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Picking the Ideal GPS For Hiking

Filed under: Uncategorized — emitaliablog
Posted on November 28, 2010 @ 3:07 pm
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All of us have looked at the great GPS devices from your mobile phone or car. But these aren’t intended for off-road experiences. Therefore, what are the options and how do you decide on the best GPS for hiking or backpacking? It is time to figure this GPS mystery out.

How Does It Perform?

GPS is short for for Global Positioning System. That is a fancy word that tells you where you are. Kind of like those wonderful maps within the malls which have a dot that states, “You Are Here”. They do this by communicating with government satellites. You will discover over twenty-four of them, but the GPS only needs 3 to be able to find your area. The GPS does this by triangulation (Am I becoming way too geekie? They killed the writer by triangulation-strangulation.)

Today’s Global Positioning System , if Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) capable, can measure your location to within 3 meters (about ten feet), but do not count on that manner of precision. The Global Positioning System should be able to pinpoint your location to 30 feet or even less.

On a Good Day, You’ll Be Able To See Forever:

Because a GPS for hiking depends on overhead satellites, the device may possibly have difficulties establishing your place if you’ve got extensive tree canapy, or are within a canyon with difficult surfaces or if there a lot of tall buildings in close proximity.

What Does a GPS For Hiking Do?

Location, Location, Location: They can show you your present site. Most models have many coordinate nomenclatures. Put differently, they can tell you where you are in diverse ways; Degree Decimal Minutes (DDM), Degrees-Minutes-Seconds (DMS) and/or Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM)

We Are Monitoring Her Every Step: You’ll be able to program your Global Positioning System to monitor your actions. The GPS can make a line on its map, showing the exact path which you went on. The precision or interval in the points for the path might be modified.

Point to Point and Route: Some men and women separate these features, but I believe they’re the identical operation. First , the Point to Point is simply 1 “step” from the route. The way this operation performs is that you simply set point that you simply desire to hike to that is the “way point”. For instance let us say that you set the spot that your car is parked and you want to get to the campground site. You know the coordinates of your campground, so you put those coordinates into the GPS and it will tell the distance and bearing towards the campground. This would be a point to point. A route would basically have multiple way points.

Selecting a Hiking GPS:

There’s only a single main question you should ask to figure out which Global Positioning System to choose; what are my requirements.

If you desire to simply observe your mileage or elevation or locate way points, a easier design should suffice. But, if logging your your hiking excursions on a map and having the capability to upload and obtain those maps to and from your pc is crucial, a more expensive device may be needed. So, what would be the selections out there?

Global Positioning System Possibilities:

Durability/Waterproof: Nearly all hiking GPS units are rugged and durable. Even with that being true, when choosing a GPS, ensure that it’s going to handle your form of hiking. There are also rubber cases for some versions that you are able to purchase to helpsafeguard it even more. Just ensure that in the event you drop the GPS on the ground or rain storm goes by overhead that it will still perform.

Battery Power: Look at the kind of batteries the device uses and how long they will last. If the display screen is backlit, then it may possibly go via batteries quicker should you be climbing at night. Lastly, Lithium batteries will final longer than rechargeable. Lithium batteries also work well in cold climate. Some versions have a sleep mode which will conserve battery energy.

Antenna: (“Can You Hear Me Now?”)

Internal: Much less likely to break off.

External: Far more susceptible to damage, but could be able to be adjusted to enhance the reception.

Plug-In: Some may well employ a plug in for an optional antenna. This can be useful for in-car/boat use.

Variety: You’ll find two kinds:

· Quad Helix: These would be the most widely installed and function much better under tree cover.

· Flat Patch: These are created for more open terrain.

SiRF Star III: This is a chip that could greatly improve the antenna performance. When you are searching for a higher performing GPS, locate a design that has this or comparable chip set.


Maps: This feature is most likely a single of essentially the most varied between types. Map detail, amount of map storage, can you upload and obtain maps from a CD or the Web. The fundamental rule for a GPS for hiking could be the much better the map system, the greater the price. Figure out what degree of map detail that you need and then choose the model that matches.


Color or Monochrome Display screen: If you are going to depend on topographical maps, then a colour screen would suit you greater. On the other hand, in the event you just desire to plot way points and don’t care about detail, then opt to get a cheaper, monochrome mannequin. An additional factor with screens is resolution. If your eyesight is less than perfect, then it could be a excellent idea to test out the different designs to guantee that you are able to read the display. Size of display screen goes hand in hand with readability. Greater resolution and larger display screen versions are going to price a lot more. Back lit screens are nice to have as well. Lastly, there are some fashions that have a display that may be study in bright daylight.

Altimeter: You are able to get your approximate elevation from a typical GPS device, but this number might be inaccurate. So, some fashions provide a barometric altimeter to help out. These units can also chart the changes in air pressure to let you know of changing weather.

Storage Capacity: All designs have some degree of storage. If you need to be capable of upload and download maps, more memory will likely be required. Some models even come with a MicroSD port so that you may add even more memory.

Final Note: A GPS for Hiking is often an incredible addition to your backpacking tools, but it’s not to become the only piece of navigational equipment in your arsenal. Before even thinking about a GPS, ensure that you know how to study and use a compass and map. These two items really should always be inside your pack. A GPS is often a technologically advanced device and simply because of that, it can fail. Batteries can go dead, a chip can malfunction. Just mainly because you use a GPS doesn’t mean which you can’t get lost.

Bonus: Once you get a GPS, you might would like to begin GPS Geocache Hunting. It’s a fantastic high tech game of hide and seek.

Get out there and take pleasure in your new GPS, but do not solely rely on it.

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