How to choose a GPS for Hunting:

Things to Remember When choosing a GPS

GPS is an invaluable tool for hunting, as well as many other outdoor hobbies.  When choosing a GPS for hunting there are a few things you need to keep in mind to get the most out of your money.  Not all GPS units come with the options and applications that most hunters will find necessary, and unless you have used GPS units, you may not know all of the applications that many hunters are taking advantage of.  Here we will discuss these applications so you will know what to look for when buying a hunting GPS.

Click this link to view the best GPS units ordered in price ranges: http://www.bestforhunting.com/?page_id=180

 

The Standards:

How to choose a GPS

The Garmin Rino 530 HCx is the only GPS that comes with all the features that we discuss in this article.

There are some things all GPS units come with.  Almost all will have the ability to mark where you are and then be able to tell you how to get back to that point.  This is the most basic application of a GPS, but also the most important as it will keep you from getting lost.  In addition to that, most GPS units will tell you your altitude, speed, and the direction you are traveling.  Again, basic, but very necessary applications that you need not worry about because if it is a GPS unit from the 21st century, these will be standard.

Applications Tailored for Hunters:

Communication: 2-way radio
Mapping Capabilities
Best Hunting and Fishing Times
Sun Set and Rise
Compass
Altimeter
Weather Radio Band

Communication: 2-way Radio

The latest and greatest thing in hunting GPS units is the ability to communicate with others on 2-way radio frequencies.  That’s right; some GPS units have 2-way radios built into them making it possible to add a GPS to your gear without adding weight and volume, as you will not need a 2-way radio.  Recently, having a 2-way radio is as common as packing a knife while hunting.   In fact, you will probably use it more than a knife.  Not only that but it could save your life in the event of an emergency as your only way of communication.  These GPS / 2-way radio units will transmit and receive GMRS and FRS frequencies, which is what all handheld radios run on so you will be able to talk with friends as well, that do not have the same GPS unit.

2-way radio is not standard in most GPS units that are targeted at hunters, so make sure the one you buy has this.  Currently there is only one brand that specializes in these dual purpose units, but we will talk more about that at the end of this article.

Mapping Capabilities:

How to choose a GPS

Garmin Rinos are availible in different price ranges based on the model and the features they have. Click the link at the end of the article to see which GPS fits your needs and budget the best.

Most GPS units come with some sort of base map that shows major roads, landmarks, rivers, and the like.  Most do not show contours, roads, creeks, and other smaller details as such.  The ideal GPS for hunting is capable of downloading maps that do show the lay of the land in major detail.  If you are serious about a GPS that is the best for hunting, make sure it is map downloadable.  Maps are easy to download with detailed instructions, and are usually sold separately.

Best Hunting & Fishing Times:

There have been multiple studies documented that the sun and moon have an effect on the movement and feeding times of animals.  A lot of this is speculation, and much of the time it may be unnoticeable, but with the right GPS you can check out what times will be best to be in the field.

Sun Set and Sun Rise:

Many hunting regulations regulate the time of when hunting can legally start in the morning and end in the evening depending on the sun rise and set.  Obviously, this time changes every day of the year as the earth tilts one way or the other changing the angle to the sun.  When choosing a GPS for hunting, make sure there is a calendar of sunrise and set so you will know when it is and is not legal to shoot.

Electronic Compass:

Most GPS units will tell you the direction of travel, but only when you are moving.  A handy function on select units is an electronic compass so you can determine direction while standing still.

Altimeter:

An altimeter is used to measure barometric pressure.  This enables a person to determine if there is a change in pressure typically due to weather changes.  If the pressure is going down, you can expect change for the worse such as clouds or rain.  If the pressure is rising, then blue skies will typically be the result.  With an altimeter you can predict the weather, which can be very beneficial when hunting.

Weather Radio Band:

With a weather band on your radio you will be able to get up to the minute weather forecasts and reports as long as you can pick up the frequencies.  This is a huge benefit in addition to a 2way radio which is a huge benefit in and of its self.

Choosing a GPS for hunting involves a substantial investment, so you want to make sure you know how to choose a GPS for hunting that will do all that you need it to, and preferably more.  At my blog I go into more detail on the particular model that is the best for hunting that has all of the requirements listed above.  Be sure you choose the best GPS for hunting by clicking here: http://www.bestforhunting.com/?page_id=180

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