Smart Phone, Smart Hiker?: The powers (and pitfalls) of backcountry apps

December 9, 2013
Smartphones and tablets—and the powerful apps they support—have the potential to enhance the convenience and enjoyment of spending time outdoors. But let’s be clear about one thing: They should never, ever replace carrying an actual physical map of your destination. Never forget that mobile devices can run out of battery power, are vulnerable to moisture, may break if you drop them, and, like any software-driven gadgetry, can inexplicably, unexpectedly, and completely fail. But when they do work, outdoor apps can be a revelation…
This column originally appeared in the November/December edition of AMC Outdoors. You can read the full story here.

“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.

(Photograph by Marc Chalufour)

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Matt Heid

Equipped blogger Matt Heid is AMC's gear guru: He loves gear and he loves using it in the field. While researching several guidebooks, including AMC's Best Backpacking in New England, he has hiked thousands of miles across New England, California, and Alaska, among other wilderness destinations. He also cycles, climbs, and surfs.