(App)reciate the great outdoors

A group of young adults hiking out and about in nature


Your tech doesn't have to turn you into a blue-screen hermit who never leaves the house. Use these mobile apps to maximise your outdoor fitness adventures.


For some, running, hiking, biking and other outdoor activities come naturally. For others, a little mobile inspiration is the difference between hitting your fitness targets and collapsing in a panting heap on the side of the trail. Enter the world of outdoor apps...




Sure, it may seem like an obvious place to start, but it's got to make the list. As a freemium offering, the basic version of Strava (iOS and Android) is free, with added features available at an extra cost. Targeting runners and cyclists and designed by athletes, it's a goal-focused app billed as a social network for athletes.


Once you record an activity it goes straight to your Strava feed, where friends and followers can give kudos to congratulate you on completing runs or challenges, marvel at your athletic prowess, or share their own achievements. After all, if you complete a trail run and no one is around to see it – either in person or online – did it happen at all?


If it's stats you're after, Strava has you covered. Using GPS tracking on your iPhone or Android device or your GPS watch or head unit, Strava records all your performance stats so you can analyse your data and see where you need to improve. It also allows loved ones to track your location in case of emergency.


Zombies, Run!


From the serious to the... not so serious. If you're fuelled by fear, have a dark sense of humour and an active imagination, immersive running game Zombies, Run! (free with in-app purchases on iOS and Android) is the perfect app for you.


It's an audio game, basically, and a fun and innovative way to get your cardio going. As the character Runner 5, you're placed in – you guessed it – a zombie apocalypse that threatens the world as we know it. Listen to audio narrations, interspersed with music from your personal playlist, as you run to complete your missions, collect digital supplies and speed up as zombies give chase! It's fun, it's practical and it records your distance, time, pace and calories burned on each mission.




Want to join a global high-tech treasure hunt? It's just a tap (and a walk) away. Geocaching is an ongoing, real-time global adventure where people use GPS to find hidden caches (stashes) of various shapes, sizes and contents. You're free to take the items you find, as long as you replace them with something of similar or higher value.


It's a huge phenomenon (there are 1 471 geocaches dotted around Joburg alone), with treasures hidden in pretty much every neighbourhood. Download the Geocaching app (free with in-app purchases on iOS and Android) to get basic access to beginner caches with lower difficulty and terrain ratings, and to connect with the wider geocaching community. Maps and clues are provided to help you navigate your way through outdoor adventures and interesting locations en route to your mystery treasure. It's hours of outdoor family fun.




Whether you're on main roads or traversing mountainous terrain, let Komoot (free with in-app purchases on iOS and Android) be your guide. With route planners, voice navigation and offline maps for cycling, hiking and running routes, it's the perfect way to find the best trail for your next outdoor adventure. Your first region is free, with extended regional offerings available at nominal fees.


Users automatically become part of the Komoot community, where they can document their experiences, offer advice and receive tips from those who've walked, run or cycled the path before them.


Concerned about the safety of your phone as you immerse yourself in outdoor adventures? Compare Cellphone Insurance quotes to make sure you have the right cover for potential mobile mishaps.


This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice.

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