Your Ultimate Buying Guide To The Best Backpacking GPS

Your Ultimate Guide to Buying the Best Backpacking GPS

A backpacking GPS is one of the best tools you can carry on your hiking adventure. These little gadgets have changed the way we travel. Backpackers no longer have to read complicated and detailed paper road maps (though you should still carry one!).

Advanced GPS Backpacker Tracker

Having a backpacking GPS allows you to enjoy your journey without worrying about getting lost on the way. Additionally, navigating your way becomes less stressful and hassle-free.

Reasons To Invest In A GPS

Here are some benefits of carrying a backpacking GPS:

  • Added Safety: Now backpackers can go on thrilling adventures without getting lost. Losing your way can get infuriating and possibly become hazardous. A portable GPS provides accurate directions to your location. This ensures you know exactly where you are and what direction you should head in.
  • Recollection Record: Did you know that some GPS units can permanently record your hiking or backpacking route? This feature is excellent for hikers and backpackers who are always ready for an adventure and want to take their favorite route. You can take note of your favorite location and bring along your friends and family next time.
  • Weather Resistant: Unlike paper maps, most GPS units are resistant to water damage. Backpacking units offer superior satellite reception in remote places so you have access to accurate directions wherever you go.
  • Better Outdoor Experience: Having a GPS unit eliminates the need for you concentrate on rigorous paper maps. You spend less time worrying about getting lost and thus get to enjoy your outdoor adventure. Backpacking GPS aids navigation and cuts down time you spend on reading a paper map.

Things To Consider While Purchasing A GPS

Here are a couple of factors you should consider before purchasing a GPS:

  • Two-Way Communications: Some GPS units offer two-way communication for satellite systems. These units are especially handy for users who are headed to far off locations.
  • Weather Resistant: Ensure you invest in a reliable GPS system that won’t stop working when it rains and is resistant to water damage. This feature will allow you to enjoy your journey no matter what the weather forecast says.
  • Additional Features: Some high-tech GPS units offer advanced features that might prove useful. This includes an area calculator, alarm, calendar, stopwatch, and compass. However, if you are not tech savvy, you would probably benefit from a simpler device.
  • Battery Life: You don’t want your GPS to die out after only a few hours of backpacking, do you? Well, then invest in a unit with a long battery life, at least a minimum of 15 hours.
  • Built-in Memory: This feature will allow you to save your favorite routes for later. Some models also allow you to save pictures, videos and audios.

Best Backpacking GPS Units

Always invest in a device after noting the above mentioned factors. You might not need an advanced GPS navigator if you only go hiking once a year or like having tons of navigating apps on your phone. Now that you have learnt what features help make the best backpacking GPS units, here are our top picks:

*Mobile users please scroll to the right to see the entire table.

Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator

Garmin eTrex 10

The Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator is an entry-level handheld navigator that is easy to use and provides accurate directions. The water-proof navigator can withstand rain and water splashes and you can take it on a thrilling adventure. Best of all, the device is powered by two AA batteries that can last for up to 20 hours. The Garmin eTrex features premium monochrome display and a WAAS-enabled GPS receiver that provides reliable signals and fast positioning. The device also features a zoom in and zoom out button that results in ease of use.

Garmin GPSMAP 64st, TOPO U.S. 100K With High-Sensitivity GPS

Garmin GPSMAP 64st

The Garmin GPSMAP 64st, TOPO U.S. 100K with High-Sensitivity GPS is a portable and easy to use GPS that should be a part of every backpacker’s gear. The GPSMAP 64st conveniently allows backpackers to locate their destination in a matter of seconds even if you’re on top of snowy mountains or deep in the canyons. The GPS features sunlight readable color screen along with a quad helix antenna and GLONASS receiver. The GPSMAP 64st comes with an 8GB internal memory along with a micro SD card slot.

Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS


The Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS is a highly sensitive device with improved performance and reception. Hikers and backpackers can use the device while even if they decide to head over to far off places. The GPS is powered by two standard AAA batteries that will last several hours. The handy device allows you to keep track of your favorite routes, waypoints and tracks. It also supports dual position readouts so hikers can view locations in several formats. It also features an electronic compass, trip computer and barometric altrimeter.

Garmin Oregon 650t 3-Inch Handheld GPS with 8MP Digital Camera

Garmin Oregon 650t

Garmin Oregon 650t 3-Inch Handheld GPS with 8MP Digital Camera is definitely one of the fanciest and high-tech GPS navigators in town. The device features touchscreen display along with GLONASS satellite positioning. Not only does it allow you to share routes, waypoints and tracks but it also lets you auto switch between portrait and landscape view. Hikers and backpackers can seize the moment and capture stunning photos with this device. It has a long battery life that lets you use the device as much as you need. It features a dual battery system along with an LED torch/flash along with a digital zoom.

These are just a few of the best GPS manufactured by Garmin. Browse through more options if you want to invest in the best outdoor GPS.


Keep all of the above-mentioned factors in mind the next time you go shopping for a GPS. Good luck!

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