Unlock Your Adventure: 7 Powerful Google Tools for Crafting Your Perfect Hiking, Camping, or Backpacking Expedition

**Plan my trails in advance**

When it comes to planning my outdoor adventures, I like to be well-prepared. I use Google Maps to look up hiking trails near me or specific trails that I have in mind. This allows me to browse pictures and experiences from fellow Maps users, giving me a better idea of what to expect. Additionally, if I’m headed to a national park, I make sure to review the Google Maps’ highlights for that park. This helps me locate important amenities such as campsites, restrooms, and trailheads.

**Create a Google Maps list of local spots**

While the goal of my outdoor adventures is to get away from it all, there are certain necessities that I might need during my trip. It’s always helpful to know the locations of gas stations, grocery stores, and even coffee shops. To make sure I have this information readily available, I create a Google Maps list of these local spots. I also download the list before I hit the road, as I can’t always rely on having a stable internet connection during my outdoor excursions.

**Extend Pixel’s battery life**

One of my biggest concerns while hiking, camping, or backpacking is running out of battery on my phone. To avoid this, I take a few steps to extend my Pixel’s battery life. First, I ensure that my battery percentage is always visible on my screen. This allows me to monitor how much battery I have left at any given time. Additionally, I turn on Extreme Battery Saver, which allows me to select essential apps while pausing the rest. This significantly prolongs my battery life, ensuring I have access to important functions like the camera and personal safety settings.

**Get set up to stay safe**

Safety is crucial when venturing into the great outdoors. Before embarking on any outdoor adventure, I make sure to review the personal safety features on my Pixel. I confirm that my emergency contact information is up to date and turn on crisis alerts. This ensures that I stay informed in case of any disasters or emergencies in the area I’ll be in. Furthermore, I set up a Safety Check before hitting the trail. Safety Check schedules regular check-ins for me to confirm that I’m okay at a certain time. If I fail to check-in, it automatically sends my location or last-logged location to my emergency contacts.

**Put my flashlight front and center**

When spending time outdoors, a flashlight is an essential tool, especially during nighttime adventures. I always make sure to pack a headlamp, but even if I forget, I can rely on my Pixel’s built-in flashlight. To have easy access to it, I utilize the gestures option on my Pixel. By double-tapping the back of my phone, I can instantly turn on the flashlight, providing me with a convenient light source whenever I need it.

**Take in — and capture — starry skies**

One of the highlights of spending nights in the great outdoors is the chance to witness breathtaking starry skies. To make the most of this experience, I use my Pixel’s astrophotography feature. By simply tapping on Night Sight in the camera app, I can capture stunning shots of the night sky. I make sure to balance my phone using a tripod or any other stable surface nearby, such as a rock or log. If I happen to be using the Pixel Fold, I can put it in tabletop mode, pointing the camera at the sky while using the front display for camera controls. After gathering light for approximately four minutes, my phone will produce a beautiful image of the starry sky. I enjoy revisiting these photos later when I’m back in civilization, but in the moment, I can fully appreciate the beauty of the real thing.

Overall, with proper planning, utilizing Google Maps, extending my Pixel’s battery life, prioritizing safety, and leveraging its flashlight and camera features, I can enhance and elevate my outdoor experiences.

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