February 28, 2014
In the February issue of Adventure Cyclist magazine, I highlighted five smartphone apps that I've found to be useful for bicycle travel. Since writing that, I've come across three more apps I want to bring to the forefront. These new apps aren't necessarily bicycle-travel specific. Instead, I would consider them to be geared more towards active lifestyle, making them great for adventures on and off the bike.
With over 40,000 trails in the AllTrails database, chances are you'll be able to find a trail to explore near you. The trails can be filtered by distance from your location, length of trail, or estimated time to complete trip. Each trail is designated with a level of difficulty, and will let you know if it is good for hiking, biking, equestrian riding, snowshoeing, skiing, and more. User generated feedback allows you to read trail reviews, view photos, and quickly glance through ratings. If you enjoy the free version of this app, consider the paid version. At $49.99/year, you have access to National Geographic TOPO maps, map editing capabilities, and the ability to export GPX files.
Available on a wide range of platforms, the SAS Survival Guide app is based on the survival book written by John Wiseman. The full book is included in the app, along with first aid tips, survival quizzes, photos, and videos for us visual learners. It's always good to have a refresher on wilderness safety in your pocket.
The initial trip-planning process can sometimes be more exhausting than the trip itself. Gogobot is a unique way to seek out travel destinations through the lens of like-minded individuals. Your first step towards planning your next getaway is to join what Gogobot refers to as 'Tribes.' These tribes are ways of describing your interests. Right now I'm hooked in with Adventure Travelers, Backpackers, Local Culture, Outdoor Enthusiasts, and Foodies. With these preferences in place, I'm given custom-tailored suggestions when searching for vacation destinations. It's a fun app that will really suck you in once you get started, regardless of whether or not you're planning a trip.
TOURING GEAR & TIPS is written by Joshua Tack of Adventure Cycling's member services department. It appears weekly, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead. Look for Josh's "Fine Tuned" column in Adventure Cyclist magazine as well.