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10 Apps Your Phone Should Have When Hiking Abroad

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A smartphone is a hiker’s best friend when they’re traveling abroad. There are a lot of enticing trails located in other countries, but the logistics of planning those kinds of trips can be difficult without a helping hand. Whether the hiker needs assistance with interpreting signs, converting currency, or staying on the trail, these mobile applications will help.

Our Top 10 Apps for Hiking Abroad

1. MAPS.me

MAPS.me is available for iOS and Android and is an offline map application that supports downloading the information for a region and using it without a wireless connection. Since hiking often takes place through areas with limited or no cell signal, the offline functionality is essential to having a great hike. It also works well when the person is back in town and needing to find their way around a foreign country or a new city. Having a dependable map application takes a lot of frustration out of traveling. It’s simple to get from point A to point B without it being unclear or overly complicated. In countries where a traveler doesn’t understand the language, the maps can act as a valuable guide for interpreting signage. Of course, using a translation application is always an option for that.

2. Google Translate

Translation applications make it possible to communicate with other people who don’t speak your language out on the trail. While it’s an imperfect translator, Google incorporated machine learning into the application to improve the accuracy of the translations and to speed up the process. It’s also capable of translating signs by pointing the camera at them. When a hiker encounters a trail sign, this feature is essential for ensuring that they’re on the right path and they’re not heading into danger.

3. Hostelworld

Hostelworld is great for keeping hiking trips abroad low-cost and affordable. It provides valuable information on the nearby hostels, their prices, and their ratings. A hostel is an excellent way to meet new people, some of whom may be going on a hiking adventure too. If a traveler is backpacking for a lot of their trip, this application will also make it possible to add in a few days where the person gets access to showers and a bed. These breaks can make a big difference in the overall enjoyment of the trip. Plus, if there’s some sort of emergency where the hiker needs a bed for the night, hostels are going to be more accommodating with a last minute reservation than a hotel would be. Couchsurfing is a similar app that would prove useful for hikers who only have occasional needs for a place indoors to sleep. This app connects people with locals who are willing to open up their homes to visitors. The hosts often act as an amazing gateway to experiencing the local culture of the area.

4. Rome2Rio

Rome2Rio answers the question of how to get from city to city on a hiking trip. Trails don’t always lead the traveler where they’d like to visit, so it’s sometimes necessary to take a train, plane, or automobile to the next destination. This application streamlines the process by offering the most efficient and cost-effective routes to make an itinerary happen. Once the traveler finds the right combination of transportation methods to match their budget, they can make ticket purchases directly through the app. It can be complicated to compare different travel methods and see how they combine together, so having the guesswork taken out of it is a great asset. This is also a life-saving app when it comes to complex, multi-country itineraries.

5. Surfshark

Surfshark is a virtual private network service that makes hikers’ online browsing safer. It does this by encrypting the information that the smartphone or tablet sends over the Internet, and routes it through their own private servers. After that step takes place, the hiker gets connected to the public internet. There are a few reasons why this is so helpful. The first is that it makes it impossible for a hacker to try to intercept and decipher someone’s data if they connect to public Wi-Fi. Since a traveler may be relying on hotel and coffee shop Wi-Fi for their Internet connection, this protection is essential to their digital well-being.

Use a VPN while traveling in locations that only have public Wi-Fi available. If someone is only going to be in a country for the day for a hike, then they probably won’t bother to get a SIM card for that region. Being able to leverage readily available Internet sources is a must-have option in that situation. There are a lot of people who rely on hostels when they’re backpacking, but not all of them are going to have good intentions. A VPN allows the traveler to rest easy and ensure that their digital well-being is being well taken care of while they push their physical being to the limit.

6. The Kindle App

The Kindle App is excellent for bringing ebooks on the trail with a traveler. Ultralight backpackers would be particularly happy about cutting down on the number of physical books that they plan on bringing along, as those can add a lot of weight. The Kindle app or a similar ebook reader has options for downloading the books for offline reading. That sounds like the perfect way to end the day after a strenuous hike. The stars are scattered above the traveler, and they can sit back and immerse themselves into an excellent book in the quiet of nature. Pocket is another app that provides offline reading materials. This app allows the traveler to create offline copies of interesting articles and other web content. They can revisit the pages later on when they have time to read them in full. Some libraries also support ebook loans, so those could be a low-cost option for loading up books for the road.

7. AllTrails

AllTrails guides hikers to the enticing trails that are nearby, by using the GPS to make suggestions. Not only does it provide travelers with hiking trail options, it also has user-submitted content that includes tips on the trail, any safety considerations to keep in mind, and the best scenic spots throughout. Obviously trails in frequented locations are going to have more tips than lesser-known ones, but all of the details are useful. This app supports downloading offline maps, which is critically important in areas with no internet access.

8. Trail Wallet

Trail Wallet is a financial application specifically designed to address the needs of backpackers and hikers. Since many travelers that take these kinds of trips operate on a shoestring budget, it’s important to account for any and all spending. It supports multiple currencies, can group expenses by the day or the trip and has other user-friendly features that hikers will find invaluable. When the trip is tracked correctly, it allows the traveler to maximize their adventures and know whether they can stop in at a hostel for the night as needed.

9. PeakVisor

PeakVisor helps to answer hikers’ endless curiosity about what the names of the mountains are that they see from the trail. This application will identify these peaks with the help of the phone’s camera, and it can also provide hiking routes that take travelers to the top of these mountains. It also provides information on the elevations of each peak. As they explore new trails, they can put together a list of places that they want to eventually climb. This app works well when used alongside other hiking route applications, to provide more context on the mountains and any significant landmarks in the area

10. XE Currency

XE Currency is one of the most popular currency converter apps available on mobile platforms. It keeps up with the latest conversion rates so the traveler always has accurate information. For people bouncing between multiple countries, it can allow access to 10 offline currencies at a time. One reason why it’s important to know what the latest market rates are is to ensure that the traveler isn’t getting ripped off at currency conversions. Some currencies are difficult to convert using mental math, so this application is a time and money saver in this situation.

Mobile apps can make or break a hiking trip in a foreign country, especially if the hiker doesn’t speak the native language. These applications empower travelers to explore the great outdoors in completely new to their locations. The breathtaking trails and looming peaks are a few of the many gifts that nature has waiting.

Source link: https://montemlife.com/10-apps-your-phone-should-have-when-hiking-abroad/ by Sheldon Wong at montemlife.com

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Teaching Kids About Wilderness Safety and Survival

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Exploring the great outdoors offers numerous benefits for children, from fostering a love of nature to promoting physical activity and learning valuable life skills. However, venturing into the wilderness also comes with inherent risks. Teaching kids about wilderness safety and survival not only empowers them to enjoy outdoor adventures responsibly but also prepares them to handle unexpected situations effectively.

Understanding the Environment

The first step in teaching kids about wilderness safety is helping them understand the environment they’ll be exploring. Discuss potential hazards such as uneven terrain, wildlife encounters, and changes in weather conditions. Encourage curiosity about nature while emphasizing the importance of respecting its power and unpredictability.

Hiking Essentials

Before setting out on a hike, ensure that your children are equipped with the essential gear and knowledge to stay safe. Teach them to dress appropriately for the weather, wear sturdy footwear, and carry essentials such as water, snacks, a map, and a whistle. Emphasize the importance of staying on marked trails and never wandering off alone.

Navigation Skills

Teach children basic navigation skills to help them stay oriented in the wilderness. Show them how to read a map and use a compass, pointing out landmarks and trail markers along the way. Encourage them to pay attention to their surroundings and make mental notes of key features to aid in navigation.

Emergency Procedures

Prepare children for emergencies by teaching them essential survival skills and emergency procedures. Demonstrate how to signal for help using a whistle or mirror, build a shelter using natural materials, and start a fire safely. Discuss what to do in case they become lost or separated from the group, emphasizing the importance of staying calm and staying put to make rescue easier.

Wildlife Safety

Educate children about the wildlife they may encounter in the wilderness and how to coexist safely. Teach them to observe animals from a distance and never approach or attempt to feed them. Discuss how to react in the event of a wildlife encounter, such as backing away slowly from bears or standing tall and making noise to deter smaller animals.

Water Safety

If your outdoor adventures include activities near water, such as swimming or boating, it’s crucial to teach children about water safety. Emphasize the importance of wearing a life jacket, swimming with a buddy, and avoiding strong currents or dangerous water conditions. Teach them how to recognize signs of drowning and how to perform basic water rescue techniques if necessary.

Leave No Trace Principles

Instill in children the importance of practicing Leave No Trace principles to minimize their impact on the environment. Teach them to pack out their trash, stay on designated trails, and avoid disturbing wildlife or natural habitats. Encourage them to appreciate the beauty of nature while also being responsible stewards of the land.

Teaching kids about wilderness safety and survival empowers them to enjoy outdoor adventures responsibly while equipping them with valuable life skills. By helping children understand the environment, providing essential gear and knowledge, and emphasizing the importance of safety and respect for nature, parents can foster a love of the outdoors that lasts a lifetime. Encourage curiosity, exploration, and a sense of adventure, while always prioritizing safety above all else.

How do you teach children about wilderness safety? Leave your tips for other parents in the comments below.

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Family

Family-Friendly Wilderness Survival Skills: Navigating Nature Together

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When it comes to venturing into the wilderness as a family, being equipped with essential survival skills can turn what might seem like a daunting prospect into a thrilling adventure. From navigating rugged terrain to building shelters and finding sustenance, knowing how to handle various wilderness scenarios not only ensures safety but also fosters a deeper connection with nature. Here, we’ll delve into some family-friendly wilderness survival skills that are both practical and empowering for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.

Navigating Nature’s Maze: The Art of Orientation

Wilderness navigation skills are absolutely necessary for survival. Teach your family members how to read a map and use a compass. Turn it into a game, plotting imaginary routes or exploring nearby trails. Understanding how to interpret natural landmarks, such as mountains or rivers, can serve as invaluable guideposts when technology fails or trails grow faint.

Shelter from the Storm: Building Safe Havens

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Constructing a shelter in the wilderness isn’t just about protection from the elements; it’s also an opportunity to foster teamwork and resourcefulness. Encourage your family to work together to build a shelter using readily available materials like branches, leaves, and logs. Even practicing with a simple tarp or emergency blanket in the backyard can instill confidence and prepare everyone for unexpected situations.

Quenching Thirst: Finding and Purifying Water Sources

woman taking water from forest spring

Water is essential for survival, but finding safe sources in the wilderness can be challenging. Teach your family how to locate water sources such as streams or springs, and emphasize the importance of purifying water before drinking. Show them how to boil water over a campfire or use portable water filtration systems. It’s not just about quenching thirst; it’s about ensuring hydration without compromising health.

Mastering the Flames: The Art of Fire Building

Building a fire in the wilderness is not only a practical skill but also a primal experience that connects us to our ancestors. Teach your family the basics of fire building: selecting dry tinder, arranging kindling, and patiently nurturing the flames. Show them how to practice fire safety, such as keeping a safe distance from combustible materials and extinguishing fires completely before leaving a campsite.

Harmonizing with Wildlife: Respectful Coexistence

Encounters with wildlife are part of the allure of wilderness exploration, but they also require caution and respect. Educate your family about local wildlife, teaching them to recognize signs of activity and respond appropriately. Instill in them a sense of awe and appreciation for the natural world while emphasizing the importance of maintaining a safe distance and avoiding confrontations.

Equipping your family with wilderness survival skills is not just about preparing for the worst-case scenario; it’s about empowering them to explore and thrive in the great outdoors. By teaching navigation techniques, shelter-building skills, water purification methods, fire-building basics, and wildlife awareness, you’re not only ensuring their safety but also nurturing a lifelong love for nature and adventure. So, gather your loved ones, pack your gear, and embark on unforgettable journeys into the heart of the wilderness, where every challenge becomes an opportunity to learn and grow together.

Do you practice wilderness survival with your family? What do you do? Leave your pointers in the comments below.

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Outdoor Survival Skills

Banding Together In Times Of Crisis: The Important of Survival Communities

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In times of crisis, whether natural disasters, economic downturns, or other emergencies, fostering community resilience is paramount for families to navigate challenges successfully. Building strong bonds and collaborating with neighbors can provide essential support networks and resources. In this article, we’ll explore strategies for families to work together and contribute to community resilience during times of crisis.

Establish Communication Channels

Clear and reliable communication channels are essential for coordinating efforts and sharing critical information within the community. Establish methods such as neighborhood watch groups, social media networks, or communication apps to stay connected with neighbors. Create contact lists with essential contact information for each household and designate emergency communication protocols.

Collaborate on Emergency Preparedness

Encourage collaboration among families in preparing for potential emergencies. Organize community-wide preparedness events or workshops to share knowledge, resources, and skills. Pooling resources such as emergency supplies, tools, and equipment can enhance the collective readiness of the community. Develop evacuation plans and designate meeting points in case of evacuation orders.

Share Skills and Resources

Identify the skills, expertise, and resources available within the community and leverage them to support one another. Encourage neighbors to share their knowledge of gardening, first aid, construction, or other relevant skills. Create a network for exchanging goods and services, such as food, water, tools, and shelter materials. By collaborating and supporting each other, families can address challenges more effectively.

Establish Mutual Aid Networks

Establish mutual aid networks to provide assistance and support to vulnerable members of the community during times of crisis. Identify individuals or families who may need extra help, such as elderly residents, people with disabilities, or single parents. Coordinate efforts to check on their well-being, provide assistance with essential tasks, or evacuate them safely if necessary.

Organize Community Resilience Projects

Prepper Community

Engage in community resilience projects that enhance the overall preparedness and resilience of the neighborhood. Examples include community gardens, rainwater harvesting systems, emergency shelters, and neighborhood watch programs. Work together on initiatives that promote self-sufficiency, sustainability, and disaster resilience.

Foster Social Connections

Building strong social connections within the community fosters a sense of belonging and solidarity, which is crucial during times of crisis. Organize regular neighborhood gatherings, potlucks, or block parties to strengthen relationships and build trust among neighbors. Encourage open communication, empathy, and mutual support to create a resilient community fabric.

Participate in Training and Exercises

Participate in training sessions and emergency preparedness exercises as a community to enhance readiness and coordination. Practice scenarios such as earthquake drills, fire evacuation drills, or first aid training exercises. Evaluate and refine emergency plans based on lessons learned from simulations and real-life experiences.

Engage with Local Authorities and Organizations

Collaborate with local authorities, emergency responders, and community organizations to enhance resilience efforts. Stay informed about emergency protocols, evacuation routes, and available resources in your area. Advocate for community resilience initiatives and participate in local planning committees or advisory boards.

By working together and building strong community connections, families can significantly enhance their resilience and ability to withstand crises. By establishing communication channels, collaborating on preparedness efforts, sharing skills and resources, and fostering social connections, families can contribute to building a resilient community that supports its members in times of need. Remember, resilience is built through collective action and mutual support.

Are you a part of a bigger survival community? If not, do you plan on changing that? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

 

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