When backpacking, there is two vital information you will need to know; your current location and where you are heading to. Thanks to GPS navigators, finding both of these essential aspects has become relatively easy. As a backpacker, GPS technology is vital, and the best part is that they are more affordable than ever before. With the right GPS navigator, you will be able to enhance your backpacking experience.
However, with different brands and models available in today’s market, choosing the right GPS navigator can be challenging. As a result, in this article, we decide to do the heavy lifting for you and take you through some of the best backpacking GPS navigators you can find in today’s market.
What Is the Best Backpacking GPS on the Market?
Quick Pick on the Best Backpacking GPS
How to Choose the Best Gps for Both Hiking and Backpacking?
With different models and brands of GPS navigators available, choosing the one that will best suit your need can be a bit challenging. However, you can always keep these aspects in mind when choosing the best GPS for both hiking and backpacking;
The battery life of a GPS for hiking and backpacking should be enough to get you doing throughout the day. Always look for a GPS navigator equipped with an incredible battery life of at least 10 hours; this will prevent you from charging more often.
You don’t want to go hiking or backpacking with a GPS navigator that has low resolution. It is best to look for a GPS navigator with a sunlight-readable display; this helps boost its readability under the sun. The best GPS for both hiking and backpacking should have at least a 2-inch display screen with an excellent resolution.
As previously mentioned, lightweight GPS navigators are vital when it comes to backpacking with hiking included. Since most hikers and backpackers have lots of tools to carry around, it is best to look for ways in which you can reduce weight load. As a result, a lightweight GPS navigator is a vital commodity for hiking and backpacking.
In addition to GPS, ensure that your device comes with a powerful receiver that will help you track your current location with the utmost ease. When it comes to backpacking and hiking, having the best GPS navigator is vital; therefore, consider looking for a GPS that supports positioning technology such as GLONASS and Galileo, among others. These features will help I improving your navigation significantly.
Best Backpacking GPS Reviews
1. Best Handheld – Garmin in Reach Explorer+ Satellite Communicator
- Highly portable making it ideal for outdoor activities.
- The GPS navigator has been designed to be highly compatible with several mobile devices out there.
- You can always shares or track your current location with friends and family with the utmost ease.
- This Garmin GPS navigator is capable of triggering the 24/7 search and rescue center, making it perfect for use in emergency situations.
- The texting feature requires a subscription.
· Satellite coverage.
This Garmin GPS navigator is equipped with 100% global iridium satellite coverage that allows you to send two-way text messages from anywhere across the globe.
· Search and Rescue.
The GPS navigator is capable of triggering an interactive SOS to a 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center.
· Share and track location.
With this Garmin GPS navigator, you can share and track your current location with your friends and family. Furthermore, it features an excellent water rating of IPX7 and comes with a rechargeable internal lithium-ion battery.
You can pair this GPS navigator with several mobile devices using the free earth mate application.
2. Best For Backpacking – Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator
- The GPS navigator allows you to see high and low elevation points. In addition to that, it allows you to store waypoints along your track.
- This Garmin GPS navigator estimates both time and distance between points.
- It has been designed to be waterproof, making it perfect for use during rainy days.
- Features an incredible receiver, which makes it relatively easy to track your current location.
- It features a relatively small and dim display.
· Great design.
The Garmin eTrex 10 is a rugged handheld navigator that comes equipped with preloaded base maps across the globe. This GPS navigator features a 2.2-inch monochrome display.
· Fast positioning.
To locate your current location, the Garmin eTrex 10 is equipped with WAAS and GLONASS and HotFix, which offers a reliable signal.
This Garmin handheld GPS navigator features an incredible water rating of IPX7, which is the perfect protection against rain and splashes.
· Paperless Geocaching.
The best part of using this GPS navigator is that it supports the use of paperless geocaching as well as the Garmin spine mounting accessories. The Garmin eTrex 10 GPS navigator is powered with two AA batteries, which runs for up to 20 hours.
3. Best Lightweight – Garmin eTrex 22x Rugged Handheld GPS Navigator
- The Garmin eTrex 22x comes equipped with an incredible battery life that runs for up to 25 hours while used in the GPS mode. It operates using 2 AA batteries.
- For better navigation, this Garmin handheld GPS navigator comes equipped with a powerful receiver allowing you to explore with confidence.
- Features a sunlight-readable color display, which makes it perfect for hiking during sunny days.
- Comes equipped with ample internal storage for downloading more maps.
- It does not feature Geocaches.
· Screen display.
The Garmin eTrex 22x is an incredible handheld GPS navigator that features a 2.2-inch sunlight-readable color display. In addition to that, it comes equipped with a resolution of 240 by 320 pixels, which improves readability significantly.
· Topo Maps.
This Garmin GPS navigator comes equipped with Topo Active maps along with routable roads as well as trails for both hiking and cycling.
· Incredible receiver.
Garmin eTrex 22x is a perfect product ideal for navigating through some of the most challenging environments thanks to the GPS and GLONASS satellite system that boosts tracking.
· Internal space.
With this handheld GPS navigator, you can always add maps since it comes equipped with 8GB internal memory along with a micro SD slot for additional space. This allows you to download more maps that will best suit your route.
4. Best For Hiking and Backpacking – Garmin GPSMAP 64x GPS with Active Maps
- The Garmin 64x handheld GPS navigator features a rugged and waterproof design, making it perfect for use in wet areas and rainy days.
- This GPS navigator comes equipped with a powerful receiver, which boosts your confidence as you explore some of the most rigid environment.
- It comes equipped with Topo maps for the United States and Australia.
- The GPS features a battery with an incredible life.
- Features a relatively small screen.
The Garmin GPSMAP 64x handheld GPS navigator is an incredible piece of engineering; its waterproof design makes it perfect for use during the rainy seasons. In addition to that, it comes equipped with a 2.6 inches sunlight-readable color display.
· Topo Maps.
This handheld GPS navigator comes equipped with Topo Activate maps for both the United States and Australia. The map features routable roads, trails for both hiking and cycling.
· Sensitive receiver.
You can always check your current location thanks to its high-sensitive receiver. The GPS navigator is equipped with quad helix antenna and multi-GNSS support, GLONASS, GPS, and Galileo.
When it comes to battery, this Garmin handheld GPS navigator comes equipped with an incredible battery that runs for up to 16 hours when used in the GPS mode.
5. Best Compact – Garmin inReach Mini GPS Satellite Communicator
- The Garmin inReach Mini GPS navigator features a small, rugged, and lightweight design, making it perfect for outdoor activities.
- This GPS satellite communicator has been designed to enable two-way texting with the use of 100% global iridium network; however, satellite subscription is required.
- Garmin inReach Mini GPS satellite communicator is the best for use while in a distressed situation. The GPS has been designed to signal interactive SOS to a 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center.
- The device is fully compatible with other Garmin devices, including both wearable and handheld.
- It is relatively small in size
The Garmin inReach Mini GPS satellite communicator can trigger an interactive SOS to a 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center.
With this Garmin GPS navigator, you will have access to downloadable maps, United Stated NOAA charts, and color aerial imagery, among other features using the free Garmin Earthmate application is fully compatible with other devices.
· Weather forecast.
This GPS navigator features an optional inReach weather forecast services, which provides a detailed update on the weather to your GPS navigator.
You can always send and receive inReach messages via a compatible Garmin device, which includes both handheld and wearable devices. The GPS comes with a display resolution of 128 by 128 pixels.
6. Best with S.O.S – Spot 3 Satellite GPS Messenger
- Spot 3 satellite GPS messenger is by far the best handheld GPS navigator for use while in a distressed situation.
- Comes equipped with custom messages that you can send to your contact, allowing them to know about your situation and location.
- The device features a relatively easy to operate design.
- You can always track and send your current location to your family and friends.
- It requires an activation fee.
The Spot 3 satellite GPS messenger is ideal for use in an emergency situation. You can always send SOS, and your current GPS location will be sent to a search and rescue facility.
You can always let your contacts know where you are and that you are safe using their pre-programmed messages.
· Track and send.
You can always track and send your current location to your friends and family. The device comes equipped with a powerful receiver that helps track your current location with the utmost ease.
· Easy to operate.
This GPS navigator features a relatively easy to operate design, making it perfect for use while navigating through a challenging environment.
What Kind of GPS is Best for Backpacking?
A handheld GPS is considered the best when it comes to backpacking. These types of GPS units are not only relatively light in weight but also easy to read and operate. In addition to that, a handheld GPS navigator is equipped with powerful position technology that helps in showing your current location and the direction you are heading to. Most of the handheld GPS comes with a durable battery life that will get you going throughout the day hence improving your navigation significantly.
Importance of Choosing Lightweight Gps for Backpacking
When it comes to backpacking, you will require carrying lightweight gear; this will help in increasing your speed and make it easier to maneuver through some of the most challenging environments with the utmost ease. As a result, a lightweight GPS navigator becomes a vital necessity. With a light GPS navigator, you will be able to see your current location and the direction you are heading to without having to stop. This helps in boosting your maneuverability, which always a vital thing when it comes to backpacking.
Benefits of Handheld Backpacking GPS
As a backpacker, a handheld backpacking GPS navigator is an invaluable tool in which you should consider investing your cash. Handheld GPS navigators are relatively small in size and are equipped with a powerful receiver that shows your current location.
Furthermore, they are often equipped with a button for controlling what you see on display; this helps improve navigation through challenging terrains. In most cases, handheld backpacking GPS navigators are relatively light in weight; this helps reduce your language’s weight as you trek through some of the most challenging terrains.
Is Garmin Backpacking Gps Worth Buying?
Yes, Garmin is well-known when it comes to designing some of the best backpacking GPS navigators available in today’s market. Most of the Garmin GPS devices are equipped with vital features such as S.O.S for use while in a distress situation and waterproof for ideal use during the rainy season. In addition to having some of the best features, Garmin GPS navigators are by far one of the most affordable GPS brands available in the market. With the Garmin GPS navigator, you are guaranteed quality and excellent performance in every purchase.
Where to Put GPS When Backpacking
When backpacking, you should always avoid blocking the satellite signal by stashing the GPS navigator inside a big pocket, or deep down your pack. It is best you carry it in your hand or a strap pocket for it to work perfectly.
How to Best Use GPS Backpacking
Using a GPS navigator for backpacking is relatively easy; all that is required of you is to go through the owner’s manual. This is vital since different GPS comes with different settings and features. Despite the fact that steps vary significantly, all GPS for backpacking will do these essential functions;
· Display your current position.
A GPS navigator will show your current location by displaying the correct coordinates. It will as well show your position on the Topo map or base map.
· Record track.
You can always record your track while the GPS is turned on. The GPS navigator will lay track points within regular intervals. You will use these, later on, to retrace your steps or evaluate the path you had traveled.
· Point to point navigation.
With a GPS navigator, you will be able to navigate from point to point with utmost ease with the help of direction and waypoint offered by your GPS navigator.
· Trip data.
A GPS navigator will always display the trip data; it will cumulative tell you where you started and how far you have traveled.
Choosing the best backpacking GPS navigator can be challenging; however, by keeping in mind the above aspects, you can always make the right decision with the utmost ease. If you are looking for a GPS navigator that will help you navigate while backpacking, we strongly advise choosing from one of the above-discussed GPS navigators.