new app – Trekking in Nepal

If interested download both the app and checkout the web page:

The app offers offline support for both guided and independent trekkers.

Guest post by Ashish Shrestha:

Phuraphuti Sherpa runs the homely Namaste Lodge at Monjo, one of the many small villages that trekkers pass through on their way to Everest Base Camp.

The number of trekkers is close to fifty thousand per year, but only a handful know the fact that Phuraputi also runs a small kitchen garden and serves organic vegetables to her guests.

As she says, “I run a small lodge but I make sure every trekkers leave happily when they go. I even grow my own vegetables and serve organic food. I hope that now even small lodges like mine get equal opportunity to be noticed!

In traditional dress for the photo.

She is one of the 80 lodges in the Everest Region that has signed up for HoneyGuide, an online community that connects mountain lovers with people who depend on the mountains for their livelihood.

The inspiration behind HoneyGuide is to:

  1. Make sure that porters, guides, and lodges get paid equitably and get business transparently.
  2. Make sure that trekkers get enough options and information to run a trek the way they see fit: from going independent without any bookings to a fully guided trek.

To these ends, HoneyGuide is:

  1. A Trek Planning Tool with:
    1. Comprehensive and Up to date information on Everest Base Camp Trek
    2. Complete Checklist for planning a trek in Nepal
    3. Health and Safety Advice for Trekking in Nepal
  2. A Trek Booking Tool with:
    1. Transparent Trek Booking starting with minimum services and options to add on extra services. See Gokyo Lakes and Gokyo Ri Trek.
    2. Capacity to Book Flights, Lodges, and Guides separately. Email addresses and Phone Numbers are also available to aid communication.
    3. Reviews and Ratings to ensure that lodges, and guides get business not based on kickbacks, but hard work and good service.
  3. A Trek Companion that:
    1. Introduces you to the Attractions, Mountains, Birds, Flowers, and Cultural Sightings of the villages you will pass through. See Namche for example.
    2. Breakdown of what you can expect on each Day of your trek. For example see Day 8 of the Everest Base Camp Trek.
    3. Provides all of the above in an offline Mobile App “Trekking in Nepal”. Here are the download links for Android and iOS devices.

(The iOS app is not free right now. Contact Dakshina with the Referral Code BestHike, and we will send you a promo code for iOS devices.)

Everest View from Kala Pathar. PC: Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon.

Author Information.

Ashish Shrestha from Kathmandu grew up surrounded by lofty peaks and early developed a love for mountains. He’s a co-founder of the project 

The HoneyGuide Team.


free offline maps for hiking

In South America early 2018 I quickly learned that most every tourist was using the free app every day.

I was using Google Maps offline.

Google has the best map data in the world. uses Open Street Map data.

Soon I was using both apps and comparing the results. Google Maps offline might be better but it’s far more complicated. You must define the exact square area you want to download. Files sizes are huge. does only one thing. And it does it well.

Opening the app in a new geographical area while on wifi results in one prompt asking if you want to download the maps for your current area. It’s dead easy.

Offline it uses GPS to pinpoint your location.

Surprisingly some hiking trails are included in the Open Street Map data.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

If interested, download the free app to your mobile device. Browse the support – Getting started.


National Geographic OPENEXPLORER

National Geographic OPENEXPLORER 

… is a platform that allows you to connect with others, raise money as you go, and tell your story as it unfolds. It’s a new way to share fieldwork, projects, and expeditions of all sizes …

It’s for everyone: university researchers to citizen scientists, students to professional explorers …

Each entry on Open Explorer is a geotagged timeline that documents a given expedition in text, photos and video.

There are over 460 Adventures as I post.


One example – New England Explorers:

… search for lost Historic location buried in the forests and waters of New England.

Currently we are focusing on the shipwreck graveyards in Narragansett Bay. Narragansett Bay has more shipwrecks per square mile than any other state.

Over 2,000 wrecks, including colonial trading ships, ships of war, and luxury passenger vessels from the 19th century, can be found in its waters. …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Via Adventure Podcast #16 – U.S. National Park ‘hidden gems’

OK … I’ve downloaded Gaia GPS

Apps and maps.

Viewranger offers no coverage for Chile and Argentina. Sounds like Gaia GPS is best for those nations.

I can download Patagonian maps and use them offline on the trail.

sample Gaia map

Gaia GPS is free to try for a week. Subscription membership costs $19.99/year while a Premium Membership is $39.99/year.

I joined the lower tier plan hoping the additional maps would help in South America. For Aconcagua Park, Argentina, for example, none of the layers are much good aside from Satellite with Labels. You can see the trails clearly beside water sources, tents, etc.

I’ll try it when I get there in a week or so.

Gaia claims to be superior to AllTrails in most regards, as well. And less expensive.


OK … I’ve downloaded Viewranger

Apps and maps. For the first time I’m going to try navigating with them on the trail.

First download was Viewranger. It’s free for basics. You pay to download specialty maps.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Unfortunately their shop offers none for Chile nor Argentina.

I’m really keen on augmented reality showing me peaks, towns, lakes, cliffs, ridgelines, mountain passes, and even glaciers up to 20 miles away. That’s the Skyline feature available from within ViewRanger.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

It works with my Apple Watch too, though I may never use that feature.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Click PLAY or watch Alastair Humphreys on YouTube.

LetsWalk can improve your hiking and fitness goals

Guest post by Javier Vega:

Here’s an iOS application specially design for tracking walks and hikes.

LetsWalk allows you to track your daily steps, count calories and record your hikes. It also has social features so you share your hikes with friends and review other people’s hikes. It is very similar to having a Fitbit but it is free and and works directly with your phone.

Currently, LetsWalk has over 50k users from all around the world, and they are growing very rapidly. They plan to add features to create hiking groups, to share hiking experiences, to read hiking blogs within the app and to add a web portal.

We would like you to invite you to try out LetsWalk by visiting this link: