Help in the forest - Free iPhone app helps with localization and rescue

A trip to the forest, no matter how big or small, can involve everything from a quiet walk to a discovery tour to fast-paced mountain biking. However, something can always go wrong. If an emergency call is then made, it is not at all easy to transmit one's own position quickly and reliably. And that's exactly where it sets help in the forest App for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. With this you can (before the excursion) download offline map material, use it to determine rescue points on the way and determine your location using GPS coordinates. The 112 call can be made directly from the App be done out.

Abbreviation: You can go directly to the App Store here

Help in the forest - The free service for iPhone and iPad offers offline maps, GPS coordinates, rescue points and making an emergency call. You can find usage details here.
Help in the forest - The free service for iPhone and iPad offers offline maps, GPS coordinates, rescue points and making an emergency call. You can find usage details here.

This is how the Help in the Forest app works

The approximately 170 MB download works on Apple devices with iOS 13 or later or with iPadOS 13 or later. The app can be used in both German and English and is offered free of charge by INTEND Geoinformatik GmbH. Before heading out into the forest, the map material for the region you are visiting should be downloaded – ideally on a Wi-Fi network for fast downloading. Within the Help in the Forest app, the map can then be viewed as a satellite image, road map and also as a topographical map.

If you tap on one of the rescue points, its code will be displayed. This can be transmitted to the emergency call center so that rescue workers, the fire brigade and/or the police can choose the quickest route. Here you can see examples of rescue points near Dresden and Cologne. The display of the code could still be improved.
If you tap on one of the rescue points, its code will be displayed. This can be transmitted to the emergency call center so that rescue workers, the fire brigade and/or the police can choose the quickest route. Here you can see examples of rescue points near Dresden and Cologne. The display of the code could still be improved.

Above a certain zoom level, green circles with a white cross inside them appear on the map. These symbols indicate rescue points which, according to the app description, are known to the police, the fire brigade and, last but not least, paramedics. If you tap on one of the symbols, its code appears, which can then be transmitted for precise location. In addition, the crosshair icon in the bottom left can be used to read your own GPS coordinates (positioning must be activated for this).

Download the app: App Store for Apple mobile devices

Map download only available for current region

Offline maps downloaded on the iPhone and iPad can be used in the Hilfe im Wald app, but no material can be downloaded for large regions (surroundings of a large city, a district, etc.) or for the whole of Germany. You have to zoom in to a certain zoom level and you can only request the currently available map for certain regions or individual large forests. Their download can be up to 80 MB in size, so a fast connection is advisable.

Offline map download is only available in a certain size. This is clarified in the app by corresponding notices. Important to know: New downloads overwrite previously downloaded maps.
Offline map download is only available in a certain size. This is clarified in the app by corresponding notices. Important to know: New downloads overwrite previously downloaded maps.

It is important to know that previously downloaded map content will be overwritten by the new download and is therefore no longer available. If the map of a previously visited forest, including the rescue points, is to be available, it must be downloaded again. If the map section is too large, this will be displayed in the app and the download will be refused. The map material can only be requested when the zoom level is correct.

Useful for private individuals and when working in the forest

Aids such as the Help in the Forest app are useful not only when you are alone, with your family or with a sports group in the forest, but also when this is part of your job in forestry or hunting. It offers over 59.000 rescue points throughout Germany. In addition, some rescue locations in Luxembourg are shown. According to the app description, the database is constantly being expanded. And the app itself is constantly being improved.

It is currently available in version 2.10.0. This was issued on February 28, 2023. I find the data on each update important here, as it helps put some of the app's bad reviews into perspective. Several 2 and 3 star ratings are several years old and relate to bugs in older versions. Since these have now been repaired, the offer has become more recommendable overall.

Current iPhone feature: satellite emergency call

If there is no mobile phone available for calling the emergency center via 112, then the app described will not help that much at first. Although you can determine your own position and the nearest rescue point, this data cannot be transmitted until a mobile phone connection has been established. Anyone using an iPhone 14 (Plus) or an iPhone 14 Pro (Max) can access emergency call SOS via satellite in an emergency. Details can be found in this post: Emergency SOS via satellite now also in Germany and other countries.

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