Hiking GPS Accessories

Hand-held Global Positioning System (GPS) units are intended to log and store geographical data while you venture into the wilderness. They are built to withstand all weather conditions and come with many features to help you determine where you are and where you’ve been.

A good hiking GPS should have all the necessary features that could help you get out of an emergency situation immediately. There are a lot of GPS devices available in the market today, with almost the same functions and features, but always remember to only consider functions that you prefer and which would fit perfectly to your needs.

More than the function, a GPS device’s durability is essential. It should be able to withstand dirt, water, mud, dust, drops and extreme temperatures. To keep your hiking GPS device in good working condition,  here’s a list of some of the accessories that you might need:

Cigarette Lighter Adapters

If you’re primarily using your GPS receiver in a car or truck, you can save on battery costs by powering your GPS receiver with a cigarette lighter adapter. These handy devices run a GPS receiver from your car’s electrical system. You can buy a generic version or one made for your model.

USB Power Cable and Adapter

Almost every electronic device nowadays can be charged using USB cables and adapters. The same is true with hiking GPS devices. Most packages include USB power cables used for charging or transferring data from your device to your PC. These cables come in mini and micro plugs, so just make sure you get the one that fits your device.

Memory Card/ SD card

Some GPS devices have the option for additional storage capacity via SD cards. Some can even support up to 128GB of memory. This doesn’t always come in the package so make sure to buy one, if you are planning to buy a GPS device that supports an SD card. This comes in Mini and Micro sizes; make sure to check on your device first.

Batteries

All Hiking GPS devices are powered by batteries, either lithium ion batteries or alkaline batteries. Alkaline batteries are almost always available in supermarkets and even convenience store. Lithium ion batteries are rechargeable and are known to be more economical to use. Other advantages of using lithium ion batteries are:

  • High energy density – potential for yet higher capacities.
  • Relatively low self-discharge – self-discharge is less than half that of nickel-based batteries
  • Do not need prolonged priming when new. One regular charge is all that’s needed.
  • Low maintenance

Make sure to bring an extra battery set with you so you never run out of batteries while hiking up the mountain.

Mounting Hardware

Most hiking GPS devices are also used in mountain biking, off-road driving and boating. If you’re going to use your GPS receiver in any of those, you will need a bracket for mounting it. There is an assortment of car mounts available including windshield mounts, dashboard mounts, and air vent mounts among others. A mounting hardware will keep your GPS device in place without having to hold it, and will let you see its display fully.

Anti-glare Screen Protector

All GPS devices have screens that vary in sizes. This is where essential information is displayed when the GPS device is in use. Screens also vary in kind. Nowadays, touchscreen GPS devices are the most preferred by hikers because of their ease of use.

If you have or plan to have a touchscreen GPS device, it is only wise to have it protected by a screen protector to save it from dust and scratches. When day hiking, an anti-glare screen protector can be a big help in reading from the display panel of your GPS device under the sunlight.