“If you don’t get lost, there’s a chance you may never be found.” The author of that quote is unknown, but isn’t it true? And these days, it might get harder and harder to get lost. All you have to do is just whip out a GPS device. But the minute you pull it out … in the middle of the ocean…. You are still lost. Not all GPS’s are useful everywhere you go. Some are better suited to certain locations than othersNot all GPS’s are useful everywhere you go. Some are better suited to certain locations than others.
These days the car GPS is just one flavor of many types that now exist. And I want to show you about some other types of gps devices that exist.
As you are looking for a GPS unit, and especially the handheld type, there are a few things to keep your eye on as you evaluate them. Once you figure out the basics, think about how you are going to use it, and run from there.
Some of the biggest applications are for the outdoors. We’ll talk briefly about fishing/hunting and then hiking/geocaching outdoor navigation types of handhelds.
From this, you’ll gain a better appreciation for the different flavors that exist . And a better understanding of what you should be looking for. Remember, not all handhelds are the same.
Basket Of The Best: Where Do You Start?
When evaluating GPS’s, you want the best, but you also want the right one. Not all handheld GPS devices are the same. Let me give you a few things to look for.
The first thing to evaluate is the power requirement and the display. With power you need batteries. How much power does it consume. One thing you could check out is…. can you power this from a portable solar panel. If you can, then you would eliminate the need for batteries altogether. Check out the Voltaic 1021 Fuse Solar Charger which has a USB port to power your GPSCheck out the Voltaic 1021 Fuse Solar Charger which has a USB port to power your GPS.
Another thing to consider is the GPS display. Does it make sense? Are the menus easy to get to? Is it bright enough for a sunny day? (that’s a big one). Also, if you want to save some money, consider buying a refurbished model. Ebay has plenty of handhelds.
handhelds for the most part all have common features. Identify those that apply to you and get them settled. Afterwards, move onto the specific application you are going to use your handheld with.
GPS Hunting And Fishing Features
Believe it or not there are GPS’s just for hunting and fishing. fishing and hunting specific GPS’s are essential because they have mapping features that you wouldn’t otherwise find on other types of GPS handheld units. Let me explain.
for instance the Garmin GPSMAP 376C has a color plotter with satellite weather capability along with both marine and land navigation modes. Lowrance’s 7600C solves the memory problem by putting a 20GB disk drive in the unit. the Garmin 498C gives you preloaded marine maps using the new BlueChart G2 technology. Another feature is waterproofness. It goes without saying that any thing marine related is going to get wet. so 100% waterproof design is something you want.
Some GPS units are faster than others, and things like trees can impact your signalFor hunting, theres the Lowrance iFinder HUNT Handheld GPS Receiver. Its designed by hunters for hunters. with it you can mark perimeter borders and key spots. It also has an electronic compass with map overlay. One thing that differs from unit to unit is satellite acquisition and position fix. Some GPS units are faster than others, and things like trees can impact your signal. with the Garmin 400t you can get a hunting SD card that shows GMU’s, public lands, and private land boundaries as well as forest service roads. What’s really funny is alot of people think Garmin provides….get this….TOO MUCH data! Still another cool feature that may be of interest to you is what’s called… a Proximity Alarm which sounds when you are within 100′ of your entered coordinates.
But fishing and hunting handhelds are just one group of specific GPS’s. Let’s talk about another group that’s huge.
Hiking And Geocaching Features To Watch For
With hiking and geocaching gps in particular, gps is critical because you might require trails that arent on most maps. Let me give you a few examples whats available in handheld gps’s for hiking and geocaching. With geocaching in particular, alot of higher end units now give you the ability to store information from the pocket queries, and let you store field notes to help you with logging caches after your hunt. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Lets do geocaching first. The Garmin eTrex handheld series is a budget model that’s hugely popular. A great example is the Garmin eTrex Venture gps HC. It accepts the free Garmin Topo maps…the Garmin eTrex Venture gps HC accepts the free Garmin Topo maps…. The Magellan Explorist GC has is a paperless unit which means you dont have to print out reams of paper. . Want to spend a little more? Try the Oregon series from Garmin. Specifically the Oregon 450 which has a 3.2 MPixel camera and built in Topo maps of the US.
With hiking GPS units, the features you want to look for are the ability to handle an external power source, like a solar panel/battery. Another feature is a rocker keypad or touch screen. The rocker keypad is like having a mouse for a computer. Makes life alot simpler.
The handheld GPS units that are on the market are amazing. There’s one built for just about every type of outdoors activity you can imagine.
As you search for just the right one, consider focusing first for some general features for your basket of the best. Once you have them, fine tune your list to either marine/fishing/hunting types or hiking/geocaching types.
So this week, why don’t you start your research on your next handheld GPS. Check out this list of basic features first.