Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

These new updates make the Apple Watch a hiking must-have

Apple's new hiking app features will improve your hiking experience this fall

An Apple watchOS 10 displaying up-to-date hiking information
Courtesy of Apple

Since its release in 2015, the Apple Watch has sustained its place as one of — if not the — most popular pieces of wearable tech on the market. If you’re already an Apple Watch convert, then you won’t need to be told why this is, but if you’re using the latest iPhone and haven’t added the watch to your setup, now is the perfect time to do so. That’s because Apple is promising an updated operating system that it says will be the most significant since it introduced the very first watch.

The watchOS 10 release date is set for fall 2023, and for all your tech-savvy outdoorsmen, it brings the Apple Watch back to the forefront of the outdoor world. Alongside improved cycling metrics, a cleaner interface, and mental health insights, the watchOS 10 app redesign goes deep into the hiking world.

What’s the outcome? Perhaps the most powerful navigation and safety device your wrist can carry on the trail. Here’s what the new Apple Watch hiking app has to offer.

Hiking waypoints
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Plan your hike with the watchOS 10

We’ll start with the planning phase of your hike. The redesigned hiking app features in-depth trail information that allows you to search for trails nearby and find out important information before you set out. Want to know the distance, elevation, difficulty, and terrain, and even see photos of your chosen trail? It’s all available at your fingertips. You can then use full downloadable maps — available offline with the watchOS 10 update — to navigate you to the trailhead and start your hike.

Navigate with the Apple Watch hiking app

And the tech doesn’t stop once you hit your stride. While I would never advocate going without the navigation essentials, the new Apple Watch hiking app features fully topographical maps, so you can leave your map and compass in your pack. These topographical maps show contour lines, hill shading, elevation details, points of interest, trails, and trailhead markers. You can even tap those trailhead markers to return to the information screen.

Apple has also completely redesigned the hiking app compass, giving it an elevated 3D view. This compass view does far more than point you in the right direction. The elevated 3D view shows you your saved waymarkers — campsites, POI, etc. — and crucial safety information, such as the last place you had cellphone data on your carrier and spots where you can make emergency phone calls on any carrier. This information can, and surely will, save lives on the trail.

These updates to the Apple Watch hiking app work alongside the cleaner interface to give you the most information possible both before and during your hike. These features aren’t just cosmetic. Sure, the maps and compass look impressive, but the prime focus of Apple’s redesign is to give you a more active and safe lifestyle, and these features are crucial to improving your hiking experience. Head to Apple now to learn more, check model compatibility, and upgrade your hiking this year.

Editors' Recommendations

Tom Kilpatrick
A London-born outdoor enthusiast, Tom took the first ticket out of suburban life. What followed was a twelve-year career as…
F.P. Journe closes the curtain on limited editions with one last watch
F.P. Journe releases its last limited edition watch ever
F.P. Journe Flyback Chronographe FB

F.P. Journe announced earlier this year that they would cease producing limited edition watches, though the "announcement" was more of a quiet whisper. The company is known for its small annual output of watches , which makes 1,000 mechanical and 500 quartz pieces. However, they would never end a party without a final confetti canon, and this one is in the form of a hand-wound flyback Chronographe FB.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of their Tokyo location, they've introduced this last limited edition. Going forward, they will stop engraving edition numbers on their watches, meaning the 200 Chronographe FB models released will certainly be highly sought after.
The F.P. Journe Chronographe FB

Read more
The best hiking snacks to fuel your time on the trail
Consider these foods to have with you on your hike
Man eating a hiking snack

Warmer weather is here, and it's finally time to dust off the hiking gear that’s been hibernating in the back of your closet all winter, and make some hiking snacks that will get you ready to hit the trails. From getting fresh air and exercise to enjoying scenic vistas, hiking is one of the best ways to get outdoors and enjoy nature. But, whether you're taking on one of the most physically challenging hikes in the U.S. or embarking on a short and simple day hike, it's important to be prepared with the right equipment -- and that includes the best hiking snacks. 

If you're keeping your hike relatively short, there's no need to reach for the dehydrated meals. What you do want are snacks that won’t spoil, don’t take up a ton of space in your backpack, and help you stay energized and feel good all day long. That means you'll want a mix of carbohydrates and protein, both of which your body needs to perform at its best during the hike and recover properly once you're done.

Read more
Merci, Hodinkee team up for limited edition dress watch with Parisian flair
Hodinkee, Merci partner for Beaumarchais H02 collab
Merci Instruments Beaumarchais H02 Limited Edition for Hodinkee

Mention the name "Hodinkee" and even a watch novice will nod their head in acknowledgment as it's a well-known power player in the timepiece community. They recently collaborated for the second time with Parisian brand Merci, located in the Marais district, and they offer a range of curated items like clothing and home decor. The result is the Merci Instruments Beaumarchais H02 Limited Edition for Hodinkee. If you've ever scrolled through Paris street fashion on TikTok or picked up vintage jeans from a secondhand store just to get the Parisian streetwear vibe, then this new collaboration will feel like an answer to your every sartorial prayer.
Hodinkee has teamed up with Merci for the Beaumarchais H02

Merci Instruments is a subsidiary of Merci, and they bring a laissez-faire yet high-end flare to watchmaking, blending like peanut butter and jelly (or Switzerland and Rolex?) with Hodinkee. Their first collaboration, the LMMH01, debuted in 2020 and featured simplistic colors and a minimalist style. The new Merci Instruments Beaumarchais H02 Limited Edition for Hodinkee has a bit more to it, especially in the dial, and gives off more aviation-inspired energy.

Read more