Are you tired of getting lost on the trail and relying on that one friend with the ‘good sense of direction’? Say goodbye to aimlessly wandering and hello to safe and efficient hiking with a trusty GPS device. But, before you hit the trail, make sure you know the ins and outs of properly carrying and using your GPS to ensure a smooth and successful hike. Keep reading for tips on how to safely and effectively carry your hiking GPS device.
I won’t keep you waiting.
What Is A Hiking GPS?
A hiking GPS, or Global Positioning System, is like a personal Sherpa in your pocket. It’s a handy device that uses satellite technology to pinpoint your exact location on the Earth’s surface, allowing you to easily navigate through even the most remote wilderness areas.
Imagine you’re out on a hike and suddenly you find yourself surrounded by dense woods, unsure of which direction to take. With a hiking GPS, you can simply pull out the device, check your current location, and find your way back to the trail with ease.
Hiking GPS devices come equipped with a variety of features to help you navigate the great outdoors. They typically have built-in maps and compasses, allowing you to track your location, mark waypoints, and even plan routes in advance. Some models even have features like tracking your elevation, or displaying weather information, so you can stay safe and informed on the trail.
Additionally, GPS devices have the ability to store and share tracks, waypoints, and routes with other GPS users, which can be extremely helpful when planning a trip with friends or groups.
How to Properly Carry Your GPS While Hiking
When it comes to carrying your hiking GPS device, safety should always be your top priority. After all, you don’t want to end up like the person who’s always fumbling with their GPS, dropping it on rocks and losing it in the wilderness. So, to keep your GPS safe and secure while you’re trekking through the great outdoors, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Don’t Skimp on the Case
Your GPS is a valuable piece of equipment, so don’t treat it like a cheap toy. Invest in a durable, water-resistant case that will protect it from scratches, dings, and the elements. After all, you don’t want to be the person on the trail with a GPS that looks like it’s been through a war zone.
Keep it Close
Time is of the essence when you’re on the move, so keep your GPS device within easy reach. A chest or hip pack is a great option, as it allows you to quickly check your location or mark a waypoint without having to stop and dig through your backpack. Trust me, you don’t want to be the one holding up the group because you’re trying to find your GPS at the bottom of your pack.
Secure it Safely
A loose GPS device is a recipe for disaster. Make sure it’s securely fastened and won’t shift around or fall out of your pack. It’s important to keep the device in a pocket or compartment that can be zipped or closed to prevent it from falling out or getting lost. You don’t want to be the one who has to backtrack miles because you lost your GPS.
Use a Lanyard or Carabiner
A lanyard or carabiner is like a leash for your GPS. It will keep it close to your body and make it easy to access while keeping your hands free. Plus, it’s a great way to keep your GPS safe and secure if you happen to drop it.
Keep it Charged
You don’t want to be the one with a dead GPS in the middle of nowhere. Make sure your device is fully charged before you hit the trail, and carry a backup power source, such as a portable charger, just in case. Nothing is more frustrating than having a GPS that runs out of juice just when you need it most.
Related: Are Handheld GPS Worth It?
Additional Safety Tips
Sure, I can give you additional tips on how to carry your GPS while hiking. Here are 20 more that are among my favorite.
- Always check the weather forecast before heading out and make sure your GPS device is waterproof or can be protected from the elements. Because the last thing you want is a soggy, non-functioning GPS on a rainy hike.
- Keep your GPS device in a secure location, such as a pocket or bag, to avoid dropping it or losing it. You don’t want to be the person frantically searching for your GPS device at the bottom of a ravine.
- Use a screen protector to protect the screen from scratches or cracks. A scratched-up screen can make it difficult to read and navigate.
- Keep your GPS device dry by using a waterproof bag or case, especially when crossing streams or rivers. You don’t want to be the one with a waterlogged GPS device.
- Use a protective cover or case to protect your GPS device from dust and dirt. Dust and dirt can clog up the buttons and ports, making it difficult to use.
- Keep your GPS device in a cool and dry place to avoid overheating. A hot GPS device can lead to malfunctions and damage.
- Use a lanyard or carabiner to keep your GPS device close to your body and make it easy to access. This way you won’t have to dig through your pack to find it.
- Avoid leaving your GPS device in direct sunlight for long periods of time. Sunlight can cause overheating and damage to the battery.
- Keep your GPS device away from magnets and other electronic devices to avoid interference.
- Always back up your GPS data before heading out on a hike in case of loss or damage. You don’t want to lose all your hard-earned waypoints and tracks.
- Keep your GPS device in a safe place when not in use, such as a locked car or a secure location at home. You don’t want your GPS device to be an easy target for thieves.
- Avoid using your GPS device in extreme temperatures, as this can cause damage or malfunction.
- Use a charger specifically designed for your GPS device to avoid damage to the battery.
- Keep your GPS device updated with the latest software and maps. You don’t want to be using outdated information on the trail.
- Avoid dropping or hitting your GPS device on hard surfaces to prevent damage.
- Use a protective film on the screen of your GPS device to prevent scratches and cracks.
- Make sure your GPS device has enough battery life before heading out on a hike.
- Store your GPS device in a dry and cool place when not in use to prevent damage from moisture.
- Make sure your GPS device is turned off when not in use to conserve battery life.
- Always check that you have the latest firmware and maps installed on your GPS device before heading out on a hike.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your GPS device will be safe and reliable when you need it most on the trail. Keep your GPS device in top-notch condition and you’ll be able to navigate the wilderness with confidence and ease, leaving you free to enjoy the beautiful scenery and fresh air. Happy hiking!