(Latest update: 19/09/2023)
Are you looking for a motivational app to track your hiking? Something with no timing, no calories, no body details, we’re no sportsmen here. The only objective is to walk from The Shire till Mordor!
Motivational app for hiking and trekking
I’m not sure it’s a the proper word to use, but when I say “motivational apps” I mean all those apps that don’t really count your weight loss, how fast you’re running or how good you’ve behaved last month. But they rather track a journey (real or virtual) giving you final goal and, often, mid-way stages.
There are many apps of this kind, but since I’m a fantasy fan, I’m going to talk to you about the ones with The Lord of the Rings theme.
Some geeky person calculated that to reach Mordor from Bag End, you have to walk exactly 3109 km (1931 miles). I’m still crossing the Shire…
Walk to Mordor
My favourite hiking app is currently Walk to Mordor. It’s very simple to use and it needs to be paired with a GPS or another app able to calculate distances. At the end of every hike you simply add the kilometers you’ve walked, the date and, if you want, a note.
At this point you can check your position: the app will tell you how much you still have to go to reach the final goal and the next mid-point.
The mid-way goals
The funniest things about Walk to Mordor are the updates of your current position in Middle Earth. Knowing that you still have 3000 kilometers to reach Mordor is indeed not very encouraging. But isn’t it way more fun to know that in only 12 kilometers you’re going to meet the Elf of Rivendell?
Every time you reach one of these mid points, the app gives you a short extract from the book, explaining you what happens in that specific location. Which is a good thing, because we might all remember the Gate of Moria. But how many of you remember the Midgewater Marshes? Good that Walk to Mordor reminds us about these swamps full of mosquitoes.
Sadly, the latest update of Walk to Mordor was done in 2018. And since the website walktomordor.com is down, I have to accept that this app is in disuse and I’ll have to transfer my hiking progression somewhere else.
Other fantasy themed motivational apps for hiking
I’ve looked into alternatives to my motivational hiking app. And I didn’t find any valid one! I mean, I’ve found two, but they are not an option for me.
This app is actually quite cute and I’d give it a try… if only I had an iPhone! I’ve always been an Android user and, sadly, Fantasy Hike is available only on App Store. Let’s hope for a future release for the poor Android folks.
Nonetheless, the app looks nice and simple to use. It also had a map of the Middle Earth that Walk to Mordor was missing.
If you try it out, please leave me a comment to let me know how you find it!
The Conqueror Challenges
This second app has a big problem: the cost! Actually, the app is for free, but every single challenge has a price. Do you cross the Shire? It’s 233 km and 200 euros. Moira? It’s only 64 km, but another 200 euros. The shipping is included, though!
Yes, shipping. Because the actually really cool thing about Conqueror Challenges is that this is not a simply a system to track your hikes. At the end of every challenge you’re going to receive a real medal, with a certificate and a ring. It’s a business that goes beyond the love for walking and winks to collectors.
Walk Middle Earth
The Walk Middle Earth app recently came out and, on paper, it should be pretty similar to Walk to Mordor. Too bad it’s actually simply a worse version of my favourite hiking app! You can choose whether to follow The Lord of the Rings journey to Mount Doom, or The Hobbit route to Smaug’s Lonely Mountain. Counting both paths, you can walk 2.300 miles, roughly 5 million steps. Indeed, the app works with steps: it let you adding the number of steps of your last hike and it converts them into miles (you can’t choose kilometers) to reach the final destination. The journey walk begins in the Shire with the historic map from Casa Buggins to Bree. For each mid stage (Rivendell, Moria, Lorien…) there’s a new map and the number of total miles are updated.
Is the app as nice as the drawings in the screenshots? Nope. Walk Middle Earth sadly doesn’t keep track of individual entries, you aren’t allowed to correct any errors, the percentage of the way already covered doesn’t update properly and resetting the total account doesn’t work very well. In my opinion, there are far too many bugs compared with the very few functions available. Fail.
Today I’m the one asking for ideas. When Walk to Mordor will stop running, or when I’ll have to change my mobile phone and I won’t be able to install this app on the new one, how can I keep on tracking my way towards Mordor?
Something I often use when hiking (even though more related to exploring than walking) is Geocaching, the worldwide treasure hunt I told you about some time ago. This game for the whole family takes you from the web (or the app) to the real world, in order to find cache/treasures hidden by other players.
It’s a fun outdoor activity that I often use when hiking. But It’s not going to tell me how far Mordor is, neither if I’ve managed to cross, let’s say, the Andes Mountains.
Do you know a fantasy app? Or can you suggest me other fun themes? Maybe something related to travel, like a walking world tour?
Leave me your ideas in a comment!