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Optics & Electronics  >>GPS & Navigation Gear  >>GPS

GPS

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    What You're Missing Without a Handheld GPS

    It appears as though almost every technologically advanced device we use has some form of GPS these days; from our phones to our watches and cars we have a GPS unit with us most of the time. So what happens when you want to go off the beaten path and explore? You're going to need something that will work no matter where you are, something that is reliable and will get you in and out safely. If you really need to know where you are and where you want to go then there is no better device than a handheld GPS unit. Read More ...

    Using a GPS for Hunting

    Many hunters don't realize the benefit of using a GPS when they are out on the hunt. Knowing where you are and where you're going is important. If you are unfamiliar with the area then it's important to have a GPS handy. This really comes into play when you are scouting out areas for a hunt. If you've found the perfect location for your tree stand or you see an ideal spot to set up a blind then you can just set up a waypoint and return to the exact location later. Using a GPS will give you much higher resolution images in comparison to typical paper maps. A GPS map will be much easier to use than a paper map as well since you have the luxury of seeing exactly where you are at all times.

    Another added benefit of having a handheld GPS unit with you when you are hunting is the ability to download third party maps. If the pre-installed maps aren't enough for you then you can download maps specific to your hunting area. These maps will provide a nice overlay that will give you valuable information about hunting boundaries and more details about the land. Many states also offer downloadable maps that show all the public land in the state, so you can be sure that you're in the right location.

    Using a GPS for Hiking

    If you're an avid hiker then you should probably have your own handheld GPS. These GPS units are especially helpful in understanding where you are, where you're going and where you've been. Many GPS units offer geo-tracking so you can track your hike and see exactly where you've been. If you're a fan of geocaching then having a handheld GPS unit is a more accurate and fun way to find geocaches and explore the outdoors. If you've found that your smartphone just isn't cutting it when you go on your hikes then investing in a GPS unit is a convenient and affordable way to add to your hiking experience.

    What Features are Important

    This is very subjective, but modern GPS units typically have LCD screens ranging between 2.2 to 4 inches. A larger screen is going to give you a clearer picture of what is going on and will allow you to read topographical maps much easier. However, a larger screen means that the device might not be as pocket friendly. Look for GPS units with microSD slots so you can add to the pre-installed maps. Having the ability to download and use third party maps is a huge benefit. A touchscreen is typically easy to use, but remember that you typically won't be able to use gloves with them. Most handheld units use AA batteries although some manufacturers are installing lithium-ion batteries for the ability to recharge your GPS unit. Other fun features to look for include having wireless data transfer, a voice recorder, flashlight, camera and MP3 player. Deciding what features are important to you depends on your activity and usage level.

    GPS units have come a long way in recent years. Having a handheld GPS unit when you are hiking or hunting is almost a must. If you really need to know where you are and where you need to go then there is no better way to get where you are going.


    GPS

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