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How to Track Trails

Smartphone Apps

Recording trails is easy if you have a smartphone. There are two free 3rd party apps available that are reliable both online and offline:

When using a smartphone app, record your hike and save it to the app. Next, export your hike to your iCloud , email , DropBox , Google Drive , etc.

If the app gives you a choice when exporting, always export the file as GPX or .gpx .

Finally, log in and upload the file to the site.

Note: You can upload files directly from your Google Drive or iCloud account to your mobile browser.


GPS Tracking Devices

Some MyHikes users upload data from GPS tracking devices and not their smartphones.

Most of these devices (i.e. Garmin devices and watches, Suunto Traverse watches, etc.) support multiple file formats when exporting trail GPS data. Check the manufacturer's details on how to export your trails as a GPX or .gpx file.


Why Track Trails?

There are numerous reasons why you might want to consider tracking trails on your next trip. Whether you're in an area with cell service and an internet connection, or you're in the middle of the wilderness with no way to contact other people, tracking can be really useful.

Here's a list of ways trackig your trails could help your next trip:

1. Hiking or backpacking unblazed trail systems in an unfamiliar area.

Even if you're using an app offline, with no visual map images, you can line up the trail on your app to your trail map to help figure out where you are.

2. Hiking in the middle of the night in case you get lost.

Sometimes you plan to head off in the middle of the night to find firewood or take a short hike from camp to see the night sky when you accidentally get lost with little to no sense of direction.

I've made this mistake, but luckily I'd been tracking since I left the campsite.

3. Tracking your distance from point to point to help navigate.

By tracking your distance you can figure out how much further you'll need to hike to the next intersection or cairn.

It also helps you judge your own abilities and set goals for the future.

4. Helping other hikers find trails.

By tracking, and uploading to MyHikes, you can help other people find trails easier and plan new adventures!