Heading into the great outdoors for a break?
Great! You’ll have a blast. However, you’ve got to make sure you prepare properly and get the right gear to stay as safe as possible while you’re exploring the wilderness.
Investing in good GPS apps or device should be a priority, but with so much choice, which do you pick?
Fear not! Below, we take a look at the top five GPS solutions to make sure you never get lost on your travels.
#1. Garmin GPSMAP 64S
Without a doubt, Garmin is one of the leading names in the world of GPS tracking. If you’re wandering in the wild, having a Garmin device in your pocket can provide you with real peace of mind — and that’s never been truer than with their GPSMAP 64S.
This compact device may not be the cheapest out there at around £300, but you know you’re paying for quality. This has been designed to offer users an extensive variety of features, from the obvious to the not-so-obvious.
First and foremost, the quad-helix antenna has the power to link to the American GPS network as well as the Russian GLONASS system, providing you with accurate pinpointing wherever you go. A TOPO UK & Ireland Light map is available too.
Secondly, there is an impressive 3.5GB of storage space in the GPSMAP 645: ample room for recording hundreds of different routes and waypoints to help you on your way. Additional maps can be added to the device, and it promises 16 hours of battery life.
The GPSMAP 64S can connect with iPhones to receive texts, emails and alerts too.
This is a great pick if you can find room within your budget for it.
#2. Suunto Traverse
Have you ever tried a GPS watch?
These are a little more convenient than handheld devices, enabling you to keep your hands free. They’re usually a little more lightweight too.
Though there’s a wealth of GPS-enabled bracelets and watches available, the Suunto Traverse stands out. It’s priced fairly high at more than £200, but it offers a solid range of features in return.
The Suunto Traverse has a step-counter, vibration alerts to keep you informed, GPS and GLONASS navigation, automatic breadcrumbing, and as many as 100 hours of battery life.
This watch also boasts a compass, sunrise / sunset times, storm alarms, water resistance to 100 meters, and is compatible with the Suunto Movescount App on both Android and iOS.
On top of all this, the Suunto Traverse also has a backlight in flashlight mode, activity tracking (in calories) on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis.
#3. Magellan Explorist 310
This budget alternative is much more competitively-priced than the previous two devices at less than £200.
The Magellan Explorist 310 is pre-loaded with the excellent World Edition map, including a complete road network across Western Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia (ideal if you like to wander far and wide). It incorporates rural and urban environments, land, water, and more.
It looks great courtesy of its transflective colour screen, which ensures data remains readable even in direct sunlight (which is a major benefit, especially if you’re adventuring in an area with hot climates). The device’s SiRFstarIII GPS tracking chipset delivers impressive accuracy of between three and five metres.
Two AA batteries promise to power the device for as many as 18 hours, even with constant usage. If you take a few spares with you, you may not get through them all in a short trip, which means less weight in your baggage.
Breadcrumbs, space for as many as 10,000 geocaches, customisable data fields and more are also available.
#4. Garmin eTrex 30x
Garmin’s second entry in this list is a little more budget-friendly than the first, at around £220. It features a modest 2.2-inch screen that performs well in direct sunlight and 4GB of native memory (though the microSD slot does allow for expanded storage).
The eTrex 30x includes a high-sensitivity receiver with GLONASS and HotFix support. The screen has been reinforced to withstand common elements like dirt and water, ensuring a high standard of functionality in diverse environments.
The eTrex 30x can connect to as many as 24 additional satellites than simple GPS and retains connections even in deep valleys or under strong cover. The compact size makes the Garmin eTrex 30x easy and convenient to slip it in your pocket without worrying about extra weight.
#5. Gaia GPS
Installing a GPS tracking app on your phone is quickly becoming a more attractive, convenient option for adventurers. You have your phone on you at all times and can simply open an app at the tap of a button, rather than keeping two separate devices handy. Simply downloading a GPS app onto your phone negates the need for a separate device.
Gaia GPS is an app for Android and iOS, granting access to an extensive collection of maps like the NatGeo Trails Illustrated, road, topographical and satellite maps. It can measure your pace, distance and altitude, while there’s also an online version accessible via desktops for printing maps the old-fashioned way.
There is a basic version available for free, but if you want the full suite you’ll need to subscribe or pay the overall cost. It’s competitively-priced and is a great alternative (or addition) to the rest of the devices on this list.
That’s it — we’ve narrowed your options for a great GPS device right down. Whether you go with Garmin, Gaia, or one of the other brands covered in our list, you’re guaranteed real value for money.
You’ll never get lost with quality GPS leading the way, leaving you free to focus on having an unforgettable trip!