GPS units for Backpacking




GPS units for Backpacking

It brings amazing peace of mind to have a GPS unit with you when navigating challenging terrain over multiple days in the backcountry. With the many fantastic models available on the market it makes a ton of sense to have at least one unit in your party.

The best GPS for backpacking will depend on several factors, including your budget, the type of activities you'll be doing, and the features you require. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Garmin GPSMAP 64st: This GPS device is popular among backpackers due to its rugged design, preloaded topographic maps, and long battery life.
  2. DeLorme inReach Explorer+: This GPS device is ideal for remote trips, as it offers satellite communication capabilities in addition to GPS navigation.
  3. Garmin eTrex 30x: This compact and lightweight GPS device is a good option for those who prefer a simple, straightforward navigation experience.
  4. SPOT X: This GPS device is a good option for solo hikers, as it includes a two-way satellite messaging system for emergency communication.
  5. Suunto 9 Baro: This GPS device is a good option for endurance athletes, as it offers extensive battery life, navigation features, and wrist-based heart rate monitoring.

Ultimately, the best GPS for backpacking will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Consider the features that are most important to you, and make sure to do your research and read reviews before making a decision.

Another huge consideration for GPS units is battery life, and we wanted to give you a quick overview of some of the differences between units on the market, as they vary quite a bit.

The battery life of a GPS device while backpacking can vary depending on several factors, including the specific device, usage patterns, and weather conditions. Here are some general estimates for battery life:

  1. Garmin GPSMAP 64st: Up to 16 hours
  2. DeLorme inReach Explorer+: Up to 100 hours
  3. Garmin eTrex 30x: Up to 25 hours
  4. SPOT X: Up to 7 days
  5. Suunto 9 Baro: Up to 120 hours

It's important to note that battery life can be affected by factors such as continuous use, frequent updates of GPS data, and harsh weather conditions. To extend battery life, some GPS devices allow you to adjust the display brightness, turn off certain features, and put the device into power-saving modes.

Additionally, it is recommended to bring extra batteries or a charging device when backpacking, especially for extended trips. A solar panel or portable battery pack can be useful to recharge the GPS device in the field.

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