Alternatives to the PCTHYOH app

We noticed recently that Ruffwork’s popular PCTHYOH app is no longer available from the Apple iTunes app store. The app was widely used by Pacific Crest Trail hikers to store Halfmile maps for offline viewing when cellular or wi-fi internet connections are not available.

Sadly, Ruffwork passed away last year on April 17, 2014. We can only speculate, but possibly Ruffwork’s Apple Developer Membership has expired and this would caused the PCTHYOH app to no longer be available on the iTunes store. The PCTHYOH app should continue to function for hikers who have it installed on iPhones and it appears to still be available on the Android Google Play Store.

Hikers looking for another way to view Halfmile maps on smartphones can use any .pdf reader app, such as Adobe Reader. Here are step by step instructions:

Acrobat Reader in Apple iTunes store

Adobe Reader in Apple iTunes app store.

1) Start the App Store app on your iPhone and search for Adobe Reader. Install the Adobe Reader app.

Finding a Halfmile map using the Safari app.

Finding a Halfmile map using the Safari app.

2) Launch the Safari app on your iphone and navigate to https://www.pctmap.net/maps-url-loading/ The .pdf map files on this web page are optimized for viewing on smartphones and are not compressed .zip files that would require a special app to uncompress them.

3) Select a link to a map section and the map will load into Safari. You can view Halfmile maps in Safari, but only when you have a cellular or wi-fi internet connection.

Using Safari to Open a Halfmile .pdf file in another iphone app.

Using Safari to view a Halfmile .pdf file in another iphone app. Note the “Open in…” option that appears after tapping the map.

4) Tap the map in Safari app and note the “Open in…” option.

Apps available to open .pdf files will vary depending on what apps are installed on your iphone.

Apps available to open .pdf files will vary depending on what apps are installed on your iphone.

5) When you select “Open in…” you will find the option to open the Halfmile .pdf map with any iPhone apps that support .pdf files. Select “Open in Adobe Reader.”

Viewing a Halfmile Map in Acrobat Reader.

Viewing a Halfmile Map in Adobe Reader.

6) The Halfmile .pdf map will be opened in Adobe Reader and stored for offline viewing.

7) Repeat the steps for each map section you want to download to your smartphone.

A library of Halfmile Maps available for offline viewing from the Acrobat Reader Documents menu.

A library of Halfmile Maps available for offline viewing from the Adobe Reader Documents menu.

8) You can see all the stored .pdf files in the Adobe Reader Documents menu option.

It’s best to load maps in Adobe Reader when you have a wi-fi internet connection or a strong LTE cellular signal.

Adobe Reader is a very useful app for hikers that will store and view any .pdf file such as Halfmile Maps, the PCT Water Report (use the links to .pdf format not .html format), bus schedules, instructions manuals, and many other documents.