Author Topic: What are the most useful apps for backpacking (Android)  (Read 1617 times)

wbmkk

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Just being curious as to what are the most useful apps for anybody getting started in backpacking (well, starting again after at lest 12 years)


I know an OS map, a compass and the ability to use them both are three essentials, but surely there are some useful / fun apps that can help make a walk more enjoyable / safer


thank you

Mel

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Re: What are the most useful apps for backpacking (Android)
« Reply #1 on: 19:01:00, 24/11/20 »
I use ViewRanger Ė the app is free but if you want OS maps on it then you have to pay for those.  Wouldnít call VR ďa fun appĒ as such though but, yes, it's useful.
 
For a more fun app, Iíve been looking at the Peak Finder app seeing as Iím truly rubbish at identifying what hills Iím looking at.
 
Then thereís geocaching if youíre after inspiration / reason to explore lesser known places, even local to you.  There's quite often bizarre/quirky stuff in the little boxes when you find them.
 
Laugh in the face of adversity
https://snailspacewalks.blogspot.com/

gunwharfman

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Re: What are the most useful apps for backpacking (Android)
« Reply #2 on: 20:18:56, 24/11/20 »
Ones I have on my Android

Parkopedia - useful if you are in a town or village you don't know and want to park.
Refill - if you want to have a glass of water or to refill your bottles for free.
FM Radio - I tend to listen to Radio 4 mostly.
Zello - a walkie-talkie to the world. Great for listening in to USA 'rednecks' who are so angry with the world, love their guns, love Mr Trump and are full of conspiracy theories. Great entertainment, very worrying sometimes as well. You can join in with the conversations if you want. You can even create your own free channel, mine is 'UK BACKPACKING.'
RealTime GPS tracker - it works very well.
Google News - I can pick up newspaper news easily.
Kindle - I download books, mostly the classics, they're free. A few paid-for ones as well.
MobileVoip - So I can make my phone calls through the internet.
Windy Maps - a simple easily seen and followed route guide. I use it when I'm in built-up areas, far better than OS maps.
Wikiloc - To find hiking routes when I'm in a place I don't know. It worked fantastically on Gran Canaria and La Palma for me.
National Rail - I use it when I finish my hike and need to get home.
UK Bus Checker - very useful when no trains are nearby. I then use my Bus Pass.
IGN Espace Collaborative - My go-to hiking map when I'm in France. All of the Grande Rondonnee routes are displayed beautifully.

And of course Skype, Whats App, Backcountry Navigator, Last Pass and my banking app.

Looking at my list, it could be judged as overkill?


fernman

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Re: What are the most useful apps for backpacking (Android)
« Reply #3 on: 09:21:19, 25/11/20 »
Weather forecast is an essential. Surprisingly few good ones are available for Android, the best in my opinion  being Accuweather.

Grid reference. A simple, basic app that does nothing more than quickly show you a six or eight digit OS ref pinpointing your exact position at the press of a button, faster and simpler than opening a map app. It will work any time using your phone's built-in gps and does not need any signal. So when you're unsure of where you are you can then check it on a map. Or heaven forbid if you have to call fror help you don't have to give them three words.

gunwharfman

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Re: What are the most useful apps for backpacking (Android)
« Reply #4 on: 09:51:03, 25/11/20 »
Grid references are too intelligent for me, depending on the app I'm using at the time I just look at a dot or an arrow on my screen, if its there then that's where I am. I'm afraid I'm one of those people who really haven't a clue about grid references and how to use them.

I have that 3 word app on my phone but have never properly looked at it yet.

My Android has a simple built-in weather icon, its always on show on the home page, It usually says, sunny, rain, cloudy, etc. I don't take that much notice of it as always pack my rucksack to cater for all weathers throughout my hiking year which essentially is spring, summer and autumn. Its worked for me to date.

If I have a mishap (always been lucky so far) my plan is to press the Pebbell alarm (if I can) around my neck, that sends an automatic grid reference of where I am to my wife and to my son and if I'm able to talk I can talk to one of them via the Pebbell. Of course the weakness of the plan is that it must have a signal to work.

BuzyG

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Re: What are the most useful apps for backpacking (Android)
« Reply #5 on: 10:06:54, 25/11/20 »
Weather forecast is an essential. Surprisingly few good ones are available for Android, the best in my opinion  being Accuweather.

Grid reference. A simple, basic app that does nothing more than quickly show you a six or eight digit OS ref pinpointing your exact position at the press of a button, faster and simpler than opening a map app. It will work any time using your phone's built-in gps and does not need any signal. So when you're unsure of where you are you can then check it on a map. Or heaven forbid if you have to call fror help you don't have to give them three words.
That one actually sounds useful, just down loaded it thx. O0

Peak

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Re: What are the most useful apps for backpacking (Android)
« Reply #6 on: 14:30:31, 25/11/20 »
Ones I have on my Android

Parkopedia - useful if you are in a town or village you don't know and want to park.
Refill - if you want to have a glass of water or to refill your bottles for free.
FM Radio - I tend to listen to Radio 4 mostly.
Zello - a walkie-talkie to the world. Great for listening in to USA 'rednecks' who are so angry with the world, love their guns, love Mr Trump and are full of conspiracy theories. Great entertainment, very worrying sometimes as well. You can join in with the conversations if you want. You can even create your own free channel, mine is 'UK BACKPACKING.'
RealTime GPS tracker - it works very well.
Google News - I can pick up newspaper news easily.
Kindle - I download books, mostly the classics, they're free. A few paid-for ones as well.
MobileVoip - So I can make my phone calls through the internet.
Windy Maps - a simple easily seen and followed route guide. I use it when I'm in built-up areas, far better than OS maps.
Wikiloc - To find hiking routes when I'm in a place I don't know. It worked fantastically on Gran Canaria and La Palma for me.
National Rail - I use it when I finish my hike and need to get home.
UK Bus Checker - very useful when no trains are nearby. I then use my Bus Pass.
IGN Espace Collaborative - My go-to hiking map when I'm in France. All of the Grande Rondonnee routes are displayed beautifully.

And of course Skype, Whats App, Backcountry Navigator, Last Pass and my banking app.

Looking at my list, it could be judged as overkill?
[/quote
I didn't notice British Hills app listed,a great addition.

davengf

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Re: What are the most useful apps for backpacking (Android)
« Reply #7 on: 15:12:30, 25/11/20 »
+ 1 for Grid Ref - Great as a confidence check & a quick way to make a note of a location for future reference or to send your location.

Peak

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Re: What are the most useful apps for backpacking (Android)
« Reply #8 on: 15:46:32, 25/11/20 »
British Hills
OS Locate

forgotmyoldpassword

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Re: What are the most useful apps for backpacking (Android)
« Reply #9 on: 16:32:38, 25/11/20 »
Weather Apps (Met Office/Accu/YR are all decent)
Webpage bookmark to MWIS
ViewRanger
Podcast manager app
Strava


Everything else I don't bother with.

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: What are the most useful apps for backpacking (Android)
« Reply #10 on: 16:47:50, 25/11/20 »
Most weather services are useless for where I live in Aberdeenshire. I think it might be cause they canít determine whether to apply the forecast for the Cairngorms or the forecast for the coast and Aberdeen, both of which are usually different to what we experience.

wbmkk

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Re: What are the most useful apps for backpacking (Android)
« Reply #11 on: 18:18:17, 27/11/20 »
OP here .. thanks for all the great information, especially Gunwharfman  O0



Roburite

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Re: What are the most useful apps for backpacking (Android)
« Reply #12 on: 11:23:58, 28/11/20 »
Dark Sky. I quote "Hourly and minute hyperlocal free weather and widget app. Live rain and storm radar." It might even be useful in Aberdeenshire.


Roburite

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Re: What are the most useful apps for backpacking (Android)
« Reply #13 on: 11:34:39, 28/11/20 »
Having looked at my phone I find that others have recommended similar apps to the ones I use but no one mentioned Pathwatch. It's an app from The Ramblers to report problems  (or good things) with rights of way. You can do it on the spot if you have a signal and include a photo. I've used it a few times and I find it's useful because it makes me feel good that at least I've done something there and then. To be honest I have no idea what The Rambers do with the reports and I often remember to make my own report directly to the County Council footpaths people when I get home.

fernman

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Re: What are the most useful apps for backpacking (Android)
« Reply #14 on: 12:12:34, 28/11/20 »
Dark Sky. I quote "Hourly and minute hyperlocal free weather and widget app. Live rain and storm radar." It might even be useful in Aberdeenshire.

I downloaded that to have a look, and a notice says it's now part of Apple and shut down on 1 July 2020.
The app opens on Android but it has a warning in red font that it has shut down, and zeros are shown in place of hours and temperatures.