ALDHA has teamed up with Ryan Linn, at right, creator of The AT Hiker App, to meld information from The A.T. Thru-Hikers' Companion into his state-of-the-art smartphone guide for the entire
Appalachian Trail. Ryan is constantly
hitting the trail to tweak his data, update
his interface and add new or updated
photos of all the shelters, campsites, views and other waypoints awaiting you
on the trail.
The app that Ryan has created packs a lot of punch into your smartphone. Download the section you're planning to hike ahead of time to help you plan your trip, and then never worry about cell-phone reception when you're out there hiking it. The information will be there when you want to check it. Download all the sections in one shot to save money (the "thru-hiker's special" costs about $60), and future updates will be free.
Here's a rundown of just a few of the features:
1. See the route of the A.T. as it passes through each section, with waypoints highlighted along the way. Waypoints are marked by unique icons designating shelters, tentsites, water sources, viewpoints, road crossings and trail crossings.
2. Click on any waypoint to get more information, including a photo of the feature, its elevation, a short description, a place to write in an online register for that location, and the option to view the spot on an elevation profile or in the Apple Maps app.
3. If the waypoint is a shelter, you not only see a photo of the shelter but also photos of the privy, water source and/or nearby view. It gives you the distance to the next shelter or tentsite, and the distance to the next reliable water source. You'll get a short description of the shelter, including its elevation, how many it sleeps, and any unique characteristics. For example, if there's a bear box, it will tell you.
4. If you want to save storage memory on your cell phone, you can opt not to download all the photos for that stretch, or delete the folder that holds the photos once you don't need them anymore, one section at a time.
5. Regardless of whether you're a northbounder or southbounder, you can set the guide's orientation to fit your direction. It's an easy, simple click in the settings window.
Major updates are due in the fall of 2014, but purchasing the app today will guarantee free upgrades in the future.
Click on the link below and you'll be taken to the AT Hiker App download page, where you can choose to get your copies of each section for either Apple iPhone or Google Android smartphones.