There’s an App for that – Apps to Replace Your Hiking Gear
If you’re looking to lighten your pack, and who isn’t, try replacing some of your hiking gear with these simple smartphone apps.
Flashlight App – a flashlight comes natively on most smartphones now and can save you a few ounces to a few pounds, depending on what kind of light you’re currently carrying.
Backcountry Navigator TOPO App – this free app offers a variety of map versions to keep you on the right path. While paper maps can be easily lost or ruined, this app is available offline and offers a variety of features that a traditional map cannot.
Camera – depending on your photo needs, the cameras on newer smartphones are more than sufficient. If you’re developing large prints or work as a professional, you’ll still need your gear, but for social media, the native camera app on your phone is all you need.
Compass – no need to watch the path of the sun or monitor the moss on trees, just download a simple compass app to find your way.
AllTrails – with both paid and free versions, AllTrails offers user-entered trail data. You’ll find nearby routes complete with trail rules, reviews, photos, and elevation data.
Offline Survival Guide – it’s still important to be familiar with potential dangers in the area, but in case of emergency, offline survival guides could save your life.
Tracking App – there are a variety of free apps out there (Strava, MapMyHike, etc.) that will track your hike as you go. Sometimes it’s just as important to know where you’ve been if you get turned around and need to get back on the right trail.
Local Weather App – weather can change quickly. Depending on the length of your trip, a local weather app may be crucial to keep up with incoming storms or sudden changes in temperature.
First Aid App (American Red Cross) – basic first aid knowledge is highly recommended before heading out for a trek in the woods, but when something unexpected comes up, having the First Aid App could save a life.
Music / Personal Entertainment – gone are the days of carrying a deck of cards or a physical book. Entertainment apps are virtually endless, whether you’re playing a video game, listening to podcasts, or downloading entire novels.
It’s important to note that technology is not perfect, so having a backup plan is always recommended, but most hikers are surely carrying more than necessary. So next time you head out to the woods, think about what items you could replace with an app and lighten your load a bit.