4 apps that are essential the next time you go hiking

Hiking on the Drakensberg - Tifosi Sports

4 apps that are essential the next time you go hiking

Covid-19 and the ensuing lockdown to curb its spread again reminded us about the many hiking trails available right on our doorstep, no matter where we’re located in the country. When returning to the gym was still out of the question, a lot of fitness enthusiasts decided to take advantage of the great outdoors – and a great many will certainly be converted hikers now.

If your December plans include getting out on the trails, these are the apps you can’t afford to go without.

AllTrails

One of the most highly rated hiking apps in the world, AllTrails provides maps, details and reviews about trails all over the globe. Details like the length of the trail, the elevation gain, difficulty and even weather forecasts makes it easy to get all the information you need when planning your next big hike. It is available for download on iOS and Android devices, and the pro version of the app also allows for map downloading, off-route notifications and real-time map overlays.

iNaturalist

A joint initiative of the National Geographic Society and the California Academy of Sciences, iNaturalist will turn your hike into a learning and research opportunity. With the app, hikers can upload pictures of the unusual fauna or flora they come across while out in nature, and can even get assistance from experts if they’re not sure what they’re seeing. All the information uploaded is shared with the iNaturalist community and scientific data repositories like the Global Biodiversity Information Facility – so you’ll also be making meaningful contributions to science while getting those endorphins flowing! The app is available for iOS and Android devices.

SAS Survival Guide

Based on a best-selling survival guide, this app has all the crucial information you might need while out on the trails. The guide, written by a former SAS soldier, contains information about basic survival skill like building a fire or navigating by the stars, as well as things like a Morse code signaller, comprehensive first aid advice and photo galleries of plants that can be useful in the wild. Download it onto your Android or iOS device.

Forge

This locally developed app aims to make hiking along the Cape Peninsula safer and easier with maps and GPS tracking, and additional information pertaining to the terrain, bike accessibility and pet-friendliness of trails. Trails are listed according to their difficulty, elevation and other technical aspects. Forge can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

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