You might remember that Hiiker was one of three sponsors on my walk around Ireland two years ago. They even came down to Kerry to show their support and shoot this interview. I was a little overwhelmed by the tribal feeling I got around these lads – Paul and Eoin from Hiiker and then Joe and Brian, the videographer/photographers.
As part of our arrangement, I was given full access to the Hiiker app – an app that helps you navigate hiking trails (including The Ireland Way) and many features that help you plan the trip. For instance, it marks the start and end of each section and indicates places to eat and where to sleep along the trail. It also pinpoints your exact location and you don’t need cell signal because these maps can be downloaded to your phone and used offline. The thing is, the app was undergoing a lot of work/upgrades back then and while I found it very good and useful, I was also using other maps to navigate.
Two Years Later: The Hiiker App Revisted
Roll on two years, I decided to download the Hiiker app once again and take a look…
The Hiiker app is so much faster and more effective than it was two years ago. The free version is an excellent tool for navigation (that you will use) but I paid for the upgraded version of “the Ireland Way” to see what more it has to offer.
In short, I’m just blown away by this app. I’ve used many of the best hiking trail apps in recent years such as Guthooks on the Pacific Crest Trail and the Hiiker app has not only closed the gap but seems to be taking a step up. Here’s why:
- It’s so fast!
- The features (incl the trails) are extremely easy to navigate.
- They’ve gone to so much effort in terms of adding useful info such as places to shop, eat and sleep.
- It has a specific utility that means it makes more sense to consult this app than any other online map.
You know what I think will make this even better?
People that walk long distance trails most often want to wild camp along the way. When users begin adding pins (co-ordinates) to mark reliable “wild camping spots” to each trail, this will give users so much peace-of-mind. While I don’t think the guys at Hiiker should do this themselves, it might be worth encouraging their users to do so.
But I’m sure this will happen in time.
The Hiiker app will be my primary tool for navigating the Ireland Way and I will write a full review at the end of the trail.
You can also download the app for free and check it out for yourself !
BTW I was not asked to write this post or use the Hiiker app and my opinion above is entirely honest and unbiased.