The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best GPS Device for Hikers

The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best GPS Device for Hikers

Are you an adventurous soul who loves exploring the great outdoors? If so, you understand the importance of staying on the right track during your hiking trips. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, having the best GPS device can make a world of difference in your journey.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the essential features, considerations, and top GPS device for hikers that will help you make an informed decision and elevate your hiking experience.

Why You Need a GPS Device for Hiking

Hiking is not just a leisure activity; it’s an adventure, a way to connect with nature, and a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, even the most experienced hikers can find themselves disoriented in unfamiliar terrain. Here’s why a GPS device is a must for all hikers:

  1. Safety: Accidents can happen, and getting lost in the wilderness is a real concern. A reliable GPS device can help search and rescue teams locate you quickly in case of an emergency.
  2. Navigation: GPS devices provide accurate real-time information about your location, helping you navigate trails, find key waypoints, and plan routes efficiently.
  3. Tracking: Hikers can use GPS devices to track their progress and monitor important metrics like distance covered, elevation, and speed.
  4. Geocaching: For those who enjoy geocaching, a GPS device is an essential tool for finding hidden treasures in the great outdoors.

Now that we’ve established the importance of a GPS device for hiking, let’s delve into the key factors you should consider when choosing the best one for your needs.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a GPS Device

1. Accuracy

The most crucial factor when selecting a GPS device is accuracy. Look for a device with a high level of precision, as even small discrepancies can lead you off-course.

2. Battery Life

Long hikes require a GPS device with extended battery life. Choose a model that can last the duration of your trip and perhaps even longer in case of unexpected delays.

3. Durability

Hiking can be tough on equipment, so opt for a rugged, waterproof GPS device that can withstand the elements.

4. Mapping and Waypoints

Consider a GPS device with detailed mapping capabilities and the ability to save waypoints. This ensures you can mark important locations and easily retrace your steps.

5. Display

A clear and easily readable display is essential, especially in bright sunlight. Look for a device with a high-resolution screen.

6. Ease of Use

Select a GPS device with an intuitive interface and user-friendly features. You don’t want to spend your time fumbling with complicated settings.

7. Connectivity

Some GPS devices offer additional connectivity options, such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, which can be handy for sharing your adventures on social media or syncing data with other devices.


Top GPS Devices for Hikers

Now that you know what to look for in a GPS device, let’s explore some of the top options available:

1. Garmin GPSMAP 64sx

The Garmin GPSMAP 64sx is a favorite among hikers for its exceptional accuracy, long battery life, and robust build. With its high-resolution display and preloaded maps, it’s a reliable companion for any outdoor excursion.

2. Garmin inReach Explorer+

For adventurers who venture into remote areas, the Garmin inReach Explorer+ is a game-changer. This GPS device offers two-way messaging, interactive SOS alerts, and access to weather forecasts, making it an indispensable tool for safety and communication.

3. Suunto 9 Baro

The Suunto 9 Baro is perfect for endurance hikers. It boasts impressive battery life and advanced GPS tracking features. Its barometer helps monitor weather changes, enhancing safety during unpredictable hikes.

4. Magellan eXplorist 310

If you’re on a budget but still want a reliable GPS device, the Magellan eXplorist 310 is an excellent choice. It provides accurate navigation and is straightforward to use, making it ideal for beginners.

5. Garmin Oregon 700

The Garmin Oregon 700 is a versatile GPS device with a touchscreen interface. It’s known for its intuitive operation, making it easy to plan routes and track your progress with ease.


Choosing the best GPS device for your hiking adventures is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your safety, navigation, and overall hiking experience depend on it. Consider the factors mentioned, evaluate your needs, and explore the options available to find the perfect GPS device that complements your outdoor lifestyle.

In a world where exploration is limitless, a reliable GPS device ensures you stay on the right path and embrace the beauty of nature without hesitation. So, gear up, choose your GPS device wisely, and embark on your next thrilling adventure.