The Best Hiking And Survival GPS Apps

Brad Robinson
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Hiking And Survival GPS Apps

If you need apps for your phone for hiking and survival, then you’re not alone. In this article, I’m going to run through of the best free and paid apps to help you out.

You probably already know that your phone is a great tool to take with you on a hike, and there are a wide range of apps that can help you out.

If you want to know if there are any dangers or warnings of natural disasters such as an avalanche, river flood or approaching weather then the USGS app is a must-have.

It also has a trail-tracking function, which you can use to track your path and duration. You can even share those stats on social media to show off what an amazing hiker you are.

There are a number of apps to help you track your fitness and progress. The Strava Running and Cycling app can track your routes, time and speed, and also show you your route on a map.

You will also be able to see how your stats compare to other users, and the app will automatically share your stats with your Facebook friends to make you feel bad about yourself.

If you enjoy taking photos, then the Instagram, Flickr and Facebook apps will make sharing your pictures with everyone really easy.

Map My Hike GPS App

An amazingly easy to use app that makes keeping track of your hikes fun and convenient.

If you want to know how long you’ve walked, how much elevation you gained, or if you want your hike proximity to a pre-determined location, this app gives you all of that information and more.

This app is great for determining where you are and your elevation point at any given time. This app will provide you with customized map improvements utilizing the GPS and elevation points.

It also has a location history that tracks all of your activity whether you want to or not. It’s a completely customizable app to make your hiking experience exactly what you want to make of it.

You can even choose to view the map in two ways, a regular map mode or a view from an aerial vantage point. The zoom feature is designed to make the map small and compact and provide you with an appealing view.

The app’s interface allows you to easily choose a location by using your current location or by entering the name of a city, business, place, or point of interest. Once you have selected a location, you can share your hike progress on social media or add photos of your hike.

When in the app, you can find all of the features you need in a convenient menu at the top or bottom of the screen. Everything is very straightforward and easy to use.

Gaia GPS Hiking Maps, Hike App

All Trails

When someone asks you the best app for hiking, your first answer should be “AllTrails”. It has impeccable navigation features and also has over 30,000 trails already marked down and mapped.

This app has an intuitive interface, so you can find the trails you want right away. It has an offline map and the app works even when there is no internet.

Other than hiking, you can use this app to plan your travel itinerary. It has travel guides and over 15,000 reviews of activities and sights, making it easy for you to plan your vacation without backtracking.

Maps 3D Pro

Maps 3D Pro is a trail app for android devices. It is loaded with an assortment of hiking trail maps of the US including GPS trails and more. Users can create routes and tracks and also share them with friends.


If you haven’t heard of this app already, it is exactly what it says it is – a social network for hikers.

It is normally used to share your location with a friend, which is handy if you are looking for a clue to the next trail marker/turn, but it also allows you to get the very best information to help you during a hike.

You can download trails directly to your GPS using GPS bases maps, which will enable you to follow your route and find the best way around any obstacles.


This is a very feature rich application which provides a variety of mapping options, such as OSM, USGS, and NASA. It allows you to measure the distance between two points, and also calculate the speed between two locations.

This app also lets you use compasses by enabling the GPS when not even a wi-fi or a cellular signal is available.

You can use Spyglass offline anytime without any need of an internet connection. It also provides you with the ability to mess around with the location of your map so you can get a variety of different views of the same map.

This is a very feature rich application which provides a variety of mapping options, such as OSM, USGS, and NASA. It allows you to measure the distance between two points, and also calculate the speed between two locations.

It also allows you to check wind speed, humidity, and the atmospheric pressure, something that every hiker out there should know!

It also provides you with voice feedback so you can hear the distance whenever you rotate the bezel.

Spyglass integrates with your contacts, maps and mapmytracks. It is compatible with many navigation apps so you can access information in a variety of ways.

In addition, you can download and save many maps offline so there is no need to worry about not having a signal.


Cairn is a great gps app which you can use if you are out for exploring the wilderness. But it is extremely important that you do not rely on this app for navigation purposes. Instead, use it to navigate your way around if you get lost in the woods.

When you first download this app, you will need to connect it to your social media accounts. You can also take a quick survey to determine how you will use this app.

When your goal is set, you can then use the app. When you are using it, you should always have a paper map as well.

The good thing about this app is that it is very simple to use and that it is free. It will also help you mark the locations where you can pitch your tent for the night and it will also show the way back if you have lost your way.

You can use this app offline. File sizes for the app range between 13MB and 15 MB. As a user, don’t rely completely on this app as you can get better information when you use it together with a paper map.

The only bad thing about this app, as mentioned above is that it consumes quite a bit of data. You will also have to pay for the information.

Google Maps Offline

This app will save you so much time and money, not only on your travels but also in your own country. When you are abroad, roaming can be insanely expensive and Google Maps is one of the coolest apps I use to keep on top of my route, and it won't use up your data.

I use Google Maps to plan out most of my route before I head out. If you get a wifi connection, you can click "Save" next to the traffic icons.

If you are backpacking, you may not have access to a wifi connection, but if you have a phone with you, it can download the map on Google Maps, saving you hundreds.

You'll also pick up the map wherever you are, regardless of how you arrived. If you decide to do some off track hiking, Google Maps finds where you are when you get back on the path and can work from there.

Into the Woods

Whether it’s a romantic afternoon in the city or a trek in a forest, life sometimes takes us to places and situations where we actually need to find our way around.

Too much technology, with GPS and Google Maps, can sometimes be overwhelming.

It’s good to know that there are app alternatives. I’m a big fan of GPS apps if you actually need to navigate in the woods or in an unfamiliar city first and foremost.

Some of the features you might want to look for in a GPS app, for your safety and enjoyment, include:

  • …Familiar touch navigation and pleasant interface
  • …Map layers or overlays
  • …Track intervals or extra tracking data
  • …Landmarks or route recording
  • …Trip statistics
  • …Voice navigation
  • …Safe zones or speed warnings
  • …Alarm
  • …Coordinates and elevation
  • …Customization
  • …Multiple languages

Here are some of the best hiking and survival GPS apps you can opt for:

A. Gaia GPS: Introduction to the map