With the built-in GPS and other location services, the smart phone (such as the iPhone), has become a serious contender as a replacement for the outdoors handheld GPS, except perhaps for the most extreme of environments.
With the flexibility of apps from a variety of developers, and the use of internet access, means that you can get some great functionality in the palm of your hand that you could only get on two separate devices: your desktop computer and your handheld GPS.
This post examines some great iPhone apps for when you are walking, hiking, or geocaching.
Walking and Hiking Apps for iPhone
This is the app to accompany the Map My Walk web site.
May My Walk and the sister sites, May My Run and Map My Ride, and now Map My Fitness, were one of the first web sites that enabled you to plan and track routes on a map, enabling you to calculate distance travelled and elevation climbed in a nice neat package. I have used all 3 web sites for hikes, long runs, and cycle rides. Basic membership is free.
This is the free app that accesses your May My Walk account enabling you to access your routes. However, by combining with the iPhone’s GPS, it enables you to track your route as you walk and also calculate pace and calories burnt.
This is the paid version of the above app (£1.49).
Essentially the same app but without the advertisements.
Essentially the same as the iMapMyWalk app, but connects to your May My Fitness account, so you can track your training across walking/hiking, running, and cycling.
Similar to MapMyFitness, this paid for app (£0.69) allows you to track your movements on foot or on two wheels.
This paid app (£0.69) is different to the above apps.
Similar to the others it includes live map tracking of your current location, however it also enables you to look up walks within your area, with descriptive reviews from other walkers.
Currently UK only.
Although from the title this app (£2.99) appears geared to walking, it also includes meters for running and cycling.
It corporates a calendar to track your progress and can report on how well you’ve done a route compared to previously, so a great training aid.
This app (£1.49) tracks your routes and compares them against previous routes.
Integration with a variety of map sources and storage of many way points, this app provides a great solution for planing and tracking your outdoor routes.
Geocaching Apps for iPhone
With the built-in GPS the iPhone makes a great platform for Geocaching. Don’t know what Geocaching is, then check out our review What is Geocaching?
Essentially it is a global treasure hunt game using GPS to locate hidden caches – and it is a great tool for getting the kids out.
This is the free app from Groundspeak, the firm who started geocaching and are behind Geocaching.com.
Using this app you can find caches near you and locate them.
This is the main Geocaching app (£6.99) and integrates fully with Geocaching.com so that you can query caches and update your finds in the field (subject to internet connect).
This app (£5.49) enables you to import cache locations, typically GPX files from Geocaching.com, and locate caches using the phone’s GPS.
Although not integrated with Geocaching.com, it does allow you to pre-store locations so that internet connection is not required in the field.
This app (£6.99) is aimed at helping you solve multi-cache puzzles, or where the final actual cache is offset to a more discreet location.
This app (FREE) is another that will help work out multi-caches plus a few other useful tools, such as converting Roman numerals that are sometimes used as clues.
The ‘AR’ in this app (£2.49) stands for Augmented Reality.
This is not a dedicated Geocaching app, but very useful app to help find caches.
It uses the image from the phone’s camera and overlays a direction and range finder. Very useful if you just can’t “see” where the cache is hidden.
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