Thanks to the advances in technology, we seldom need to refer to a print-and-paper map if we want to find our way. A GPS (Global Positioning System) device is a great tool for those who like to get lost in nature, but not quite. The distinctive advantage of a GPS over a physical map besides the possibility for continuous updates to the latest changes in terrain conditions is the fact that there may be a much better coverage of the non-conventional paths and roads. Whereas a map may not be of much help when you stand in the middle of the Sierra Nevada, the GPS may be a handy tool to point you in the right direction.
But first, let camping-essentials.org point you in the direction of some of the most reliable handheld GPS products we have come across. There is an included review along with some comments from customers just like you. Take a look!
List Of Best Handheld GPS Reviews
Handheld GPS Buying Guide
Below we have included a few factors you may want to take into consideration when you make your choice.
Updates and Special Maps
The base map is included as a factory default in all devices reviewed. However, as you can derive from the name, these can be quite basic. You may have to calculate with an additional cost of having to purchase supplementary mapping software to allow access to a more detailed map. Though updates to the latest and most accurate map are practically to be taken for granted with most modern systems, it is worth to verify whether it is possible to update the GPS or not. Moreover, manufacturers provide special content increasingly often, such as pre-defined theme routes, special terrain maps and more. Keep a look out for these, as they can be a real treat if you are the adventurous type!
This may not be such an important factor, but the term sure sounds scary so we will briefly address it anyways just to clear up its meaning. Waypoints are essentially reference points in physical space that the GPS uses to define a route. A larger waypoint capacity will usually mean a larger overall memory capacity and will usually also impact the number of routes and destinations that you can store in the GPS.
This is a very crucial factor to consider, yet so many times people only realize too late that they opted for a wrong choice. If you will use the GPS for short trips away from your campsite where you have access to some source of electricity, it may be best to purchase a device with a rechargeable internal battery. However, if you plan to spend days away from any source of power, definitely go for a device that runs on replaceable batteries.
Based on their levels of exactness, GPS devices can be normally classified into recreational, mapping and survey grade systems. The accuracy of all three is good enough to get around as a hiker and it is unlikely that you will need the survey-grade accuracy. As you may have guessed, the price of the device will increase with the accuracy and precision of their location systems.