Hiking alone? You need this hiking safety app

The great outdoors is calling - but don't let it lure you unprepared

Solo hiker feeling safe thanks to hiking safety app

The summer has all but arrived and every hiking trail is about to be full of life. An energizing and healthy hobby suitable for people of all ages, hiking is a great way to stay in shape, enjoy nature, and get revitalized.

This physical activity helps lower both blood pressure and risk of heart disease, while boosting not only your strength and bone density, but your mood, too. Many people discovered their passion for hiking during lockdowns and more than 1 in 5 Americans now enjoy the occasional trek.

But, like with most physical activities, there are risks.

A sprained ankle, a fracture from a fall, and all sorts of other minor and major accidents can incapacitate a hiker to the point they need rescue. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to this — age is a factor when it comes to hiking accidents.

While rescue is just a phone call away, a phone can get lost or suffer damage during the accident, leaving a hiker stranded and in danger. This is a problem if you’re hiking alone.

Stay safe while hiking by sharing your location

Accordingly, it’s important for hikers, especially senior ones, to keep others informed about their plans and location to ensure their own safety.

And they can do just that by using a hiking safety app or a family location sharing app, like Intui. These apps add an additional layer of safety by keeping close ones informed about a hiker’s location and lets them quickly respond if anything goes wrong. It gives peace of mind to everyone involved and helps avoid preventable tragedies.

Woman on a hike location tracking with Intui
Woman on a hike location tracking with Intui

Hiking is a dangerous pastime and should be treated as such. A misplaced step, a slippery hill, or a wild animal can quickly turn a leisurely trail into an unfortunate accident and it’s best to preemptively have some safety measures in place – just in case.

That said, these apps are primarily intended as a safety net. In case you find yourself in trouble, it’s best to dial an emergency number as soon as possible.

SOS emergency features on your phone

Before you go conquer that trail, it’s a smart move to also learn about your phone’s SOS options. While iPhones have an inbuilt solution, Android owners will need to set theirs up.

How to make an SOS call with an iPhone 8 or later

When you activate your SOS signal, your iPhone will automatically call the local emergency number, regardless of where you are in the world.

To do so, either:

  1. Click and hold the side and one of the volume buttons until an SOS slider appears and then slide it, or
  2. Click and hold the side and one of the volume buttons and keep holding them until the countdown ends and the phone automatically makes the call.

Don’t take this lightly – knowing this feature saved a snowboarder’s life! Tim Blakey went snowboarding alone, got immobilized and credits the emergency SOS call for getting him out of trouble.

How to make an SOS call with an Android phone

There might be some differences between various manufacturers, but for most Android phones you’ll find the “Send SOS Messages” feature in your phone’s settings.

It’s disabled by default, so you’ll need to enable it, at which point you can select how to activate it (e.g. press the side key 4 times) and specify who should be notified.

Don’t forget to turn it on before you hit the trail.

Keep yourself safe with hiking safety apps

Thousands of people all over the world get into hiking accidents every season. Don’t become a statistic.

To sum up, if you’re preparing for a hike, especially alone, always make sure that:

  • Your friends and family know where you’re at,
  • Your phone is fully charged,
  • They can keep an eye on you with location tracking apps like Intui,
  • And you know your SOS emergency protocols.

These things take mere moments to set up and learn, so there’s no excuse not to – it can really make a difference.