Not many people know that Toronto has a lot of great places for hiking. Most people come to Toronto for the metropolitan sights, but there are plenty of wooded walks and scenic views to take in while you’re there; and if you’re going to take in a walk, then there are lots of brilliant hiking and outdoor activity apps that are worth using.
We spoke to TechQuarters, a London-based IT company, who provide outsourced IT support London based businesses have been relying on for years. London is another city with underrated walks and scenery. Below are the apps TechQuarters recommend if you want to do some hiking.
1. First Aid
First Aid is very important if you’re planning on going on a hike – because if you get injured at the end of a long hike, you could be in trouble. Fortunately, the First Aid app means you can brush up on some basic medical knowledge when you’re about to go hiking. The app also has offline capabilities that mean you can follow step by step instructions in an emergency. Some other good features include advice on what to do in the event of various emergencies – including hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.
2. Gaia GPS
When you’re in the city, feel free to use Google Maps or Apple Maps to find your way around; but when you’re out in an urban park or conservation area, your best best for navigation is Gaia GPS. This offers many downloaded maps for use offline, ranging from topological, satellite, road, and even NatGeo maps. The mobile app is intuitive and very easy to use, and the web app lets you print out maps if you want to.
This app is great for outdoor safety. It is essentially a GPS-based tracking app – you appoint contacts from your phone, and they will receive updates on your GPS location. You can set a time for your return, and if you haven’t returned at that time, your chosen contacts will receive instructions on when and how to contact the emergency services. But this isn’t all it does; the app has it’s own map function, which details cell coverage in the area you’re hiking – this is based on user-sourced data.
If you’re just looking for a relatively short day hike, then AllTrails is the app for you. The free version of this app offers over 50,000 U.S and Canadian trails reports by users of the app – and you can even plot and publish your own trails on the app. If you pay for the Premium version, you will also have access to National Geographic’s own database of maps. This app is a must-have if you want up to date written and photographic reports on trails in the area.
5. Weather Live
Weather is an important consideration when you’re going out for a hike. There are a lot of different apps for the weather that you can have on your phone – phones even have a built-in app. But Weather Live is one of the best apps available, due to its balance of comprehensive data, ease of use, and customizability. Of course, it will only work with an internet connection; but if you anticipate losing coverage, you can customize your interface to show info like incoming storms or precipitation, so that you can anticipate how the weather will behave during your outings.
6. Star Walk 2
This app is not a necessity, but will add a a fun, educational element to your adventures outdoors. It is an AR map of the skies; just point your phone’s camera up at the night sky and it will be able to tell you about all the constellations – their history, what they looked like in the past, and what they will look like in the future; it also has 3D models of all the constellations. So, if you’re out on a 2-day hike and you’re at your campsite, use this app to get an even better look at the stars.