You’re about to lace up your hiking boots.
Water bottle? Check.
Energy bar? Check.
A way to log your route? Nope.
MapMyHIKE + GPS Hiking is a recently updated (6/26/12) app ($1.99) that can help you keep track of your workouts and routes – and even help you find new trails.
According to the developer’s information on iTunes, the app offers:
- Real-time tracking that measures and displays time, distance, pace, speed, and elevation.
- An interactive map that allows user to view their current location and exactly where they have traveled along their route.
- Synchronization with a user’s online Training Log on www.MapMyHike.com.
- Manual entry of workout data directly from the app so users can easily record their indoor activities like gym workouts and cardio sessions on the treadmill.
- Twitter integration that enables users to tweet hike data to friends and family.
- Monitors users’ heart rate during workouts and track results over time.
The app also lets users track what they eat and drink each day, including budgeted and consumed calories – versus calories burned through exercise. The database provides calories for a number of different foods; I tested it out with the basics (e.g., “apple”, “enchilada”) to the more creative (e.g., “Rice Krispie Treat”, “Luna Power Bar”). Users can also log water consumption, their weight, and level of exercise [e.g., once per month (really?), several times per month, every day].
My favorite feature of the app has to be the GPS map generated by each workout. All users have to do is tap “Record” at the onset of their workout, press “Pause/Stop” when it’s over, and the app will generate a map (plus the duration of the workout, calories burned, average speed per mile/hour). It’s great to get the eagle eye view of one’s hike when it’s over.
- The developer offers this disclaimer, which should come as no surprise to anyone who’s had the latest generation iPhone for longer than five minutes: “Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.”
- I would also recommend turning off the Voice Feedback (in settings) – it can be an unwelcome surprise to you and others when you’re in the midst of a hike. As in so annoying that the wildlife might want to hurl objects or themselves at you.
- Several of the features require Internet connectivity. This can, of course, be tricky, depending on how far out in the wilderness one goes.
The accompanying website (http://www.mapmyhike.com/) also offers:
- Maps, which allow users to find a map or create their own
- Train, which allows users to set goals, track your performance and succeed
- Community, which allows users to find local groups/exercise events
- Such Tools as calculators, analytics, maps and routes
In sum, while the Internet connectivity and iPhone battery drain can prove…challenging, the app has many wonderful features for the hiking enthusiast.