Hand-held GPS devices are a popular tool among outdoor enthusiasts. They can be used to mark points of interest along the way, create routes using waypoints or to look for geocaches. Whether you're hiking or paddling, a hand-held GPS will help you know exactly where you are.
There are generally three types of hand-held GPS: mapping, non-mapping and auto-routing. Non-mapping is your most basic GPS. It can tell you where you are located, but there are no maps. Mapping GPS hand-held devices have display screens with maps while auto-routing hand-helds offer turn-by-turn directions for drivers.
Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS)
Most GPS units are accurate to within 15 meters, but WAAS can increase accuracy to within 3 meters.
Most hand-held GPS units can store up to 500 waypoints, with newer models storing 1,000. Waypoints are used to record points of interest and can also be used to create routes in your GPS.
Except for the higher-end hand-held GPS units such as the Garmin Oregon 400, most GPS hand-helds do not have a built-in compass.
For a GPS that you are taking out in the woods, you will want one that can withstand the elements. A rugged GPS will have a waterproof rating of IPX7, making it able to withstand being in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.
Article Written By Shiromi Nassreen
Shiromi Nassreen has been writing professionally since 2005. She specializes in travel and outdoor topics, and her articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including "DISfunkshion Magazine" and Matador Travel. Nassreen holds a Bachelor of Arts in theatre studies from Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama.