Finding hidden hiking gems has never been easier.
What is Komoot and How does it Help Hikers?
The Komoot navigation and tracking program functions seamlessly between the web and its iOS and Android apps.
The proliferation of outdoor GPS apps gives peace of mind when it comes to not getting lost, but sometimes the user generated content can be overwhelming and less than ideal.
To reduce overwhelm, Komoot offers 6 categories of activity, location and highlights to sort trails. Most importantly, the curated “Collections by Komoot” section has well designed long distance trails and thru hikes with very helpful logistical tips and hints.
The aim of this article is to help you step-by-step on how to use komoot for hiking.
TL;DR: Komoot is a freemium navigation and GPS tracking app with integrated social features. It shines in comparison to other similar apps with its curated and excellent European hiking collections to include hut to hut hikes, thru hikes and regional forests.
What is Komoot?
GPS navigation android or IOS phone app or web program – seamlessly integrated.
- Best feature: for European hiking multi day trips. Makes sense as it was developed in Berlin.
- Most popular for bikes but offers route sharing, route finding, route planning and outdoor community.
- NOTE: this isn’t a sponsored post. I’ve written this info article, because this app is so rad for those of us who like to hike off the beaten path, especially in Europe.
Basic Functions of Komoot
If you want to learn how to use Komoot for hiking check here!
- Primary function: Find routes, or tours on Discover or Plan a tour on Route Planner
- Secondary function: Pioneers social function. You can be voted an expert if you can add tours, write tips, add photos and create “highlights” of local cultural or nature sites. Others can then use your highlights to plan their tours if interested. With enough upvotes then you are upgraded to pioneer and it’s not only fun to follow, but if you are in a region you can get really good ideas from consistent hikers.
Basics of Komoot: What you Get
- List of all your planned hikes and completed hikes
- Automatic translation from other languages into your own for tips
- The Map
- Elevation Gain, Elevation Loss
- Average Speed
- Highest and lowest elevation points
- Interactive graph of your speed/elevation/distance
- You can pause navigation for a lunch break and resume
- You can have the navigation voice commands to you
- All photos integrated onto your page and earmarked by the distance you’ve hiked. You can title it and enter links from websites or comments about the trail in the comment section. Others can also comment.
- Social: you can find others in your contacts and be notified when they hike and offer high fives. or you can mark it private for only you.
- Recommendations based on your location of completed hikes: Collections and other hikes nearby are coordinated to your published page.
- Mountain Biking
- Road Cycling
How to use Komoot for hiking on the Trail
- Discover an already planned hike, go under your profile for a “planned tour” or simply start hiking and hit record to track your hike.
- Even if you follow someone elses tour or deviate from your planned tour, it will give you the option at the end to upload your hike and save it how you completed it at the time.
- Use the voice navigation or simply follow the red line and arrow. Simply point your phone toward the trail and the little green arrow will show you the way.
- You can adjust from a previously planned tour if you see a better path. The map will show a dotted line for smaller, more rugged paths. Sometimes I’ve found these to not really be a path, but a place a previous user bushwhacked through the weeds. Other times, it’s a perfectly maintained path.
- After finishing, you upload it to your account. This takes some time and a good data connection. I lost my first day on the Alta Via 1 in the Dolomites after meticulously tracking it, super bummed.
- All the photos you’ve taken during the hike will automatically upload for you so you can remember the details and the photos will be marked by the distance from the start of the hike.
- Share it with friends.
Cool Features of Komoot
- Komoot’s value is in the UX, all of the Open Street Maps data is free.
- Find hikes by Castles!
- Find hikes by mountain huts, high elevation rifugios or hutten for single day hikes, or multi day hut to hut hikes. beyond user comments and photos, they’ve even got the huts contact information on how to book.
- Import GPX
- Komoot uses Open Street Maps (in essence the Wikipedia of the digital mapping world).
- Invite Friends
- Get notifications of friends hikes
- Experts (lots of contributions) and pioneers (lots of upvotes)
Route Planner Tips
- Before a trip you can upload waypoints and plan your entire trip ahead of time.
- There is a map and you can search by place or location and start building your hiking path starting with “A”. It’s simple and intuitive.
- What’s cool is they give you options to look for “e-bike” charging stations, parks, things for kids, parks, dogs, public toilets, etc. that you can plan your trip around if you want.
- Alternatively, you can upload a .GPX from other sources such as googlemymaps, maps.me, or outdooractive and copy another already laid down route.
- you can easily click and drag waypoints around so you can hit up different highlights
Discover Tips (even for epic multi day hikes) on how to Use Komoot for Hiking
- Pick an activity, hike, run etc.
- Search by location or “explore worldwide”.
- Pick a duration and you’ll get hiking collections with descriptive headers.
- Click on a collection and a template will be shown that you can customize to your liking. Usually the sections end near a village with a bed and breakfast.
Check in the comments on the bottom and often hotel owners will leave their number or bus timetables.
- Scroll to bottom to the “You might also like” section to get more ideas
Collections by Komoot : The Best Feature for Long distance hikers
- Thru hikes, multi day hikes or bikepacking focused.
- Comments are gold for public transport, trail closures, links to hotels etc.
- Google search : they’ve put some effort into making their website searchable by google. That means you can have an idea of the place or hike you’re interested in and simply search in google and find their top ranking hikes that are likely well done and less sprawly than the often goofy hikes some users take.
- Multi-day planner Tutorial
- Free, but to access offline maps you have to pay
- One free region offline possible
- Voice navigation
- Offline maps
- Free lifelong map updates
- Tour export for your GPS device
- ONE TIME PAYMENT:
- Purchase Single Region: 3.99
- Purchase Region bundles: 8.99
- Purchase the whole world: 29.99
- If you’ve unlocked the world, you can plan your trip ahead of time and it’s downloaded on your phone and you don’t need mobile service
- Recurring Worldwide mapping and navigation pack: 59.99 annually (first year 30 euro discount)
- Everything with world wide plus multi-day planner, sport specific maps, live tracking, Collections, tour weather, premium protection and special premium discounts. In addition, the world package is included in Premium.
Alternatives to Komoot
Possibly the most popular hiking navigation app and free. However, it’s got a lot of detail. Consider it like the Samsung vs iphone. The UX is challenging and it’s very detailed. If you want simplicity, komoot is for you. If you really want the best information maps.me is likely what you want.
Outdoor active is quite similar to komoot, however the collections are not as developed. They offer a whitelabel product for many other organizations. Therefore, if you find a cool idea or trail online from a company or tourism board, it’s likely built on the outdooractive platform. I’ve noticed this with the Rhineland Pfalz government sponsored hiking site. So I simply download the GPS file to my laptop, then upload it to my komoot on my laptop. I simply login to my komoot account through a web browser. Once it’s uploaded to my online account, it’s good to go on my phone’s app.
Similar to both, but much more social. It bills itself as the social network of athletes.
Long Distance Trails on Komoot
Visiting Germany? Stroll on the Rhine Between Castle Hotels at Burg Rheinfels on the Rhine Castles Trail
Why it’s Awesome: The Rhine Castles trail meanders along Germany’s most famous vineyards, and boasts a medieval castle, ruin, or castle hotel every 2.5km. The Upper Middle Rhine Valley is a UNESCO world heritage site that lets you fulfill your Princess Bride dream vacation. You can even walk up a tower that used to launch cows by trebuchet against the French when under siege.
Cost: If you aim for authentic castle hotels expect to pay 150-300 per night for double occupancy with a 4 course dinner and breakfast included. More affordable bed and breakfasts dots the wine villages and cost around 100-150 per night.
Food: Wine, Wine, Wine! Germany isn’t as famous as its neighbor France for wine, however these steep river gorges have been lined with vertical vineyards since Roman times. Enjoy “wine automats” along the hiking trail. It’s like a vending machine, but for wine. Germany indulges in “quiet hours”, so don’t expect the riverside restaurants to be open between 3-5:30 pm but they serve amazing, local and hearty meat based cuisine along with tasty salads during lunch and dinner hours.
Visiting Lisbon? Hike the Last Wild Coast in Europe on the Fishermans Trail Portugal
Why it’s Awesome: Amble along dramatic cliff sides on the ancient Fisherman’s Trail just 2 hours south of Lisbon. Walk 4 days from one historically preserved seaside fishing village to the next. Enjoy viewing storks mating grounds, 400 ft seaside cliffs and waterfalls while moving through fossilized sand dunes. Go in November and hit up the local sweet potato festival.
Cost: Options for luggage transport at only 15 euros a day. Very reasonable options are to stay at fancy hostels at 20-30 euros per night, ostrich farm stays at 150+, or bed and breakfasts from 50-60 euros per night.
Food: Savor traditional inexpensive pork, sweet potato and seafood rich Portuguese cuisine. Or scale up for elevated Portuguese dishes with touches like freeze dried cilantro. Stop for lunch on the cliffside in your dirty hiking shoes and eat octopus confit. Fresh croissants, cakes and cappuccinos are ubiquitous. Berry farms with B&bs litter the coast line so a pitcher of fresh pressed raspberry juice gets you ready for the day’s hike.
Use Komoot to go hiking on the sunny Mosel River in Germany
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I hope you enjoyed this technical article – komoot can really help you explore some off the beaten path destinations in Europe.
Please share your stories of your awesome outdoor adventures over on our facebook group, Untold Outdoor Europe Travel Planning.
With 💞, Crave the Planet
Thanks for reading! Please share your stories of your awesome outdoor adventures or ask questions from the community over on our facebook group Untold Outdoor Europe Travel Planning
Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a Germany-based travel writer & photographer whose work focuses on the intersection of Nature-inspired adventures, food, well-being & outdoor inclusivity.
She believes one’s own two feet are the ideal vehicle for such discovery.