Best Handheld GPS For Hunting 2018 | ReviewNight
If you enjoy hunting, you realize that it's easy to lose track of where you are. It makes sense to carry the right equipment and you can avoid problems by carrying a device that will help you to know where you are at all times. We've reviewed five of the best handheld GPS for hunting units for your convenience. If you don't know much about them, we've covered that will the mini-guide we've included with our reviews.
Why You Need a Handheld GPS for Hunting?
When you're out in the woods or any other remote location, there is a chance that you will become lost. A handheld GPS unit can help you to get back on track by showing you where you are at. It can help you to safely find your way back to camp. It can also help you know where property lines are so you don't accidentally trespass on private property while hunting. Handheld units are easy to carry. You'll appreciate the compact size when you're carrying other hunting gear and necessities. You can keep the GPS unit in your pocket for easy access.
How a GPS Works: Hunting Guide
GPS is an abbreviation for Global Positioning System. It works through a network of two dozen satellites that are orbiting the earth. At least four of these satellites are within working distance of GPS units on a regular basis so there is no interruption in the stream of data that they provide. The satellites transmit information about locations and positioning for all areas throughout the earth and transmit the data back to each individual GPS receiver that is being used on the planet. The information is highly accurate and it helps you to pinpoint your exact location.
Comparison Table of Best Handheld GPS For Hunting
Garmin Oregon 450t Handheld GPS Navigator
Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator
Garmin GPSMAP 64st, TOPO U.S. 100K with High-Sensitivity GPS
DeLorme AG-008727-201 InReach Explorer Two Way Satellite Communicator
Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
Handheld GPS for Hunting Reviews
Enjoy the convenience of tapping the touchscreen to use 3 D map views along with topographic maps that are pre-loaded on the system. A built in compass combines with other features to let you know your precise location.
The Garmin eTrex 10 is a necessity for the budget conscious hunter. Moderately priced, but there is no sacrifice on quality of performance, materials or in construction. High sensitivity GPS receiver that delivers the information that you need, when you want it.
Dual satellite sensitivity for exceptional reception and speed in retrieving information. Keep your bearings in any terrain with Garmin's GPSMAP 64st.
The handheld GPS for hunting that lets you plan, reach your destination, and share as you go. DeLorme InReach Explorer is a two way satellite communicator that navigates and keeps you in touch with your parties.
Convenient slim wrist mounting make the Foretrex 401 easy to transport by freeing up both of your hands for other activities. See the information that you need to know at a glance. The ideal GPS for skiers, campers, hikers and hunters.
Things to Consider - Best Handheld GPS
If this is your first time purchasing a handheld GPS, here are some important things you should consider to find the unit that will work the best in meeting your navigation and tracking needs.
Display: Screen Size and Readability
The GPS unit needs to have a screen that is easy for you to read. Some units, such as the wrist mounted version have very small screens. If you have vision problems, you may need to go with a device that has a larger screen size. It should have a feature that makes it easy to read whether you're in bright sunlight or total darkness. Be prepared for all lighting conditions with a display that offers illumination and an anti-glare feature. Not all brands offer the same quality in screen readability and this is why we carefully selected those that do for inclusion in our reviews.
In-Built Basemap & Satellites
My preference is the global basemap. A basemap contains less information than the topographical maps, but its often just what you need when you're wanting to get a general idea instead of poring over the details. It's built right into the receiver and it's a feature that any good GPS should come equipped with. You can load more detailed maps into the receiver that give you specific information about the area you're travelling through as you're planning your journey. These usually come from a personal computer. Make sure that the GPS you choose comes with this feature. For hunting, some base maps come with heat indicators that show you where other hunters have had the most success. There are different kinds of base maps and if you want to get technical about the data that yours shows, it may be worth your while to do a little research into the topic on your own.
GPS Receiver Types: WAAS and GLONASS
There are two types of GPS receivers, but there is also a third which is a kind of hybrid between the two. WAAS gives you the standard reception for global positioning, but the downside is that sometimes it has trouble picking up the signal in densely wooded areas or in deep canyon floors. The WAAS GPS depends on the satellites launched by the U.S. Department of Defense, and although the signals are powerful, they don't always penetrate all areas well. GLONASS receivers give you an extra amount of reception capability as it receives the signal from the Russian Federation's satellites and it's usually more powerful, and is capable of receiving data at roughly twenty percent faster than WAAS. Both are good options, but this is a matter of personal preference.
Battery Type, Dimensions and Weight
Some handheld GPS units require AA and others AAA sized batteries. It's best to check the rating on expected battery life of the unit in hours to get the longest possible power. The small size of these batteries makes it easy to take extras along for replacement as needed.
Dimensions and weight are also considerations to make because you'll want to carry your handheld GPS or have it in a place that is easy to access when you need it. Most fit easily into a pocket, backpack or some units are even designed to be worn on your wrist. When you're hiking or backpacking in rough terrain, weight can make a difference. Choose the dimensions and weight that make the unit convenient to carry with you. Again, the dimensions will have some bearing on the screen size and it's important to have a screen that is large enough for you to easily read. These are all important considerations to make before you settle on your final choice.
Route planner, Barometer and Compass
The best handheld GPS for hunters will include a route planner, altimeter, barometer and compass built in. The route planner is necessary for pre-planning your route and letting others know where you plan to be. This will set the stage for the directions you'll get on your journey. The altimeter lets you know important details about elevation. The compass keeps you going in the right direction and gets you back on track if you veer off course because of obstacles. The barometer warns you about changes in barometric pressure and alerts you to possible changes in the weather.
Handheld GPS vs. Smartphone GPS
While some people prefer to do everything on their smartphones, a handheld GPS will deliver far more than an app on your smartphone. They are generally more dependable for receiving a signal when you're in out of the way places and they do not depend on towers that provide cellular service. Wouldn't you rather have a device that is dedicated to providing you with GPS information when hunting? My recommendation is to use Smartphone GPS when you're on the road travelling, but not when you're out in the field or wilderness hunting. I vote for the dedicated service that gives me the details I need with reliability.
GPS vs Map and Compass
There was a time when a map and compass were the only tools that were available for hunters. Thanks to advances in technology, there is no longer a need to carry a paper map that often becomes hard to read, or damaged by the elements. A good compass is a plus, but it takes a lot of manual work and focus to keep on track with a map and compass. Many hunters have become lost in the wilderness because they misread a map or their compass failed them. The old method doesn't give you much information, but the handheld GPS tracks your steps and tells you precisely where you are with no guesswork. It's hard to get lost when you have a good GPS.
Hunters are exposed to conditions that could easily place them in danger. Unknown or unfamiliar terrain can be difficult to navigate. Handheld GPS devices ensure that a hunter knows where he is at all times. It offers information about property lines and some allow for two way communications in case of an emergency. The Best handheld GPS for hunters is the one that is easy to read, easy to operate and gives you all the useful information that you'll need on your trip. What's best for one person may not be for another. This is why we've chosen the five top handheld GPS units to review for your consideration.