How to Use Handheld GPS Systems

How to Use Handheld GPS SystemsWith the advent of affordable handheld GPS systems, navigation has taken a giant leap forward. The days of navigating to your destination using a map and compass have largely been replaced by GPS systems. Handheld GPS systems allow you to navigate to within several feet of your destination. Day or night, land or water, GPS will take you directly to any spot on earth. Get familiar with your GPS and take full advantage of this practical and useful technology.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to Use Handheld GPS Systems

Things You’ll Need:
  • Handheld GPS system
Step 1
Allow the GPS unit to power up and acquire the satellite signal. Depending on your location, this may take several minutes. Monitor this information on the "GPS Info" page of your GPS.
Step 2
Navigate to a selected waypoint by choosing your destination in the "Waypoints" page. Select the waypoint and then enable the "Go To" option. Information will now be displayed that will take you to your destination. The direction you need to travel, time till arrival and your speed will all be displayed on the screen.
Step 3
Navigate back to where you started by using the "Track Log." This feature leaves a "breadcrumb" trail of everywhere you have been, as long as the GPS unit was powered up. To backtrack to your starting point, merely reverse your direction and follow the "breadcrumb" trail.
Step 4
Plan a travel route ahead of the actual trip. Choose the "Routes" page and select several waypoints that you wish to visit. Once entered, enable the "Routes" function. The GPS will now guide you to each waypoint along your route.

Tips & Warnings

Do not depend solely on the GPS. Carry a map and compass for backup.
Always bring extra batteries.

Article Written By Daniel Ray

Daniel Ray has been writing for over 15 years. He has been published in "Florida Sportsman" magazine. He holds an FAA airframe and powerplant license and FCC radiotelephone license, and is also a licensed private pilot. He attended the University of South Florida.

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