5 Free Mobile Apps for the Hiker

Heading out for a hike or camping trip? Check out these five mobile apps that will come in handy when heading into the great outdoors.

WX Weather Station

This mobile app isn’t a weather reporter or forecaster like the AccuWeather or Weather Channel apps (which I also use), but it gathers information about your ambient conditions at the time; elevation, humidity, and temperature (in your tent, car, along the trail, etc.).

WX Weather Station screenshot (pro version)

WX Weather Station screenshot (pro version)

Weather Station elevation graph

Weather Station elevation graph

From the developer : “This app is perfect for amateur and pro meteorologists, outdoor enthusiasts, and anyone else curious about their environment.”

Price: Free for regular version, $2.99 for pro version, no in-app purchases.

Notes: Your device must have a hygrometer, thermometer, and barometer for all of the features to work. A list of compatible devices can be found on the app description. Devices include the LG Nexus 4/5 and the Samsung Galaxy S3/4/5.


This app helps you find hiking trails near you using your mobile device’s GPS. It offers trail maps, descriptions, reviews, and much more.

AllTrails screenshot

AllTrails screenshot

From the developer: “Browse through 50,000 trail guides (United States & Canada) for outdoor activities including everything from hiking and mountain biking to fly-fishing and snowshoeing.”

Price: Free, in-app purchases $1.00-$29.00, $50.00 membership that unlocks more features.

Map My Hike GPS Hiking

Map My Hike app screenshot

Map My Hike app screenshot

From the developer: “MapMyHike tracks the route, distance, pace, and more in real-time using GPS.”

Price: Free, in-app purchases $5.99-$29.99, $5.99 monthly subscription for the optional MVP account.

S Health Pedometer

There are lots of pedometers out there, but I use the S Health Pedometer that comes with the Samsung S4/5. Pedometers measure how many steps you take. The S Health Pedometer also measures distance covered and calories burned. A similar app for devices that don’t come with S Health, is simply called Pedometer, developed by tayutau.

screenshot of the S Health pedometer

screenshot of the S Health pedometer

From tayutau: “A free, easy-to-use Pedometer app! Perfect for walking and dieting!”

Price: Free, no in-app purchases.


This a great app for night sky watchers. It’s nice to have on a camping trip, the back yard, or just about anywhere you can see the stars. My favorite feature is the sensor control which lets you identify objects in the night sky by just pointing your mobile device at it.

Stellarium screenshot

Stellarium screenshot

From the developer: “Stellarium Mobile Sky Map is a fully-featured planetarium for your phone. It shows a realistic and accurate night night sky map, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars, or a telescope.”

Price: Free – $2.58 depending on platform

Did I miss any must-have outdoor mobile apps? Let me know in the comments below.

3 thoughts on “5 Free Mobile Apps for the Hiker

  1. I would also include Spyglass into this list. Using augmented reality, the app overlays compass, GPS and location info on top of visuals captured by an iPhone camera or the map itself. It can measure distance, sizes of objects, your speed, altitude and potential arrival time to the target. You can use it as a waypoints tool, sextant, compass, rangefinder, speedometer, inclinometer and more. https://itunes.apple.com/app/spyglass/id332639548?mt=8&at=11lLc7&ct=c

  2. That all trails app sounds good! I like climbing mountains and trekking. I always go with a guide but the app might hel me feel safer in cse god forbit something happened.

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