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Tips on Choosing the Best Hiking GPS

written by: dandgclan•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 1/26/2010

Do you want to know about how to choose the best hiking GPS? Generally, most avid hikers purchase GPS units for hiking so that they can explore destinations with the comfort of knowing that they will not get lost. Make sure to choose the best GPS for hiking by following these simple tips.

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    Tips on Choosing the Best Hiking GPS

    We have certainly come a long way from using a compass to find our way through the woods. With advanced satellite technology, we are now able to use GPS devices while we are hiking. This will ensure that the probability of not getting lost, as well as finding our hiking destinations, have become just that much easier. Here are five important tips to use as you begin to look for the best GPS for hiking.

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    1. Battery Life

    One of the most important things to consider when purchasing GPS units for hiking is to make sure that it has a long battery life. Since you will be out in the wilderness, this becomes exceedingly important. Obviously, it is almost impossible to recharge the battery without the proper electrical outlets. You should always carry an extra set of batteries just in case you need them.

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    2. Weather Resistant

    Another important feature that you need to make sure your unit has is that it is waterproof and weather proof. You never know when you will stumble upon that stream or lake, and to prevent damage to your unit it should be able to withstand submersion and water.

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    3. Design

    You may want to choose a handheld GPS unit for hiking as its portable and lightweight design makes it easier to carry. The screen size should be large enough for you to see the different maps and points. Many times GPS devices for hiking come with a black-and-white screen, which is easier to see in the sunlight. Although there are brands that have special color screens made just for outdoor use.

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    4. Memory

    Some of the best GPS units for hiking will allow you to store at least 20 maps in its memory. You want to make sure that the unit has the ability to have many built-in maps to make it easier to find some at the nearest roads and access ways.

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    5. Easy Updates

    Another great tip in choosing a GPS for hiking is to make sure that it has a 12 channel receiver system so that you can obtain signals in dense tree cover and other rugged terrains. You may need an extended antenna if you are hiking in areas that have large amounts of tree cover. The unit should also be able to store as many way points as you need. It should also include the bearing to your next way point. This is standard on most units and is very important to the hiker. You should be able to perform necessary updates inexpensively and very easily. This is important to keep terrains and topography updated.

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    Finding the Best GPS Device for Hiking...

    The extent of the features are determined by the hiker themselves. If you are an advanced hiker that often goes into extremely remote areas, you probably want one of the most powerful and reliable units on the market. For those that hike in less remote areas, a simpler GPS unit can do the trick. A GPS locator may be essential for those that are hiking alone, or in those areas that they can be easily turned around. This is a great safety feature to assist those lost hikers. There are many companies that offer GPS units for hiking. You can look at many of the discussions and customer reviews for some of the models to help make your decision. It is important that you have a clear understanding of the features and to make sure that they will fit your needs. Find that best hiking GPS and begin your journey now.

    What to Look for in a Handheld GPS for Geocaching will provide you with more tips on finding the best GPS unit for your needs.