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Outdoor Apps for Android Users

Don't let iPhone fanatics fool you: There are tons of great outdoor apps for the other operating system.
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PCTHYOH FREE
Let’s talk about the name of this little oddball first. PCT=Pacific Crest Trail. HYOH=“hike your own hike”, a rally cry among thruhikers. In days of yore, PCT hikers carried sheaves of photocopied notes and guidebooks containing vital information about mail drops, lodging, trail data….all of the myriad logistical challenges they might face. Most every long trail hiker now carries a smartphone on the trail, and PCTHYOH lets hikers ditch all the paper. While this app is a bit on the homemade side (no slick graphics or animation), the information listed and links provided will help ensure success. Current snowpack data comes courtesy of the USDA’s SNOTEL website, and the National Weather Service’s forecasts help hikers stay ahead of storms. I like the detailed listing of mail drops, especially the part where the holding fees are outlined. Charging money to thruhikers to store a case of Top Ramen and dried potatoes? The humanity!

My Tracks FREE
My Tracks shows where you have been, how fast you went, and how big those hills were. My after- work training hikes up West Tiger 3 (5 miles roundtrip with 2,100 feet of elevation gain) outside of Seattle were a lot more rewarding when I got to see the numbers. Plus, I could aggregate my stats (for distance, speed, elevation, average grade, and average speed) for a whole week or month, to keep a running tally (handy when trying to keep track of miles hiked for a boot test I’m working on. Elevation and speed are graphed (see image) and I could overlay my route on my choice of a traditional map or a satellite photo, all in real time. This app doesn’t work to the level of detail you’ll find in Backcountry Navigator, but for a free app, it’s not bad at all.

Moon 3D FREE
Want to plan a night hike, guided by only the light of the moon? Here’s the app for that. Moon 3D shows the day’s phase. Swipe to see tomorrow’s. Alternately, view the entire month’s moons and plan you upcoming weekends. Bonus: You can flip the image for viewing south of the equator.

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