Free Android Apps for Hiking

Hiking Android Apps photo

It is amazing what smartphones allow us to do even when we are on the move. I own an Android phone and have discovered many applications useful for hiking. Many of these applications are free.

Below are several of the top free Android apps used in support of my hiking adventures. Although I have upgraded to a paid version for a few of these, these free versions are still very powerful. A short description is included for each. More detailed reviews are planned in the future.

One of the biggest hiking tips I can provide if you use these apps during your hike is to be sure you manage the battery life on your device so that you have power in case of an emergency. Many of these smartphones drain batteries quickly. Be sure you are prepared in the use of your Android smartphone and potentially carrying additional charged batteries.

Here is the list:

Hiking Destinations and Tracking

Backpacker GPS Trails Litebackpacker gps trails lite android app qr code

by Trimble Outdoors

This Android app allows you to track your hike, including waypoints and photos. It also acts as a GPS and compass with online topographic maps to use for planning and conducting your hike.

Challengesgeocaching challenges android app qr code

by Groundspeak, Inc.

If you are up for a new and unique challenge, check out the Geocaching Challenges app. Challenges could be to hike a certain trail, have your picture taken next to a landmark, or a variety of other challenges.

EveryTraileverytrail android app qr code

by GlobalMotion Media, Inc.

When I am looking for a new trail for a day hike near my home or while I am traveling, the EveryTrail app is the first place I search. You can track your own trip with the GPS and camera on your Android smartphone and make the information available for other hikers to share the experience.

Hiking Entertainment

Biblebible android app qr code


I am not sure if “entertainment” is the right category to put this app under. However, I use the Bible app regularly. Many versions are available and it contains several devotionals. Study The Bible on your hike with this app.

Birdspotterbirdspotter android app qr code

by Apps-R-Us

Bird watching is one hobby that can be done during your hike with nature. The Birdspotter app contains information on over 950 birds, including photos and sounds.

Google Sky Mapgoogle sky map android app qr code

by Google, Inc.

When you stare up into the night sky filled with stars, do you know where the constellations are? Hold your Android smartphone up to the sky and the Google Sky Map app will show you right where they are.

Newspapers USA, UK and Worldnewspapers USA, UK and World Android app qr code

by Android apps team

For extended backpacking trips, you may want to know a little bit about what is going on in the rest of the world. The Newspapers app helps you find news near your home or other locations you are interested in. However, I understand if you want to stay disconnected from the world during your hike and don’t take advantage of this app.

Project Noahproject noah android app qr code

by Networked Organisms

The Project Noah app enables you to learn about the wildlife in the area you are hiking in. You can also contribute to the information as you discover wildlife during your adventures. Noah stands for networked organisms and habitats.

Weather Forecast and Warnings

Rain Alarmrain alarm android app qr code

by Michael Diener – Software

Wouldn’t you like an Android app that warns you a few minutes before rain starts falling on you? The Rain Alarm app does just that. It gives you time to find shelter or time to get you and your items covered.

The Weather Channelthe weather channel android app qr code

by The Weather Channel

Knowing the current weather conditions and the weather forecast for the hours and days of your hike will help you plan and prepare. The Weather Channel app provides you with the weather information you need.

Knots for Hiking

Knots Guideknots guide qr code

by SusaSoftX

Whether you are setting up your shelter or tying up your food bag in a tree away from the bears, knowing the appropriate knots to use and how to tie them is critical. The Knots Guide app provides a description and instructions for creating over 90 different knots.

Hiking Shoe and Boot Lacing

Lacing Shoes (Free)lacing shoes free qr code

by Brainy Mobility

Lacing your hiking shoes and boots in different ways can affect your comfort and help overcome issues like having a high instep or your heel slipping. The Lacing Shoes app provides some lacing methods you can try out and consider.


Workout Trainerworkout trainer android app qr code

by Skimble, Inc.

It is important that you are physically fit before your hike to avoid major problems. Warming up before starting your hike can do the same. The Workout Trainer app provides many workouts (including stretching) led by expert personal trainers and tracks your progress as well.

What are some of the applications you use to prepare and go on your hiking trip? Share your experiences in a comment below.

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9 Responses to “Free Android Apps for Hiking”

  1. Great selection of apps. I haven’t tried EveryTrail yet, but something like this could be very useful. Sometimes when you’re going to a new trail, finding the actual trailhead can be a challenge in and of itself!

    • Mike,
      Thanks for the encouragement. It is useful for finding the actual trailhead because waypoints can be recorded. Let me know how it goes with the app once you have had an opportunity to use it.

  2. Hi, I found your blog via the OBN and your list of Android Apps is great. I echo the need to check your battery life on a long day’s hiking – my HTC Desire HD is pretty hungry 🙂
    If any of your readers are in the UK , then a great GPS and trail planner App I’ve been using is ViewRanger (some mention of it on my blog here :

    All the best and happy hiking.

    • Mark,
      Thanks for sharing about ViewRanger. I will check it out. I checked out your blog and found it interesting that you are a geek who struggles with the use of technology when hiking with nature. I struggle with the same thing, but I have usually resign to the geek part of myself.

  3. You really had a good sharing to all of us. Thanks for the encouragement. It is useful for finding the actual trailhead because waypoints could be recorded. Tell me the actual way it matches the app after you have had a way to put it to use.

    • Sarah,
      The waypoints recorded on the EveryTrail Android app have worked well for me. For example, I used the GPS location recorded by a hiker on the app that pointed to the trailhead of Lee’s Woods Trail at Leesylvania State Park. It worked great.

  4. nice post.. any apps for iphone.. I’m not using android..

    • Max,

      That is a great question. I focused on apps for the Android because that is what I use. I didn’t want to recommend apps that I didn’t have personal experience with. I am sure there are hikers using the iPhone that have done app reviews. We need to look them up…

  5. See, that’s why I love 2012– You can hike and get to know mother nature a little bit better but you’re only a few button clicks away from weather reports, workout tips, and GPS information. Any recommendations on apps that keep track of things like calories burned or heart rate for us fitness freaks out there?