Long gone are the days when walkers take a map, a compass and a bar of Kendall Mint Cake and wander off into the wild.
Now, even when we go hiking, our phones are almost always pinging off satellites and mobile towers.
We take photos and post them to Instagram and use google maps to find or way when we get lost and call friends using our watches.
Disconnecting from the world and your phone can be difficult. But relying on your phone isn’t always a bad thing.
There are some amazing apps out there which can save you time, money, or even save your life.
So, for all you hikers, bikers, backpackers and nature enthusiast, here’s a list of the best of the best.
Komoot is a great app for before you head out on the trail.
It has some cool features that let you see the terrain and likely conditions so you can plan the safest, fastest or quickest way to get where you’re going.
It also lets you plan around specific features such as campsites, wooded areas and good places to stop and eat. You can select routes based on difficulty, time, terrain, length and climb.
Walks can be saved and shared with friends as well as with other Komooters. You can also plan to visit local tourist attractions such as museums.
Additionally, you only have to buy the areas you want to use so you aren’t paying money for features you just don’t need. You can buy a specific area or an entire region.
With over 100,000 trails and paths its no surprise that AllTrails is one of the most popular apps for hikers.
Find your ideal route by filtering by length, difficulty or rating. The app also lets you choose if you want dog-friendly, family-friendly or a trail with great views.
You can follow an existing trail or create, track and save your own for others to follow. Add photos and text to help remember the route.
Follow your progress in real-time and record your pace, max speed, distance and elevation. AllTrails also lets you share your adventures with friends.
A great general allrounder app if you are looking to discover a new area or find new routes near your home. AllTrails has a huge selection of routes to try and with GPS connection, you’ll never get lost.
Perfect for hiking alone or in extremely remote areas.
Find phone coverage no matter where you are and alert loved ones if you are delayed.
Cairn allows you to see which networks have coverage in remote locations so you can call in an emergency. The app gives you an ETA so you can plan if you are late.
Download maps to use offline so even if the signal is patchy, you’ll never get lost.
Reassure family and friends as they track your progress and real-time location.
It’s a must-have app if you travel alone or are planning on heading to some of the more extreme locations.
This is a great app if you have kids who find walking a little bit boring or if you just want to make your trek a little more exciting.
Geocaching shows you hidden objects and locations on or near your route for you to find. It’s like a huge, natural treasure hunt.
You can filter geocaches by size, type, difficulty, terrain, and found/owned, and sort by name, distance or favourites.
The app gives you directions and guidance on how to find different caches using a map, compass and written directions.
The classic Ordnance Survey maps but in a new form.
Download the classic British maps in full detail on your phone.
OS Maps contains over 500,00 trails to discover across the UK, there’s even an alert feature which will notify you if you stray from your chosen path – no more walking in the wrong direction by accident.
There’s also a very handy snap-to-path feature for the national parks which will tell you how to get to the main path from a photo of your current location.
The app works on a monthly subscription but if you only want it for a month for a certain trip you can pay for a single month.
British Red Cross First Aid
If you’re heading somewhere remote where rescue may take time to arrive, it’s important to know what to do in an emergency.
This British Red Cross First Aid app comes with loads of content to help you deal with minor injuries and major, life-threatening conditions.
Content is pre-loaded so even if you have patchy signal, you’ll still have access to all information.
Clear instructions, diagrams, videos give easy-to-follow advice on how to react to a situation. Quizzes help to assess how serious a condition may be to give you the correct advice.
If you don’t have formal first aid training and you’re heading out, this app could literally save your life.
ViewRanger has almost everything you need when out in the wild.
The app has partnerships with mountain guides, national parks, tourism bodies and travel writers around the world and is constantly being updated.
A key feature is the augmented reality which lets you identify over 9 million peaks, paths and key surroundings by using your camera.
Save maps and information in advance so you can use the app when you have no signal.
GPS tracking means you can track your location, and save and share adventures and stats with friends.
The app connects to your smartwatch so you can use the app without your phone.
ViewRanger is used and trusted by over 400 search and rescue teams around the world. The app also supports the work of several search and rescue Charities.
Maps.Me is a great resource for hikers and backpackers, with over 90 million people using the app.
High-quality maps are available for download in advance so even when you’re offline, you’ll have access to all the information you need.
It includes turn-by-turn navigation and is constantly updated.
There are five different types of navigation including hiking, biking, driving and transport.
Search for travel guides, city guides, unknown hikes and outdoor activities and points of interest on your trip.
Save trips and locations to send them to friends and family.
The app will tell you how much of your route goes uphill and downhill and if you pass by any cafés, tourist attractions or hotels.
It also includes public transport schedules so even if you’re late, you’ll never be left out in the cold.
Unless that’s where you want to be.
SAS Survival Guide
Exactly what it sounds like, full of tips and trick to help you survive in the wilderness if you get stuck.
This SAS Survival Guide app contains everything you need to know to stay safe if you get lost, stuck or are unable to find shelter.
Full of useful instructions to help you find water, build a shelter, stay safe and treat injuries.
It also has a cool photograph section which shows you which plants are safe to eat and which have medicinal properties.
It has options to help you select which terrain and climate you are in to adapt the advice to fit your situation.
There is also a full scan of the book so you can search for specific advice.
It includes a sun compass to help you find your way to safety and a section on Morse Code to help you communicate with emergency services.
Sometimes you need to know when to get home.
Weather Radar displays real-time radar images of incoming weather so you can plan to stay home, or at least bring wet-weather gear.
The app shows incoming pressure changes, rain and snow. It suggests how much precipitation is on the way as well as cloud cover over the coming 24 hours.
Allows you to add bookmarks of your favourite places and will send notification of extreme weather heading your way.
Also has sunrise and sunset time as well as pressure, humidity, wind speed, visibility as well as temperature.
If you’re looking to track your fitness levels while you hike, Strava is one of the best apps out there.
You can track speed, time, distance, elevation as well as calories burnt, average speed and cardiac activity.
GPS location tracking means you can compare to previous performance as well as partaking in challenges to push your fitness levels.
Connect with friends and encourage their efforts and share your walks. Save data to analyse later and add photos of your activity.