My review of three Adventure Trail Apps
#015 In today’s podcast, I discuss Adventure navigation based trail apps we can download to help us on or planning an adventure.
In future podcasts, I will review other apps we can download and use when we are on a walk or cycle. There are mainly three types of app for using on a trek or adventure.
1) navigation helping in you create a route and navigating the trail.
2) game-based apps to be used when on the trail.l
3) educational apps to keep informed and to learn as you go.
We will consider each in future.
The navigational apps we are reviewing today are:
With the mention of Strava and Trail Forks. Also mention our own myGeoActive apps: myGeoadventure, myGeoScatter. More information at mygeoactive.com
It is about trying them and to see what suits you, but I use them all for different adventures.
John Campbell 0:03
Hello, and welcome to another edition of inspired and active podcast. This is the podcast, where we look to motivate and inspire us to be more connected and active in the outdoors, really enjoying what’s available and sharing it with others. My name is John Campbell. I’m a coach, the founder of my director and a father of four very active children. Each week, we’ll look at hints and tips and some advice interviews, and offer different apps and downloads just to help you be engaged and motivated.
One thing we’ll start doing over the next few podcasts and an ongoing is look at different pieces of adventure kit or apps. And just give you our opinion on what what’s out there. And what’s what’s useful. things we’ve tried before and just advice on how to use. And today, I really wanted to look at adventure trail apps, there’s a lot, there’s a lot out there that really helps you make an adventure happen and makes it fun. It allows you to explore new places you haven’t seen discover new things, and really introduce your own activity. And like all apps, there are lots of varieties and lots of options. And today, I want to look at three, three main navigation trail apps. When you start looking at these kind of apps, there are there are three kind of types of apps out there. One One is very much helping you on the navigation and the mapping. The other is might be outdoor engagement, looking at things to find look to see you might be tourist attractions, or places for activities. Then the third type is really about education and training. What we’re going to focus on here is really around the navigation and the mapping element first and other podcasts, we will look at some of the more educational fun and engaging apps that you have an option to download as well. The three trail apps we’re looking at will be viewranger workI log and commute three well used well liked apps, and we’ll just spend a few minutes just comparing them. And I have used them all in different situations. And I’ll just relate to the experiences I’ve had with each of them. So the first one let’s look at view Ranger. Now view Ranger is a trail app. And it’s really geared around the map. The map is the key element and exploring and navigating and using the GPS to track where you are narrative view Ranger really comes into its own around the maps, you can download maps onto your own phone. And you can purchase maps from the country you’re in whether it’s ordinance or have in the UK, and actually have large scale production or commercial maps on your for now we use it a lot for that just to check where we’re going checks where we are rather than maybe a fool trail and that’s one of the real benefits of viewranger is that ability to download sign up for commercial maps. And I’ve used view Ranger we did a big cycle 1000 miles from Jonah grits. JOHN o’Groats to Land’s End. And I used the view Ranger for the whole trip. And it was it worked. So well just allowing us to map the day it was 1000 miles in a week, we went on all the back roads didn’t use any of them in roads. And just it helped us really find a way using good skilled maps to map the route and and really allow us to track it and follow it all the way. And in that situation, we put the phone on the handlebars of the bike. And it was quite clear and visible on the map where we were. And and we had to turn. The other element of view Ranger which I think is quite unique as its innovation. It is the one app that is developing different ideas. Now they’ve got something called skyline which if you hold the phone up to the horizon and look over the hills, it will use augmented reality to show you really pins on the mobile screen telling you the names of the hills or the aspects of the landscape that you’re looking at. And that’s that’s really useful when you can ask the question at the top of a hill. What’s that hill or what’s that hill is just a nice bit of technology. And the other one they’ve introduced quite recently are fly overs. So if you’ve got a route, it will actually give you a 3d type view as it flies along that route to show you which is again really useful if you if you’re planning a route. You want to see it just to make sure it’s correct safe, whatever for for the group you’re taking out. So view Ranger is a is really one of our go to trail apps. It’s got a free version and a premium version, just allowing you to get what you need from it to download in the maps. So that’s the first one of the three trail apps that that we’re looking at. The second of the apps we use when I was planning an adventure in Europe and I found it was difficult to get kind of a view of other people’s trails in some of the other countries and we were going to Italy doing some of the Italy hills on mountain bike. And we used wikiloc. And that’s w ici LLC, as a app, and we’re that really come into on on its own was, there was a lot of just people’s personal trails and pictures uploaded on to wikiloc. And it’s got thousands and thousands of trails, just allowing you to, to kind of look at it. And and basically pick the ones you think are useful and build your own trail from it, I would say the app is really simple to use. And it does have several different trail or activity types and even had jetski trails. So whether it was walking running trail running charity trails, wikiloc would have a whole series for you to research and look at. And once you’ve got it downloaded, you can then set it up, you can follow it in a normal trail that way. And it uses really nice technology on the map to really help you navigate now we navigated around the Italian hills, as we said, around Mount Vesuvius and around and it worked extremely well. It has some nice add ons, it looks at weather forecast, and a nice search facility. If you have the premium version, the way your user searches were normal using passing areas you can quite clearly see if there’s different trails passing through the location you’re at, there might be multiple trails and that is a useful we find it very useful to going forward. So it’s definitely a great app just you want simple trails handled nicely. With lots of variety and people’s honest opinions and trails. One one warning, we did follow a trail that was a few years old. And and certainly once we got there, it was overgrown, and it was hiker bike country, and great fun. But you do have to focus a wee bit on when that trail was recorded. Just in case you had the experience, we had the third app, I want to review his commute. So that’s key or M, or t. Now this is a different type of app, this one really focuses on where you are. And it gives you lots of ideas of routes in your location. So it does geo locate you into your into your own set location. So if you are from home or from a particular town or whatever, it will give you lots of ideas for routes, and they’re very well photographed very well curated. So it’s really clear. And it’s very attractive to see what do we want to do today, let’s have a look at commute. And it will give you many suggestions. And what I like about commute was it’s it’s giving you levels of fitness as giving you things like if you want to go for trail run, ask your fitness level, do you want to round trip? Or do you want to go for me to be and also one thing I found that really, really useful was it goes down to surface type. So it will tell you how much of the surfaces on tarmac or paved or nassfeld How much is maybe single single tracked or, or rough ground. And that’s really useful if you’re doing a trail runner organising an event and you just want to know what is the what is the undergrowth in order to the trail, like it’s a great way to do it. So they brought in some really interesting aspects for your routing. So really clear routes, really polarised the way you are, and allows you to plan your route, build your route, and then follow it. So I would say commute is a great app to have all these three apps do things in a different way and all have their ability. So I would I would definitely say don’t just pick one of them. We I’ve used them all and I do use them all and it’s important then you can then be flexible and use the one correct for for that particular events that I would download them and have a play with each of them. Now a lot of my my friends would say Well, how about things like Strava now I would class driver more as a training app. So if you’re a runner or a cyclist, it really gives you the ability to record your training session and allows you to compare with other people and and take on challenges that are set by the Strava team. So it is useful for for training, I would say it’s less of a root app. So it could be used in conjunction, the one that is linked to strivers, one called trail forks, which is a relatively new entrance certainly in terms of how it’s grown over the years, it started really as a an app that allowed people to upload their unofficial mountain bike tracks or running trails, etc. And it’s really grew and it’s such a useful app. If you’re in the area that people are uploading, and it’s now got thousands of official and unofficial running cycling trails and it links well with Strava in terms of recording your times. Look at Strava and look at what you can link to it if you want something to record and and help you your training. And there’s many others out there like all tracks fat map they’re all good trail apps have a good play with them. And and a special shout out to one I think is quite unique called Spyglass my glasses or compass on your phone. So if you just like navigation and you like a bit of a different angle, but who you’re going in, it’s got so much information on it. So Spyglass is a bit of fun, if you like mapping and navigation. And finally just a shout out for our own myjio apps, we’ve got a few apps myjio, adventure, myjio, scatter, and myjio builder. And what we’re doing is we’re building apps to allow you to build your trail, but add your own interest areas, add your own challenges, and basically allow you then share it with your friends. Now I’ll do a whole session on my geo adventure, and my geo scatterers as products. But we’re we’re looking at a different angle of really engaging with your family or your friends or your community, and putting out trails for other people to follow. And subsequently, you can follow their trails. So myjio adventure, they’re in the app stores, and look at our website at myjio active calm and it gives you information on the apps. But
thanks for listening, I hope you found something useful do download some of these apps, they are really useful just to make your adventure a bit more fun, and also allow you to plan different activities. But one one word of caution I would like to put in here is you have to have trust in your own navigation. These apps are great. But there is one downside in that you rely on your mobile, you rely on the ability to geo locate yourself. And the art of reading maps. And the art of navigation is literally a life skill. And I am concerned that everybody will start relying on their mobile or a GPS or electronics. And we’ll lose the whole capability of reading maps. So as part of our frustration to action programme and the condition model we will look at navigation and and we’ve got several really easy to follow interesting modules and courses around navigation and using a compass. Because it is important for our children and ourselves to understand navigation and understand a map. It’s not, it’s not something we should lose as we do do not want this to be a lost art. And it’s important. So we’ll give you more information about the programme. And these modules and courses. And hopefully, we can help people just pick up that confidence and the understanding about navigation. So thanks for listening and we will come back next week some more topics and I will look forward to speak to then have a good week. You have been listening to spider an active podcast thanks for that. Have you subscribed please subscribe to the podcast. But also the Inspire an active.com website is a place to go just to understand what we’re doing and the myjio active.com website. We are launching our new might use yatir app this week. So it’s something to look out for. It’s we’re giving you a limited time offer to download it for free. And it’d be great for as many people to give us some feedback. So have a look at it. Just follow us on inspired and active.com and mygeoactive.com and Instagram and thanks for listening
Transcribed by https://otter.ai