The Outdoorsman’s 10 best GPS Devices

Handheld GPS devices can be used to augment the pursuit of a variety of outdoor activities, including camping, hunting, fishing, sailing and geocaching.  Depending on your Knoxville activity of choice, different models offer varying degrees of compatibility - if you’re sailing, for example, you’re going to want one that is seriously water resistant.  Here’s a rundown of ten of the best models on the market today.

1.     Garmin GPSMAP 64s

The GPSMAP 64s is not bulging with wacky features, but what it does have is reliability – an incredibly important feature for a handheld GPS. It’s compatible with both GPS and GLONASS satellites, which alongside reliability lend it an unparallelled accuracy, and can connect to your phone in order that you can receive notifications.  It also features an electronic compass and a barometric altimeter, meaning you won’t get fooled by topographic maps, and a battery life of 16 hours.

     2.  Garmin Oregon 600 

The Oregon 600 is handy model for when space is at a premium but you don’t want to compromise on a touchscreen and a slick interface.  It offers solid iterations of the usual features- waypoints and route tracking- as well as an SD slot for adding a memory card or uploading water maps, and with 16 hours of battery life, it’s a great option for any outdoor pursuit.

     3.  Garmin eTrex 30x

The eTrex 30x comes with a whole host of qualities that make it a must for the serious outdoorsman.  It’s compatible with GPS and GLONASS, has wireless capabilities that allow you to share your data to other devices, and has specific support for geocaching.  Alongside all this, its 25-hour battery life and barometric altimeter that plots the changes in altitude as you go, render it possibly the best all-round handheld GPS.

     4. Delorme Inreach SE

The Delorme Inreach is, in a sense, a game changer, as it is both a GPS device and 2-way satellite messenger, meaning that you can, not only navigate your way through deep country, but communicate with the rest of the world while you’re doing so.  There’s even an SOS feature that will connect you directly with a search and rescue centre, and allow communication.  If you’re going truly off-piste, the Delorme Inreach is probably for you.


     5. Bushnell Back Track E2

The Back Track is lovely little device, perfect for urban ramblers who are visiting a city that they don’t know.  It allows you to set up to three location markers, and will then direct you to those as if it were a personalized compass.  If you want to explore a new city but don’t want to be wandering the streets at 2 am trying to find your hotel room, the Back Track will solve all your problems.

     6. Garmin Monterra

The Monterra is unique in that it runs on Android, which allows it to blur the lines between a GPS device and a smartphone.  You can connect to wi-fi, which allows you to download specific maps, and even apps, and you can make use of the video and camera functions which also feature automated geotagging.   

     7. Garmin Foretrex 401

The Foretex is a lightweight device that is perfect for hunters or hikers.  Alongside tracking your routes and waypoints, it is sensitive enough to locate your coordinates even when under deep cover, and also features a barometric altimeter and a heart rate monitor. 

     8.  Magellan eXplorist 310

The eXplorist is perfect for geocaching, with a summary feature that will keep data on your exploration, for example how long it took you to discover each cache.  Alongside its geocaching features, it has the usual route tracker and waypoint features, but is not one for deep country exploration due to its somewhat less sensitive satellite locking.

     9. Garmin Montana 610

The Montana features a large color touchscreen, solid 4GB internal memory and GLONASS compatibility, making it a very useful device for those that need to be able to see the information they need at a glance, such as Moto riders.  

    10.  Garmin 64st

The 64st is a solid bit of kit, with GPS and GLONASS capability, as well as being pre-loaded with world-wide basemap, over 200,000 geocaches and 100,000 maps.  You can choose between a 2-D and 3-D representation of topographic details, and its bluetooth capabilities means that you can share routes and data with other devices.