GPS Features for Outdoor Enthusiasts

If you enjoy the great outdoors, spending your free time hiking, backpacking, geocaching, camping, or mountain climbing, then consider updating your survival kit for the 21st century. Including a portable GPS unit in your backpack will help you stay safe and enjoy nature’s beauty.

Important Outdoor Features

Portable GPS devices should be lightweight, sport an extra-durable design, and be weather-proof. You’ll also want GPS software focused on foot travel, such as the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). WAAS improves your sat nav’s accuracy within 10 feet, in most cases. This is a big difference between in-car GPS and portable, outdoor GPS units because such accuracy is not relevant to an in-car GPS.

Another important feature is to make sure your GPS has a 12 channel parallel receiver, meaning it accesses more satellites for improved accuracy. This becomes important when hiking or backpacking through dense foliage or beneath significant tree coverage. With more satellites being monitored, better signals are directed you through woods where you might otherwise get lost.

Mapping Capabilities

You will also appreciate topographical mapping, back tracking, and a large map screen (instead of a numerical latitude and longitude screen), making your portable GPS easy to read, whether you’re planning your route or referencing a waypoint. Do some research and read GPS reviews to determine the best value. If you can buy a portable GPS with these features built-in, instead of having to add them yourself, you’ll save money and time.

Many GPS navigation systems will track and remember up to 500 waypoints, 20 routes and 20 track logs. This way, if you take certain trails more often than others, your favorite spots and routes will be saved, and you don’t have to worry about remembering them or losing them.

Final Word

Don’t forget the basics like battery life and memory capability. The longer your battery lasts the better, since most forests don’t offer outlets to recharge your portable sat nav. The more memory, the more applications and maps you can store to better serve your wandering soul.

As long as you research what features best suit your personal habits, you are sure to enjoy the benefits of a portable GPS device on your next outdoor adventure.

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One Response to “GPS Features for Outdoor Enthusiasts”

  1. May 7, 2009 at 4:37 am #

    Thank you for writing a very useful article about portable gps devices for outdoor activities.
    Well, I myself am a fan of portable GPS devices, in fact I’ve been using a Tom Tom One for more than 2 years now.
    Portable GPS Navigation Systems give you more freedom in your outdoor activities.

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