GPS and navigation apps on your security open air

As a nation suffocated at close range, people long to stretch their legs and broaden their horizons. No wonder outdoor exploration is booming. As a result, however, more and more people lose themselves and drain the resources of search and rescue operations. For example, in Colorado’s Lake County, search and rescue call volumes rose 300 percent, and similar numbers were reported across the country. Many of these calls could have easily been avoided if only one simple tool was available: a map.

In today’s high tech world, it is easier than ever to stay located thanks to a number of state-of-the-art topographic maps available to you thanks to navigation apps. If you find yourself in a desolate wilderness, don’t worry: you can access it with or without cellular.

The best navigation apps to keep you from getting lost outdoors

Gaia GPS Courtesy Image

Gaia GPS

Often used by firefighters, search and rescue teams, and professional mountain guides, Gaia provides trusted offline and satellite topographical maps for any type of outdoor adventure. Whether you’re embarking on a major mountaineering expedition, tracking your speed and distance stats on the local ski slope, or looking for snowshoe trails nearby, this app is designed to keep you safe and on track to reach your goals .

Gaia GPS does offer free offline maps and navigation tools, but the premium version – $ 40 per year – includes several high-tech features geared towards responsible winter travel in the backcountry. With the app, users can create custom tour maps, plan routes and quickly mark newly discovered pillow fields. In addition, Gaia GPS uses dip angle shading and satellite imagery to identify potential avalanche terrain and slide paths and find the deepest powder by applying NOAA predicted snow depth overlays of 24, 48 and 72 hours.

Unique selling points:

  • Access slope angle maps and satellite imagery to avoid avalanche terrain
  • Snow depth overlays help users find the best snow


Topo Maps +Topo Maps + Courtesy Image

Topo Maps +

This app was developed for outdoor enthusiasts who want to venture deep into the hinterland. as far away from the cell signal as possible. Topo Maps + combines map resources from USGS Topo Maps, illustrated maps from National Geographic Trails, satellite maps, and more to create an efficient navigation service that can be used virtually anywhere.

Similar to other map apps, Topo Maps + offers a free subscription that allows users to download maps for offline use, set unlimited waypoints along customizable paths, and record statistics. A premium membership, which costs just $ 20 a year, is recommended to be fully prepared for any backcountry trip. Paying members can print any custom card. In addition, Topo Maps + tracks progress without recording your hike. Questions like: Have we toured long enough to warrant a snack break? Using trail segments along with GPS tracking makes it easy for users to answer these questions.

Unique selling points

  • Access to the gold standard in global topographic maps
  • Ability to print maps before you go


AllTrails +AllTrails + Courtesy Image

AllTrails +

AllTrails + makes exploration more predictable. With this map app, users can enter their exact location and explore over 100,000 curated hiking maps with ratings, photos, and activity records recorded by an active community of around 20 million adventurers. Filter trails by length, rating, and difficulty level to discover great views specifically tailored to your preferences.

AllTrails + Premium Membership – $ 30 per year – not only offers a social element for backcountry travel, but also a handful of unique features that can come in handy on any winter backcountry outing. For example, AllTrails + provides access to off-route notifications to keep users informed in case they deviate from the planned route. The app is also equipped with a sophisticated safety function called “Lifeline”. This feature allows you to share trip details with specific safety contacts, including sending status updates and alerts if you haven’t returned by the set end time. In this case, AllTrails + sends a warning message with your last known location.

Unique selling points

  • Immediately notify the designated safety contacts if things don’t go as planned
  • Off-route notifications help users stay on track


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