hiking GPSDo you love the great outdoors? Hiking through the hills, camping with your family. Pitching a tent and telling stories around a fire.

For many, there is nothing better than getting away from the busy city, the career stresses, and just getting back to nature.

However, how do you find your way? Sure, there are trails you can follow and signs along the way that are designed to keep you on track. But sometimes, you just need to escape everything. What do you turn to then?

While there are many solid reasons to learn how to read maps and find your way with a compass, but there is no real substitute for a good quality hiking GPS system.

But why is a GPS such an essential piece of hiking equipment? Read on and we will take a look and answer that question for you.

Pack Your Hiking GPS First

There are a number of hiking essentials that you should always remember to pack before you take a trip. While a compass and a map are part of this kit, having a hiking GPS packed in with your supplies has become a compulsory item in recent years.

Advancements in technology happen for a reason, and that is true for everything from industry to hiking and recreation.

The benefits of using a GPS for hiking are numerous, including the following:

They Allow You to Get Closer to Nature

While it may sound a little strange to suggest such a thing, using a hiking GPS can actually be exactly what is needed to get you back into nature.

No more walking with your nose glued to a map or your compass. You have your trusty piece of equipment guiding you, allowing you to focus on the beauty of the world around you.

Take a moment to look around and enjoy the scenery.

They Make it Really Hard to get Lost

It’s true, having a good GPS system makes getting lost while out a hike that much more unlikely.

Anybody can lose their way, but with a GPS signal, you can always find where you are. As long as you know that, getting back to where you need to be is simple.

Having a tool like that in your bag means you can hit the trails with a greater peace of mind, and focus on enjoying the scenery.

Document your Explorations for Future Use

Getting out and about, exploring the world around you can be great. Forge your own path as you hike, discovering new landmarks, locations and viewing spots.

With a hiking GPS in your possession, these new trails are documented and stored in its memory bank, meaning you can always hit the same trail again. You can even share your discoveries with friends and loved ones.

Multifunctional GPS Systems Offer Additional Benefits

If you have the right brand and model, a hiking GPS system is something that can bring you additional benefits in the form of additional features.

Some can serve as navigation devices, helping you arrive at your start point, not just keeping you on track when out hiking. Others can be used for additional outside hobbies such as Geocaching.

They Can be Life Saving Devices

Nobody likes to talk about the worst case scenario, but when you are thinking about hiking and walking through nature, there are always dangers and problems that you could encounter.

Should the worst happen, and you find yourself injured or stranded somewhere, a hiking GPS can be a genuine lifesaver. Many of the devices have a built-in SOS button which can send an emergency signal out and help people come to your aid.

How to Choose the Best GPS

So, you have decided to invest in a GPS before your next hiking adventure. A very wise choice indeed. However, what sort of system are you looking for? What do you need?

There are, after all, a number of different options out there, from full GPS to smartphones with built-in or purchased apps that can get you where you need to go.

The Journey Helps Define the GPS You Need

If you are out hiking on short trips in your local area, a place you know, with minimal need for direction or assistance, then you should be fine to use a hiking GPS app on your smartphone.

However, if you are looking to make longer trips and explore unknown terrain, then a full GPS is the best option for you.

Battery Life is a Key Consideration

Smartphones are great, but we all know that battery life is not one of their strongest points. If you are heading for a longer hike, then a dedicated GPS is going to be a more sensible choice for you to make.

Yes, you can buy portable power units, and modern cell phones and apps are more power conscious now, but it is all extra considerations you don’t necessarily need to make if you have a dedicated system.

Durability is Important in the Great Outdoors

Let’s be honest, smartphones are fragile. Sure they can take a beating and still function, but imagine trying to use a GPS app on a shattered screen.

It won’t be fun or easy. A dedicated hiking GPS unit is designed to be used outdoors, and can, therefore, take a few bumps and scrapes in the course of a hike.

Dedicated GPS Offers Increased Accuracy

Depending on the type of hike and activity you are engaging in, the need for accuracy in your GPS system will vary.

While this fact also applies to the different model and prices of the units, you will likely find that a dedicated GPS will offer better accuracy and speed than a downloaded app.

Better Safe than Sorry

Ultimately, whether you choose an app or a dedicated unit, it is up to you. The key thing is that you have something. Any GPS is better than no GPS at the end of the day.

We are here to help you. If you are unsure which device is best for you, then check out our reviews, and let us help you make the best-informed decision possible.