How can you go hiking anywhere in the world and feel confident without getting lost? Even when you miss the right path, you can find your way back easily with help of a mobile phone. Do you love circular trails as much as we do? You need to read this post!
We didn't like hiking
Before 2015 we almost never went for a hike. Because when we came to a junction of different paths, we didn’t know where to go. In our nature is (primarily Miha’s), that we want to know what is ahead of us. Especially in hiking. 🙂
This is why we preferred other sports over hiking in the past. Orienteering in the woods is not our thing. We like to get lost many times and go off the trail, but only if we know, we can easily find a way back to trail when we want to.
Best outdoor app for Slovenia
Back in 2015 we came across an application Monolit2go. (Android and iPhone). This app is specialized only for the Slovenian trails. It really has ALL the paths that exist out there. 🙂
They offer topographic maps with OFFLINE use. So if there is no signal coverage in the mountains – no problem. With GPS and compass in your phone, it is really easy to navigate when hiking. It works like charm! We tested it many many times.
To be honest, because of this app, hiking became one of our top sports. 😉 We started exploring beautiful mountains in Slovenia without any worries. It also offers a filter for just circular paths.
What is a circular path? This means you go up on one trail and down on another. So you explore and experience more views in one day.
Check some screenshots below:
Best outdoor app for the whole world
When we go hiking outside of Slovenia, we felt “lost” again… Being dependent only on signposts is not suitable for us. There are many times no signs or they are misleading. Maintaining them is not an easy job. We have a big respect for people who maintain those signs!
So we started searching for offline hiking topographic maps for the whole world. These two are our favorite:
1. MAPS.ME is free and covers the whole world. Android and iPhone
2. OsmAnd uses the same maps as MAPS.ME, but offers a lot more customization of the user interface. Sometimes even too much. 🙂 It’s also free. Android and iPhone
Both of them can be used OFFLINE which means if there is no mobile signal – no problem. You can even use it in an airplane mode to save the battery.
Both applications also work for road navigation while you are driving abroad. But on the road, we prefer Google Maps, as it has live traffic data, so we can avoid congestions. It is also available free for Android and iPhone, but it’s not as good for offline use. But when we are driving and have the internet, we prefer.
We use OsmAnd on our phone for trekking and hiking in Asia and it’s very accurate. They have paths where Google Maps, for instance, is completely empty!
What if something goes wrong? We have a backup!
Additionally, for our own safety and tracking our progress, we use Sports Tracker in the background on the phone.
It’s totally free to use. We use it only to GPS track us. So in the worst case scenario, we know how to get back to the starting point following the GPS trail on the phone. It came very handy when we were hiking in 1 meter (3 ft) of fresh snow and it was very foggy. We couldn’t find the trail back to starting point and not even our footsteps. With help of Sports Tracker, we found our trail, which was already under the freshly fallen snow.
We are aware that we are very dependant on mobile technology. But many people don’t go hiking or cycling if they don’t know where they are and where they go. This post is for those people. We were like that before. But today we love to explore the nature confidently.
Screenshots of tracking with Sports Tracker:
How to be confident exploring nature?
Each of us has one phone with one power bank to be self-assured in case something goes wrong. Powerbank is a must, so the battery will not be the problem.
GPS works like charm everywhere we had been in the world, so don’t worry. In every weather condition, in every climate.
Phone as a FLASHLIGHT and camera?
The mobile phone also came very handy as a flashlight in case night came faster than you predicted.
All of our photos are taken with our mobile phones. Today high-end phones are really taking very good pictures.
Try it out for yourself! Because of so many new possibilities that technology offers us, you might find a nature lover in yourself. 🙂
If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask us! We love to help! 🙂 Comment below!