Even if you’re a non-tech person, you have to admit that smartphones are very powerful and helpful tools nowadays. They have become an essential piece of survival gear and very useful and versatile hiking and outdoor item.

We usually don’t want to spend our time outdoors staring at our mobile screens, but there are plenty of apps that are worth sacrificing our precious time spent outdoors. Actually, ‘sacrificing’ is a bit harsh word, since these apps are mainly educational and informative or designed to enrich our outdoor adventures and make them easier. They can even put us in a better touch with nature.

Besides many useful GPS tracking, and hiking and outdoor navigation apps, there are various apps that offer you weather forecast or info on how to tie a knot or identify a bird. These are only a few among dozens of great outdoor smartphone apps we find useful and interesting. Try them when you venture into nature next time.

1. Peakvisor

With this augmented reality mountain guide, every mountain peak you see in your viewing area now is easily labeled and identified!

Just point your smartphone at a nearby mountain and the app will show you the name of every visible peak along with its elevation. It shows not only mountain peaks but even castles or any mountain hut visible in a horizon.

The application has offline functionality and all data can be loaded without an internet connection. It also includes a 3D compass and an altimeter. It works no matter where you are so this could be a very interesting choice for your next hike in the Swiss Alps.

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Taken at Chaux Ronde and Le Sepey

2. Sky Map

One of the greatest apps designed for stargazers! When you’re away from the intense city lights, stars are clearly visible and night sky looks amazing. This great app will help you to identify stars, constellations, planets and other celestial objects.

Simply hold your mobile phone up to the sky and the app will show you the names of stars and constellations. The app also includes an astounding photo gallery, useful and interesting astronomy facts, info on constellations and future celestial events.

3. Yonder

This smartphone application is some kind of social network for hikers and adventurers of all kinds. If you want to share your outdoor experience or find an inspiration for next one, this is the perfect app for you.

With its built-in tools, you can easily find some new places to check out or to find some an off the beaten path or places which are not tourist attractions.

Or you can share your own outdoor experience through photos and videos and try to inspire someone else to explore the places you’ve visited. when you start ‘yondering’, you can connect with other like-minded outdoor enthusiasts and make friendships. Join the Yonder community and check many other great features of this awesome app.

4. PhotoPills

This is a great photo planning app for both amateur and pro outdoor photographers.

With this powerful app, you just can’t miss a beautiful shot of sunset or any magic moment you want to capture. You just have to imagine it and the app will help you to plan the right time and exact spot for the desired photo. Just point your mobile device at a subject and the app will show you the exact positions of Sun (daytime version) or Moon and stars (nighttime version) on your screen.

The app includes various useful features, tools and widgets like Moon Calendar, Long Exposure Calculators, To Do list or 3D Augmented Reality Views and it offers you all daily info on Sun, Moon and Milky Way. PhotoPills app is now available on Android OS after a long wait.

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Taken at our WeHike Aletsch Arena through Talligrat Tunnel

5. First Aid by American Red Cross

Sometimes even a small injury can ruin the entire hiking trip. That’s why this smartphone application is a must for any outdoor enthusiast, hiker or camper. With this very useful app, you will have access to thousands of basic first aid and life-saving advice.

From sunburns and heart attacks to natural disasters like a volcano eruption, this easy-to-use app will guide you clearly, step-by-step, through any emergency situation from diagnosing to the problem-solving. All data is accessible without a Wi-Fi connection.

 

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