As a nation in close quarters, people are longing to stretch their legs and expand their horizons. It is no wonder that outdoor exploration is booming. But, as a result, more and more people are losing, straining the resources of search and rescue operations. For example, search and rescue call volumes in Colorado Lake County have increased by 300 percent, and similar numbers have been reported nationwide. Many of these calls could have been easily avoided if only one simple device existed: a map.
In today’s high-tech world, it is easier than ever to find a range of cutting-edge topographic maps that are available at your fingertips – thanks to all navigation apps. Don’t worry if you are in a desolate forest: you can use them with or without cell service.
Top navigation apps to keep you from getting lost on the outside
Commonly used by firefighting, search and rescue teams and professional mountain guides, Gaia provides reliable offline topographic and satellite maps for any type of outdoor adventure. Whether you’re engaged in a major mountaineering expedition, tracking your speed and distance stats on a local ski hill, or searching for nearby snoring trails, this app will help you secure your goals. And is designed to keep on track.
Gaia GPS offers offline maps and navigation equipment for free, but the premium version — $ 40 per year — includes a number of high-tech features designed for responsible winter backcountry travel. The app allows users to create custom excursion maps, plan routes, and quickly mark newly discovered pillow areas on the fly. Additionally, Gaia GPS uses slope angle shading and satellite imagery to scout potential avalanche zones and slide paths, and gives you the most possible by applying 24-, 48-, and 72-hour NOAA-forecasted snow-depth overlays. Helps in finding darker powder.
Unique selling place:
- Access slope angle maps and satellite imagery to stay clear of avalanche terrain
- Snow depth overlay helps users find the best snow
Topo maps +
The app is designed for outdoor enthusiasts who are venturing deep into the backcountry; As far away from the cell signal as possible. Topo Maps + combines mapping resources from USGS with Topo Maps, National Geographic Trails Illustrated Maps, Satellite Map, and more, to create an efficient navigation service that can be used virtually anywhere.
Like other mapping apps, Topo Maps + offers a free subscription that allows users to download maps for offline use, unlimited tracepoints with customizable trails, and record statistics. A premium membership – costing only $ 20 per year – is recommended to be fully prepared for any backcountry trip. Paying members are given the ability to print any custom map. Additionally, Topo Maps + tracks progress without recording your trek, so questions like: Have we visited for a long time to justify taking a snack break? Users can easily answer these questions by using trail segments with GPS tracking.
Unique selling place
- Access to the gold standard in topographic maps worldwide
- The ability to print maps before you head out
AllTrails + makes exploration more predictable. This mapping app allows users to plug in their exact location and locate more than 100,000 curated trail maps with reviews, photos and activity recordings logged by an active community of about 20 million adventurers. Filter the trails by length, rating and difficulty level to discover great ideas that uniquely meet your choice.
In addition to linking a social element to a Baikuntha trip, Alltrails + Premium Membership – $ 30 per year – offers unique features that can come in handy on any winter backcount outing. For example, AllTrails + provides access to off-route notifications to keep users on track if they deviate from the planned route. The app is also equipped with a Nifty Safety feature, called “Lifeline”. This feature helps you share travel details with designated security contacts with sending scheduled updates, and alerts if you have not returned by the set finishing time. In this case, AllTrails + will send a warning message with your last known location.
Unique selling place
- If things are not planned, notify the designated security contacts immediately.
- Off-route notifications help users stay on track