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What's A Decent Handheld GPS Unit To Use In The Countryside

Apr 5

If you are planning to explore the great outdoors then at some point you're going to need to get yourself a Handheld to stop yourself from getting lost.  A handheld GPS unit is nothing more than a small computer that can connect to satellites and can give you an accurate location which replaces the old map and compass that was used for navigation up until the 1990's.  A Handheld GPS works by tracking your location compared to usually three satellites to produce a crossing point which can then give you a location which can be shown using the software on your handheld gps device.

A back-country or hiking GPS unit will be much more rugged that your smartphone and most importantly, waterproof meaning that when you drop your portable GPS device in a puddle (and you will) it will still work.  Portable GPS units will use a preloaded map that will not require you to be connected to the internet or require a cellphone signal to work.  Battery life with drastically be increased as your portable device will not be required to run a super clear, bright, colorful screen and of course it will run topographic maps which means that you will not get turn-by-turn street directions, but you will get navigation using way-points where your device will direct you from one way point to the next.

A Good Portable GPS unit willl also allow you to navigate without your device connecting to a satellite network.  This is especially useful for those times when you cannot get a satellite signal such as when you're in a deep forest with a huge dense branches over hanging, blocking any chance of signal getting through.  With one the latest portable GPS Units, this is no longer a problem as they will come with both an electronics barometric altimeter and electric compass which will give you both accurate direction and altitude.  With these two factors, even in the worst situation you will be bale able to work out your location and the direction that you should be heading to get to your destination.

The glonass system is not well known but in principle its the system that increases the number of satellites that you have at your disposal to get a fix from and therefore a location.  A portable GPS device works by taking into account you location compared with the location of more two satellites in the sky.  Obviously all GPS units need more than two satellites to get a location, however the more satellites your device has at its disposal the great the accuracy of your device.

The problem comes when something is blocking your portable GPS unit from connecting with multiple satellites in the sky and then you either cann get signal or need to find other satellites.  This is where a Glonass System comes into play and works by increasing the odds that and a handheld GPS unit is able to find the satellites it needs to find your location.  A Glonass enabled GPS unit is able to find satelittes that are orbiting at both high and lower levels and while there is not any independent proof that this make any difference, with the unit that we have over the last few years, those with Glonass definatly work better than those without.  Many current models debuted a couple years ago, giving plenty of experts and users time to test, including Samsoutdoors.

One of the biggest GPS Device brand names is Garmin and we would highly recommend that when you are buying a GPS unit you stick with the brand names as whilst they often can be more expensive, they often offer a much better all round unit that will work better in the long term whilst offering useful features that you are actually going to use.  Garmin has a range of portable GPS unit ranging from $100 for a Garmin ETrex all they way through to a Garmin Monterra which will set you back over $700 although it will come with a colour touchscreen and is capable of shooting both HD video and downloading android apps via WiFi.
 
Garmin GPS MAP 64

The GPSMAP 64 is a sunlight-readable GPS unit that boasts of a 2.6 inch colour display. It operateS under a dual battery system so your system never has to go off the grid. It makes use of the more traditional AA batteries in addition to the optional rechargeable battery.
 
New features such as the smart notifications, GLONASS and preloaded geocaches make it a much more exciting option as compared to the older 62s. The GLONASS addition means that you are able to quickly locate your location regardless of whether or not you are in deep canyons or heavy cover.
 
You can easily navigate anywhere you wish with ease owing to the built-in worldwide basemap. In addition to this, there is an option of downloading geotagged pictures from the internet and making use of the photo navigation feature to navigate them. The unit comes with 4GB of internal memory in addition to a microSD card slot provision which makes updating and adding maps a breeze.
 
You are able to make use of the LiveTrack feature(you have to be within cell phone range) to share your location with friends. This is made possible when you make use of the Garmin Connect mobile app. You can make use of the BaseCamp feature to plan your next trip. This software enables you view and organise maps, routes, waypoints and tracks. As if that is not enough, you can bring forth your adventurous side by creating Garmin adventures, which adventures can be shared with friends, family and fellow explorers. In addition, when paired with a BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription, you are able to easily share an insane amount of satellite images to your device.
In short, the Garmin GPSMAP 64 may be small in stature, but it comes loaed with plenty of goodines to kee your adventures exciting!