A GPS is no doubt an invaluable tool to use during hunting. It provides great help in navigation by giving you the information about where you have been, where you are and where you want to go next. It even comes in handy when you need to track the blood trail of game.
Choosing a suitable hunting GPS can make a big different in the way you enjoy your hunt. When choosing a GPS, you should consider a few things so that you can pick the most suitable GPS for your hunt.
It is important to choose a GPS unit that functions well according to your preference. Furthermore, each GPS unit comes with different applications so you will need to pay attention to the ones that are suitable for your hunting.
Functionality you need to look at
It is recommended for you to look into a GPS unit with good speed so that it can function fast and accurately when you need it. The number of satellites the GPS uses for location information is a determining factor of the GPS speed.
You should get a unit that connects to 12 different satellites at the least. However, if you can afford to get a unit that has more, then you should go ahead. You should avoid getting any less. This is because your GPS unit could take up to as long as twenty seconds if it is connected to less than 12 satellites.
Besides, it is helpful for your GPS unit to possess a high sensitivity receiver for these satellites. The American Oregon 600 provides this along with Hotfix satellite receiver too. These work together to locate your position quickly and precisely. With this feature, you can trust the system to assist you even in dense and tricky locations.
A larger antenna for your unit may also provide a boost to the speed of determining your location. There are different types of GPS antennas in the market. There is no the best type but the most popular one is the Quad Helix style. This provides more sensitivity and superior reception.
It is important to get a legible screen for your GPS. That is, a screen that is clear enough to read. Most people go hunting during the daytime when the sun shines brightly. This can make it almost impossible to see your gadget screen clearly sometimes.
Hence, you should look out for GPS units that deal with this problem well. You can look out for those that contain reflective display technology. You should also look for a unit with good display quality so that you can interpret the data on it clearly.
Another thing to consider when choosing your GPS is the screen size. It is helpful to have a larger screen size for a clearer reading. However, the size of the GPS unit will be larger as well. This means that it will be heavier to carry around. You will need to decide which is more important to your hunting style.
You should also decide on your interface preference. You need to choose if you would like to get a touch screen or not. Getting a GPS unit with a touch screen will come in handy because it is fast to use. If your hunt is during winter, you may want to consider using a handheld GPS with buttons instead since using a touch screen will not be very efficient to work with when you wear gloves.
Durability and Battery Life
The most technologically advanced GPS in the world will not be of much help if it breaks the first time you drop it! Hence, it is important to get a durable GPS unit when it comes to hunting. You should make sure that your GPS is able to withstand significant collisions to ensure its durability. It should also be weather resistant and can withstand pressure and water.
You are highly recommended to invest in a GPS unit with a good amount of battery life too. The last thing you want is for your GPS to run out of battery during a hunt and especially when you are in the midst of using it.
Some units in the market like the Garmin Oregon 600 3-Inch Worldwide Handheld GPS have dual battery source made for hunting. With this feature, the latest power solution is provided for your GPS. This helps your device to never run short of power source during your hunting adventure.
Some units also come with the option of using rechargeable batteries. This is convenient for you as you will not need to keep getting batteries for your device. For example, the Garmin Approach G6 features a rechargeable battery that can last up to fifteen hours at one go!
A good durable GPS with long battery life will last you a long way, not just on the field but over the long term!
Extra Features you need to pay attention to
It is usually the case that handheld GPS units contain built-in base map which shows you the main roads, rivers and landmarks. However, most of them will not indicate to you small roads or other minor details. They only provide general information.
You must ensure that the GPS you chose can download maps to show the major details of the land. Hence, you may want to look out for a GPS that is map downloadable. This can also keep you updated for any changes. The more information on your map, the safer and more confident you will be on your hunt.
The altimeter function of the GPS is for measuring barometric pressure. This enables you to predict the weather because you can determine the changes in surrounding pressure typically due to upcoming weather changes. If the pressure goes down, you can expect change like clouds or rain. If the pressure rises, you can expect blue skies. This can be very beneficial during hunting.
Certain GPS units even come with Smart Notification. This allows you to wirelessly receive emails and text messages from your compatible smart phone. This is convenient for hunting as you do not need to dig into your backpack for your phone when you have so many other tools to take care of. It certainly makes your hunt easier and more comfortable.
It is often the case that regulations on hunting would regulate the time period when hunting can legally start, be it in the morning or during evenings. This usually depends on the time of when the sun rises, and when it sets. Since this time changes every day, you can rely on a GPS unit to determine the time. Hence, you may want to choose a GPS unit that provides a calendar of sunrise and sunset so you can know when it is legal to hunt.
All in all, trade-offs will have to be made in choosing the best GPS unit for yourself. Therefore, you will need to make comparisons on which GPS unit offers better features according to those that are important to you. You will also have to decide which is most worth your money. The price range of your selected GPS will depend on your budget and preferences. It is also advisable to read up reviews on different units, especially those produced by reliable manufacturers. In the end, it will all be worth it for your hunt!