Walk The Distance is the kind of app that’ll inspire a really particular kind of particular person to get off the sofa and get some exercise. Instead of getting you stroll to flee zombies or catch Pokémon, it permits you to nearly stroll long-distance routes just like the Appalachian Trail (AT) and Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) — excellent for those of us who don’t thoughts our native strolling paths however want for one thing slightly extra scenic.
For each mile you stroll at dwelling, you get to see slightly icon along with your image transfer alongside a map, making its approach between well-known landmarks like Springer Mountain in Georgia or Kennedy Meadows on the base of the Sierra Nevada. And as you attain sure factors, Walk The Distance offers you footage and details about them. It is, in a approach, slightly bit like taking part in The Oregon Trail, besides as an alternative of sitting in entrance of a pc, you’re out getting some exercise in. (It is price noting that there’s really an official Oregon Trail app that does one thing related for those who’d rather take a extra historic journey.)
In my time utilizing it, I’ve loved coming dwelling from a stroll and searching on the app to see what landmarks I nearly handed. The descriptions it offers you might be quick and candy, explaining issues just like the climate or panorama in a sure location or going over sure facets of what it’s prefer to hike the path, however for me, the pictures makes them price trying out every time. I’ve additionally discovered myself trying on the map forward and planning how far my subsequent stroll will be — once I learn the outline for Hawk Mountain Shelter that claims the subsequent cease is round seven miles away, I used AllTrails (one other nice app) to search out an eight-mile hike close by.
In idea, all my quick walks will add as much as many 1000’s of miles, and I’ll have accomplished Walk The Distance’s model of the AT. The app additionally gives quite a lot of shorter hikes via varied nationwide parks and cities if you wish to begin off with a barely much less intimidating purpose.
Let me get this out of the way in which actual fast now that you simply’ve seen a screenshot: I don’t suppose that Walk The Distance is a nice-looking app. In truth, I feel it’s truthfully slightly ugly. If you may look previous that, although, the app’s performance is fairly stable — you may see the place you might be on the path in relation to different customers nearly hiking it, flick through your strolling historical past to see what number of miles you logged every day, and revisit factors of curiosity you’ve already handed. There’s an entire backpack’s price of settings, too, that allow you to customise plenty of the expertise.
There’s even a social factor to Walk The Distance, although I can’t say I’ve performed round with it a lot. In addition to all of the customers that publicly broadcast their progress, you may also add associates to stroll the path with, and the app has a mode that simply exhibits you the place you and your mates are on the path. (If the builders are trying for some free recommendation, it shouldn’t be the “friends” part, it ought to be the “tramily” part, after the portmanteau of path and household that’s used within the thru-hiking group. It’d be a pleasant little bit of theming to go together with the truth that the app permits you to decide a “trail name” as an alternative of a show identify.)
I additionally — and I can’t consider I’m saying this — recognize Walk The Distance’s pricing construction. It offers you plenty of flexibility in the way you wish to pay for the app or if you wish to in any respect. You can do the primary half or two of the massive hikes for free after which pay to unlock the remainder. Unlocking all the AT is $4.99, and unlocking the PCT is $9.99. Just a few of the nationwide parks and metropolis walks are free, with others costing $0.99 every.
If you don’t wish to pay for issues piecemeal, although, there’s a $2.99 a month / $29.99 a yr subscription that permits you to do the entire walks for free and unlocks syncing with Fitbit or Garmin. Syncing with Apple Health or Google Fit is free (and since I take advantage of one other app to sync my Fitbit knowledge into Apple’s system, Walk The Distance picks that knowledge proper up).
So far, I haven’t gotten to the purpose the place I would like to begin paying; for the AT, that occurs roughly 155 miles in. When I do, although, I’m planning on buying no less than that path. REI, an out of doors provide firm, estimates that truly hiking the Appalachian Trail prices round $6,000, so I’m actually popping out forward by doing it for 5 bucks.
Of course, Walk The Distance’s type of motivation gained’t work for everybody as a result of not everybody is a big hiking nerd. For those of us that it does work for, although, making it to the subsequent digital shelter can be simply the motivation we have to get off the sofa and go exterior for a bit. Personally, I’m actually trying ahead to creating some important progress on my digital Appalachian Trail journey later this summer time once I’m out hiking a piece of the Pacific Crest Trail as a result of that’s simply the type of factor I discover deeply humorous.
Walk The Distance is on the market for free on the App Store and Google Play retailer.