Hiking GPS devices have certainly changed things, so that now, you can explore wherever you want to and know that you’ll never get lost. To be safe, though, hiking GPS devices should be chosen carefully so that they do what they’re meant to do. Here’s how you choose the best hiking GPS device, for you. Your hiking GPS device should:
Have a long battery life – The hiking GPS device you choose should have a battery that has a long life. You’re going to be out in the boonies, likely, hiking wherever you want to.
The last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your GPS device is going to “hold out” long enough so that you can do your exploring and get home in plenty of time, before your GPS device loses power. It’s also a good idea (in addition to choosing a GPS device with a long battery life) to carry an extra set of fully charged batteries with you, always.
Be weather resistant and waterproof – Your hiking GPS device isn’t going to do you any good if it becomes waterlogged or otherwise damaged so that it doesn’t work. Make sure the GPS device you choose is fully weather resistant and waterproof; that way, if it gets wet, it won’t get damaged.
Be easy to read out of doors – Portable, handheld GPS devices are generally good for hiking, because they’re lightweight and easy to carry. Make sure the screen size is large enough so that you can see the different points and maps easily; a GPS device with a black-and-white screen and/or one that’s backlit or has a color screen specifically meant for the out of doors is a good choice, too, since you’ll want to be able to see it easily.
Have adequate memory – You’ll want to be able to store as many naps as you need in your GPS device’s memory, so shoot for at least 20. The more built-in maps you have access to, the more likely you are to be able to find roads and access pathways” out” in a variety of areas.
Have an adequate receiver and be easily updated – A 12-channel receiver system will let you receive signals even in dense tree cover or other terrain where signal accessibility may be limited. It’s a good idea to have an extended antenna, too, if you’re going to be in areas with a lot of tree cover; in addition, make sure you can store as many waypoints as you need to.
Make sure especially that you have the bearings to your next waypoint. Although this is standard on most units, be careful to check. You should also be able to update your GPS device whenever you need to, easily and inexpensively. Topography and terrain can change often, so you’ll need updates immediately before you go somewhere to be sure you have the most up-to-date information.
Remember, the best hiking GPS devices are not just “the coolest and latest gadgets” you can have. They’re much more than that. In fact, the best hiking GPS devices are essential to your safety and health, whenever you hike. Make sure you have the best, so that you stay safe and can truly enjoy hiking and exploration without fear of getting lost.
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