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Hiking Navigation - Garmin GPSMap 64s GPS Hiking and Cycling Devices

Hiking navigation – GPS devices for hiking


Today, GPS devices are no longer used only in cars to detect one’s own position and plan a route. The keyword is hiking navigation. There are a number of models that are suitable for navigation when hiking and cycling. A GPS device is a device that receives the signal from the Global Positioning System (GPS). With the help of satellites orbiting the Earth, it can determine the current position and display it to the user on a digital map.

Hiking navigation – plan whole GPS tours

However, such receivers can do much more than conventional navigation devices. Because not only the respective coordinates are shown, but also whole GPS tours can be planned. This can be a very exciting affair. Because with GPS Hiking it is possible to create your very own route and not just walk the given paths. Furthermore, modern navigation devices can be used for the so-called GPS Geocaching, which will be described in more detail in a later paragraph.

What’s the difference to GPS Trackers?

So-called GPS trackers can also track and save the current coordinates, but they do not record them. They are used to determine the position of objects, animals or certain persons and to transfer them to a receiver. For this reason such devices are often also called GPS finders.

What is Geocaching?

If you are interested in GPS hiking, you should also consider GPS Geocaching. This is a form of modern scavenger hunt. All hikers can search and hide so-called caches at different points on a route. Meanwhile they exist all over the world and it is hard to imagine GPS Navigation without them. During hikes this is also a nice possibility to find a “treasure” with children.

How does tracking work with GPS hiking navigation?

The GPS transmitter communicates with the receiver via SMS, GPRS or USB. Older devices also have a so-called serial port, which, however, is no longer up to date. Newer devices usually have a fast USB port. This makes it easy to transfer data to the PC.

GPS loggers are also suitable for determining and recording GPS coordinates. However, you cannot program tours and are therefore not very suitable for hiking on individual trails. The logger only shows the distance you have walked or ridden by bike. For GPS watches at least one route can be programmed and loaded onto the watch.

Accessories and functions

In order to find your way ideally in nature, navigation devices should also be equipped with a compass and an altimeter. These functions can also be very helpful for the geocaching mentioned above. Of course, the caches are also regularly hidden a few meters above or below their own position. An altimeter can be very useful in finding them anyway. Who wants to be advised also healthwise ideally, should select a device, which has a ANT+ interface. This is because heart and cadence sensors can be connected to it. A Bluetooth interface can facilitate later communication with a computer.

Do you use a GPS device for hiking?

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When purchasing a device, pay attention to its weight and mounting options. GPS devices for hiking often have a backpack attachment option in the form of a karabiner or a manufacturer’s attachment system. During the hike you have quick access to the device and good reception is guaranteed. In addition, the device should not be too heavy. Devices for cycling are usually still a bit lighter than devices for hiking, but do not offer a mature fastening option for the backpack. Newer devices such as the Garmin GPSMAP 64s or the Garmin Edge 1030 are optimized for their purpose.

Hiking navigation- plan free routes with Garmin Basecamp

Basecamp is a practical navigation software from the manufacturer Garmin, with which you can plan routes very easily and above all free of charge. With a few clicks the individual waypoints are determined. It is also possible to display the distance between the different destinations. And through so-called Activity profiles useful hints are regularly shown to the user, which can be interesting for the route. If you wander together with other people, you can easily transmit the tracks to them via Garmin Basecamp.

Battery runtime

Before purchasing a particular model, the respective battery life should be compared. Because it is very annoying if the GPS device has no more energy during the hike and therefore no longer records the activity and the path. Most models are powered by two conventional AA batteries or AA rechargeable batteries. On average, they last a maximum of 20 hours, so that almost a day can be walked through. For longer tours replacement batteries should therefore be packed. Devices for cycling often have a fixed battery and are therefore only suitable for longer hikes to a very limited extent.

Hiking navigation – digitisation is progressing

The large number of devices and providers of GPS devices for navigation while hiking makes the classic hiking map competition. The advantage of the wall card is that it is independent of electricity and requires no technical knowledge. However, the GPS devices are getting better and better, so that the development will be exciting in the next few years!

The forest heroes run a beautiful outdoor sports blog with a focus on Sauerland. There you will find an interesting article about outdoor apps for smartphones for hiking & geocaching.

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