If you are looking for a South West Coast path App then Hiiker App is what you are looking for. You can find the full trail, lots of campgrounds, bunkhouses/hostels near the trail, food stops, bus stops, fresh water locations, and lots more on the Hiiker app.
Unexpectedly the South West Coast Path has turned out to be a very popular app on Hiiker. At a distance of 640 Miles, the Trail is a spectacular undulating coastal challenge for anyone that takes it. It’s been very heartening to see that so many people are willing commit to completing the full trail both in parts and as a single hike.
So I’ve decided to write a blog about some of the Ways Hiiker might (or might not) help you plan your trek on the South West Coast Path.
South West Coast Path App: The 8 Features that will make a difference
1. Offline Maps
If you are looking for a good South West Coast Path Map, then Hiiker should help. On the Hiiker app you can download two different offline map layers for the full . You won’t need any additional downloads once you have downloaded the maps data. The one download covers the entire trail.
The layer in the above image is the Waymarked Trails later. Its 99 Megabytes to download the full trail.
The OSM Outdoors layer is better quality but is much larger in size at 439 Megabytes.
You can and should download both layers and use them while you are on the trail. At different times each layer will have its benefits.
2. Lots of Accommodation and Amenities that are near the trail
One of the great features on Hiiker is tha ability to see and get contact details for campgrounds, Bunkhouses/hostels, B&Bs that are near the trail online and offline. On one convenient map you can see 100s place along the trail. This helps for the planning stage to pick the places you’ll stay in to start, but also help when you are staying in places on a more ad hoc basis. Once you have an idea of where you’ll make it to that day you can jump on and see the places near where you will finish up (all while you are fully offline on Airplane mode).
3. Location and Distances along the trail
One thing any hiking app will do well is give you distances. On Hiiker, the app will show your locations on the app and your current location on the elevation profile. Seeing on the map is a standard feature on any map app, but seeing your location on the elevation profile is very helpful.
If there is a mountainous or hilly section ahead, the app will show you exactly what part of the ascent you are at and how much you have left to go.
The app will also tell you how far you are from locations along the trail. Simply tap on any location, like a campsite you are heading towards, and the tap on distance. You will see your distance to that point. The distance is the total distance to that point via the trail (Not as the crow flies!).
4. Stage by Stage breakdown of the trail
On many apps and maps you have to use the trail all as one giant 600 mile file. On Hiiker the the trail can be viewed a full trail on one map, of you can see it broke down stage by stage. This breaks the trail into manageable bite size chunks, let’s you see the elevation profile of the section in much more detail, and gives a much nicer sense of progress as you are hiking along.
Another handy feature with the stages is the alternative routes that are listed along the trail. There are 14 of alternative routes listed on the South West Coast Path on the Hiiker App, these can lead to a town that you might otherwise by pass or simply take a trail that leads in land for a while. An alternative route listed in the app will always lead you back to the trail.
Negative reasons for having an app on the trail
Obviously I am hugely biased so I am not be best placed to be a critic here but rather, use this to reflect on hiking and apps. I will also say that I am a hiker first and foremost. I have hiked many long distance trails around the world and it truly is my passion.
Apps can become too consuming and distract from what you are on the trail for, the great outdoors. The are plenty of studies and some great books that show how walking and being outdoors can help improve people’s outlook and personal sense of happiness. The last thing I wanted when creating Hiiker was to take away from that. While I am sure there are some who will say that we are the worst, I do think overall, apps like Hiiker can serve to help more people get outside and experience the joy that comes with the outdoors and, in particular, a great long distance hike.
I sincerely hope the app can be of some help for you along the trail. More than that, I hope the South West Coast Path absorbs you, it is truly one of the most beautiful paths in the world, you are one of a select few who gets to experience completing it in a single thru-hike. Stay safe on the trail and please let us know any feedback or corrections that are required (firstname.lastname@example.org)