What is the best GPS for hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing?
What is the best handheld GPS on the market for hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing? Harlan Olympia, Washington
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If “best” means “most bells and whistles,” then you’re probably looking for something like the Garmin GPSMAP 76CS ($589, www.garmin.com). It’s pretty much the bomb when it comes to handheld GPS units, with a color screen, accuracy down to 15 meters, the capability to load 50 routes and 1,000 waypoints, and downloadable map software (detail isn’t as good as a paper-based map, but it’s not bad). It’s also waterproof and runs off two AA batteries.
“Best” as in “best value” likely means a unit such as the Magellan eXplorist 200 ($149, www.magellangps.com), a basic, easy-to-use black-and-white-screen GPS unit that nevertheless has accuracy as good as higher-priced units, stores 500 waypoints, is waterproof, and has rubber armor for durability. I’d say it’s just about perfect for all-around use as a navigational aid when doing your thing in the backwoods.
“Best” as in “coolest” probably means the Suunto X9 Wristop GPS ($699, www.suunto.com). I mean, how cool is having a pretty good GPS (500 waypoints; ten-meter accuracy), plus a compass, altimeter, watch, and more, all on your wrist. But, admittedly not as practical as a handheld model, simply because the small size makes it more difficult to read the screen, plus manipulate the buttons.
Myself, I’d get the eXplorist, and navigate happily with it.
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