GearTools & Tech

Will the se GPS unit work in Canada, the U.K., and Europe?

I need a GPS system for the Coast to Coast Walk in England. I know nothing about them, but get the impression they operate only within specific areas. Can I purchase one here in Canada to use in the U.K. and Europe? Hilary Edmonton, Alberta


GPS is everywhere. It’s in the air you breathe, the water you drink, the sun you enjoy. Someday we’ll all have a microchip implanted at birth (or during painful dental procedures when we’re partially sedated) and our movements will be tracked constantly by government agents interested in fighting terrorism…or finding the hot new tapas joint everyone is going to.

Magellan Triton 2000 GPS

Triton 2000 GPS

So GPS is even in Europe. And any standard GPS unit will work just fine. What you get will depend on your preference—whether you want a GPS unit for use in the car, or one that’s more for walking around. For a car, you could purchase a TomTom One XL ($299;, a wide-screen GPS navigation system that is easily installed in any auto. So if you’re renting a car you just plug it in and go. Add to it the TomTom Euromap for navigation in 18 European countries ($199). Garmin’s nüvi 650 ($590; offers similar features. Garmin City Navigator for Europe is another $300. Or, you could simply buy a unit in Europe that comes pre-loaded with European software, which would be cheaper in the short run, although you’d then need to buy U.S./Canadian software.

If you prefer more of a hand-held GPS unit, Garmin’s eTrex Vista HCx ($250) has a color screen, runs off two AA batteries, and can take any MapSource SD card, including for European destinations. Magellan’s very spiffy Triton 2000 ($500; adds a two-megapixel camera and a color touch-screen surface. Like the Garmin, you can use an SD card in it and load European maps.

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Filed To: GPS Devices
Lead Photo: courtesy, Magellan