Hiking is all about being surrounded by nature, relaxing and forgetting the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This is one of the reasons why during a hike we try to keep our smartphones firmly in our pockets and only take a few photos. But a smartphone, if used properly, can be a great ally in planning a pleasant hike and can certainly be of great help in a difficult or dangerous situation.
We are not fans of smartphones, let’s be clear. Like everyone else, we make extensive use of them in our daily lives but we strive to get only the best out of them and try to forget about their existence in our moments of leisure and relaxation with friends or outdoors (except, of course, to take photos to publish on the blog!). However, we must recognize that the Smartphone has helped us a lot in getting to know hiking and approaching it, thanks to the easy and intuitive use of some apps that have become essential for us. So here is a list of the six apps that you can’t do without if you are planning to go hiking in Switzerland!
Outdooractive is a platform for planning and tracking outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling and more. The app and its website make it extremely easy to find the most suitable route for you with the support of an excellent proprietary mapping system, in-depth descriptions and many photographs. The extensive database of routes is constantly growing, enriched not only by the official hiking proposals of tourist boards and amateur organizations, but also by the experiences of individual app users, who share their outdoor activities with the community on a daily basis. We also use Outdooractive and are part of its community!
In its free version, after the creation of a user profile, the app allows you to:
– browse the database of routes around the world, complete with details, elevation profiles and photos;
– plan your own routes (including import/export of GPX files) through the “Route planner” function, then choose whether to keep it private, share it with the community or just with friends;
– record your activity with all details of duration, route, distance, elevation gain.
The app is also fully compatible with the main Smartwatches on the market.
For the most demanding users, you can choose to subscribe to PRO or PRO+ subscriptions which, for a few francs, give you access to premium features such as:
– consultation and use of official topographic maps and the trail network from IGN, Swisstopo, Ordnance Survey and others;
– the possibility of downloading maps and routes to consult them even without connectivity;
– widget for embedding your maps on your website or blog (PRO+ function).
All subscriptions are valid for one year. But don’t worry! If you’re not sure if you want to subscribe, the app allows all new users a free 30-day premium PRO or PRO+ subscription, which can be cancelled at any time before it expires.
We’re sure that once you’ve tried it, you won’t be able to do without it!
Here you will find the official website and all the information about the app and the PRO and PRO+ subscriptions.
The official App of Swiss public transport would at first glance seem to have nothing to do with hiking. However, it has become for us – environmentally aware and lovers of public transportation – an indispensable ally in planning our outdoor days.
With more than three million users, the App allows to check the timetables and operating status of trains, buses, boats, and mountain railways such as cable cars, funiculars, and cogwheel trains. Information is always updated in real time with details of any delays, track changes and line breaks. In addition, on the App you can buy tickets in advance and skip the line while taking advantage of offers and promotions, such as money-saving tickets.
You can find the official website and all the information about the app here.
The official app of the Federal Office of Topography combines the best map quality with a wide range of national maps for hiking, cycling and winter sports. Available only for the Swiss national territory, the app makes it easy to consult the official maps, including up-to-date information on the status of hiking trails.
A real treat for lovers of Alpine landscapes is the “Panorama” function, which allows you to use your smartphone camera to recognize the mountain peaks around you and to find out their official altitude. The app is free of charge and allows you to store maps and data free of charge and without limits, even offline.
Here you will find the official website and all information about the app.
Swisstopo can also be downloaded here (IOS) and here (ANDROID).
The MeteoSwiss app provides accurate and reliable weather forecasts for the whole of Switzerland, as well as information and rules of conduct to be followed in the event of alerts and natural hazards. The home page is simple, intuitive and customizable with the app’s various function panels. It is also possible to select one or more favourite places, so that the most up-to-date weather forecasts for your destination or city are always at your fingertips and easily accessible. It is therefore a must-have app for planning a safe and enjoyable excursion, as well as for everyday life of course!
Here you will find the official website and all the information about the app.
MeteoSwiss can also be downloaded here (IOS) and here (ANDROID).
It can happen during an excursion, no matter how well planned, that you find yourself in a difficult situation and need to call for help. In Switzerland, Rega offers a permanent air-rescue service, and its app makes it possible to contact the Operations Centre quickly in an emergency, while at the same time transmitting GPS position data. This is an essential function, as in the mountains it is often difficult to have sufficient reference points for precise identification of the position. The app is available free of charge and offers additional functions for Rega patrons:
– sharing your position with relatives and friends, who will always be able to know where you are during an excursion and, if necessary, contact the rescue services for you;
– actively monitor your activities, automatically informing up to three emergency contacts of your choice if the app user is unable to confirm the automatic request on the smartphone.
The only drawback: mobile network coverage is required to send alarms and contact the operations centre.
You can find the official website and all the information about the app here.
The Rega app can also be downloaded here for iOS and ANDROID.
The Uepaa! app perfectly complements the functionalities of the official Rega Air-Rescue app. In contrast to the Rega Air-Rescue app, the Uepaa! app allows a rescue alert to be sent even when there is no mobile network, thanks to the network of its users, who are connected to each other via the same app. In an emergency, Uepaa! then tries to contact another user within a radius of about 500 meters and, when found, uses its mobile network to contact the rescue centre.
In its free version, the app allows you to:
– send an alarm wherever you are and contact the rescue centre;
– inform emergency contacts in case of danger;
– locate your position via GPS.
Some premium features are also available by subscription.
The Uepaa! app can be downloaded here (IOS) and here (ANDROID).
How about you? What are your preferred apps while hiking and which of them do you consider essential? If you like it, let us know by leaving a comment below!
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