A new Explore Tile in the Microsoft Band's Health app tracks hikes, provides hydration reminders, and even keeps tabs on the weather.

Wearers of the Microsoft Band can go take a hike. And we mean that in the nicest possible way. A new Explore Tile in the band’s companion Health app rolling out this week will allow Microsoft Band wearers to stay safe and connected while they explore the great outdoors.

The moment you tap the Explore Tile to head out on foot, a number of brand new features will automatically kick in. The band’s GPS will begin mapping your hike, with a power-saving feature to let it track you for up to 12 hours while conserving precious battery life. Hydration and food reminders regularly pop up make sure you’re full of energy, while the band’s UV sensor will tell you to slap on sunscreen or find shade if the sun’s rays are particularly strong.

The band will also tap into weather updates and tell you what time the sun sets to make sure you don’t get caught in the dark far from home. If you stop, the Explore Tile will stop too, noting that you’ve taken a break. After the band has synced with the Health app, you can see a map of your route along with points of elevation.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is issuing a Health app for Windows 10 PCs and tablets via the Windows Store this week. It can be used for syncing with your Microsoft Band, updating its firmware and managing that growing collection of Tiles.

This is all on top of Microsoft Band’s already glowing list of talents. The wearable tracks the usual stats like heart rate, steps, calorie burn, and sleep quality, while logging activities like running, cycling, and golf. Golfers get automatic shot tracking, and can use the band’s GPS to detect which hole they’re playing and see the distance to the front, centre and back of the green.

For Windows phone users, there’s a built-in personal assistant called Cortana who will reply to messages, take notes, and set reminders with a user’s voice. She’ll also issues traffic, weather, and sports updates.

Microsoft Band is £149.99 from the Microsoft online store.