Handheld GPS devices allow you to locate your position quickly and precisely and help you find your way even in the deepest of woods or canyons. While you may be thinking why bother when you have your trusty smartphone with you wherever you go, it would behoove you to add one of these devices to your gadget repertoire, especially if you are an avid hiker, hunter or world be traveler, as these things can save your life.
Don’t get these handhelds confused with old satellite brick phones – these devices are technologically savvy, full of worldwide maps and come equipped with software that allows you to share your location wirelessly with friends. They also allow you to stay connected so you can receive email, texts and alerts from any compatible smartphone.
Take charge of your upcoming adventures with some of our Garmin GPS options below. These devices come with fancy BaseCamp software that lets you view and organize maps while allowing you the ability to create your own trips, so you will never have to worry about getting lost again.
1. Garmin GPSMAP 64s Worldwide
Garmin’s GPSMAP 64s Handheld GPS Device comes with a built-in worldwide basemap that allows you the ability to explore the terrain almost anywhere you may go. Get your bearings with its built-in electronic compass that shows where you are heading even when you are standing still and its barometric altimeter tracks changes in pressure to pinpoint your precise altitude. Wirelessly share your waypoints, tracks, routes and geocaches and wirelessly receive email, texts and alerts allowing you to stay connected.
PROS: Features a generous sunlight-readable color screen and high-sensitivity GPS.
CONS: Downloading maps can take a while.
2. Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
The Garmin Fortrex 401 GPS is a slim, wrist-mounted GPS navigator perfect for outdoor activities that require the use of both hands. By combining a high-sensitivity waterproof GPS receiver, electronic compass and barometric altimeter into a lightweight device, this GPS is ideal for hikers, skiers and campers. Easily connect Foretrex to your computer with USB and never worry about getting lost again as the Fortrex keeps track of your path, displaying it as a dotted trail on the screen.
PROS: Foretrex can also connect to a heart rate monitor, cadence sensor and can attach easily to a bike.
CONS: More detailed maps are available for download at an extra cost.
3. Garmin eTrex10 GPS
Garmin’s eTrex 10 is a rugged handheld navigator with an improved interface and added worldwide basemap, paperless geocaching and support for spine-mounting accessories. With its high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver and satellite prediction, eTrex locates your position quickly and precisely and maintains its GPS location even in heavy cover and deep canyons.
PROS: The eTrex is the first-ever receiver that can track both GPS and global satellites simultaneously.
CONS: Does not come with a barometric altimeter, electronic compass or the ability to add additional maps.