside and Get Moving
Spending time outdoors is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health. Luckily, technology can help. Just don’t spend so long scrolling through options that you forget to get outside and get moving.