When Trimble Outdoors closed its doors in 2016, you may have been left feeling disappointed, and perhaps even lost. Their reliable products for hiking, hunting, and fishing were go-to options for many outdoor enthusiasts and so if you enjoy the outdoors, there’s a good chance you used one or more of their apps at some point.
So what’s a techie-outdoorsman to do? Luckily, we have collected a few of the very best replacements for Navigator, GPSHunt Pro and GPS Fish to help make your hunt for the best outdoors app easy and, hopefully, as painless as possible.
Best Replacement for Trimble Outdoors Navigator
Trimble Outdoors Navigator was popular because it was an easy-to-use technology, allowing you to plug in coordinates and find your way along a path in no time. With a customizable, high-resolution screen, the app allowed you to manipulate GPS coordinates in several formats, including degree, degree minutes, degree minutes seconds, and more. Luckily, there are several other similar apps that may suit your needs just as well.
MotionX: The Best Alternative
MotionX GPS is our top pick because it seems to be the best bet for your time and storage space. It is top rated by Backpacker Magazine as well as the Washington Post, allowing you to choose from fourteen different sources of amps including road, terrain, satellite, and marine. There is unlimited map downloading, allowing you to use it offline, and can be used with the Apple Watch to help integrate all of your devices. Compared to the other two reviewed hiking apps, it drains phone battery the least and provides the easiest access to offline maps. For only $1.99, it is also an exceptional bargain.
Other Apps to Consider
MyTrails is a good option as an app that requires minimal storage space and is highly functional. This no-nonsense app can be downloaded for offline use and provides premium topographic maps. You can share your trails with others, and also manually add waypoints so that you don’t forget about them later.
Gaia GPS is another great option, and as a free app, its price can’t be beat. This is a good option if you’re particularly interested in topographic maps. It allows you to download maps for offline use (with a premium membership), and also syncs your maps, photos, tracks, and waypoints to all of your devices to make accessing them easier. While this app starts out free, you can also upgrade to a premium version which allows you to integrate specific overlays, such as those used for hunting or motor vehicle use.
What Are The Important Features for a Hiking App?
While the best hiking app for you may vary depending on where you live and hike, your technological aptitude, and other factors, most hikers agree that there are a few fundamental characteristics that a good hiking app should possess.
For example, offline viewing is incredibly important for most hikers, because you don’t want to be stuck under a tarp on the side of a mountain, wondering where to go next, only to find out you’ve lost your connectivity. GPS location, waypoint marking, tracking, navigation, and elevation markers are also important for most people. If you’re interested in hiking for fitness, we also recommend that you invest in a hiking app that can monitor your average speed, heart rate, calories burned, and other factors.
As an added bonus, many new apps even store your trails so that you don’t have to rely on memory alone to find the perfect hike. You can import trails yourself, or upload one from an app’s premade database.
Best Replacement for Trimble GPS Hunt Pro
People loved Trimble GPS Hunt Pro because it was highly interactive and allowed you to integrate everything right from one device. This easy-to-use device allowed you to save waypoints and important areas of access, such as roost or food plot locations and, of course, the location of your tent (be it a solo tent or a 3 man tent). This accessible app could be used even when there was no cell phone service. At a low cost of just $4.99 for the Professional Edition, it was a great, budget-savvy app that worked well in almost every condition.
HuntStand: The Best Alternative
HuntStand is our top pick, regarded by many outdoorsmen as the top hunting app in the world. It is a free app with the option to upgrade to an “Unlimited Parcels” version for just $11.99 a year. This allows you to sync hunting area maps and to view and edits maps using advanced online mapping features. This is a great app if you hunt with friends, because it allows you to locate your friends and also share your maps with them. Better yet, this app allows you to build a collection of advanced personal statistics, based on your hunts, harvests, and statistics. You can even view wind, weather, and solunar forecasts to see how they will affect your hunt and scent.
Another App to Consider
Hunt by OnXMaps is one popular alternative to Trimble. It lets you mark any features you want, such as roost areas, food plots, blinds, sheds, and more. This app has both an iPhone- and Android-compatible app, as well as a chip that can be popped into a Garmin GPS. The app includes several overlays of hunting district boundaries, forest service lands, trails, water, and even landowner names, making it easy to figure out where you need to be. This app works even when there’s no Wi-Fi service as you can save tiles of the hunting area and returned to them later.
Important Features for a Hunting App
When you’re looking for a good hunting app, you no doubt are interested in a few key features. A good hunting app will allow you to save important features, such as food plots, blinds, blood trails, and more.
You should also look for an app that offers multiple overlays. You want to be able to see who owns various chunks of property, as well as which areas are forest service lands, designated areas, and more. Other helpful overlays include topographic and satellite imagery. Not all apps offer multiple modes of viewing like this, so it’s important to invest in one that does. You want to be able to see contours and other geographical features so that it’s clear where you’re headed.
Another important feature for a hunting app is that it should be able to function offline. If you take your hunts way out of range of civilization (living life under a hammock tarp), there’s a strong likelihood that you won’t always have great cell phone reception. Many apps allow you to store trails or locations when you’re in-service, in order to access them later. In many cases, you can save waypoints and markers so that they’ll pop up when you’re out in the woods.
Finally, many people prefer hunting apps that allow them to see how all factors iwll influence their hunts. For example, many apps offer scent or weather trackers so that you can see how the upcoming forecast will impact the day.
Best Replacement for Trimble GPS Fish
Trimble GPS Fish was one of the most popular apps because it was reasonably priced, with an annual subscription at just $35. It offered topographical and satellite imagery with downloadable maps for use in areas of no service. It allowed you to record fishing trips to keep a daily report (no more having to convince your friends you actually did catch that huge lake trout!) and to track your boat drifts, trolling paths, and routes. Best yet, you could keep track of weather reports, sun and moon phases, and other statistics--even mileage.
Navionics: The Best Alternative
The best alternative to Trimble seems to be the Navionics app. It works well on all kinds of devices, providing everything from customizable depth layers, measuring tools, and tidal information. It is highly customizable, allowing you to change between views and shading options with just a single swipe. The newest upgrades to this app even include powerful fish finding features that allow you to view sonar and Navionics charts in both full and split screen. Navionics recently partnered with sonar technology guru Vexilar, making this app the best for finding and landing monster fish.
If you’re a social butterfly and want to share all of your information with friends, Fishbrain seems to be the way to go. Millions of anglers use this app to share their personal fishing diaries, maps, and forecasts with other fishermen. IT allows you to explore exact catch positions and to follow other anglers on the maps for better results. It even provides live bait recommendations and personal statistics. However, some features of this free application are not available until you upgrade to the premium version.
Pro Angler is a great app for saltwater anglers, offering a one-stop-shop for everything from weather forecasts to GPS “honey holes” to detailed species guides. This app provides information about saltwater fish species in over five hundred locations, and well over 15,000 GPS hot spots. Best yet, it decodes and delineates hard-to-keep-track-of state and federal regulations. It even provides weekly updates on “what’s biting” in your area, as well as information about tides, local bait shops, and weigh stations. This app is available without Wi-Fi, but can be a bit pricier, starting at $35.99 for six months.
Important Features for a Fishing App
Like other outdoor apps, the most important features for fishing apps seem to be split into two camps. Some people prefer apps that record observations and allow you to share them with friends, while others want a more logistical approach, allowing you to view charts and statistics.
Regardless of your preferences, a good fishing app will give you the ability to work offline. It won’t pull off your data or cell phone signals when you’re in areas of low signals, and will allow you to save map bundles for later viewing.
It should also allow you to track the features that are most important to you, whether that’s fishing hotspots, trolling paths, or compass directions. If you plan on sharing maps and records later with friends, this is also a nice feature to have.
Finally, layers can be a helpful addition. Whether you’re interested in lake contours, public land boundaries, weather maps, or more, make sure the app you purchase has the features you need. Some even allow you to print maps at home, so make sure you’re investing in the most versatile app for your needs.
Whichever app you choose for your hunting, fishing, and hiking needs, remember that one size definitely does not fit all. With a range of features, prices, and styles, even the most technologically inexperienced outdoorsman can find an app that suits them perfectly.