The first thing to decide is how you plan on using a GPS, and the second is how much you plan on spending on a GPS. Do you plan on using it in your car, for hiking and backpacking, or for hunting and/or fishing? Current GPS receivers are limited as to what they can do and are optimized for a specific purpose. There are GPS specifically for flying, others for hunting and/or fishing, and others for car navigation. A few are just an electronic map that shows your position on the map screen. Others have no maps at all and can be just fine if you just want to know your longitude/latitude. |
If you plan on using your GPS in an automobile, there are several choices: a basic or mapping handheld receiver; a dedicated automotive receiver; a GPS with a PDA; or a Laptop GPS.
If you plan on using your GPS for hunting or backpacking there are three choices, a basic handheld receiver, a mapping handheld receiver and GPS with a PDA. It is also recommended that in addition to your GPS, you should take a paper map, and magnetic compass, and extra batteries. Weight and size need to be considered when deciding which GPS to choose. A basic receiver does not have mapping abilities, however it will display your location in a format that you choose, and most likely latitude/longitude. Providing your paper maps have your chosen position format marked on them, your GPS will allow you to find your location on the map. If your maps don't have the position format grids marked already, this is something you'll want to do yourself.
For hunting or fishing many handheld models include best hunting and fishing times for a given location and date. Mapping handheld receivers are often larger, heavier, and/or have shorter battery lives than basic units. Shorter battery life means carrying more extra batteries adding bulk and weight. With a mapping handheld unit you will have the benefit of having the maps displayed on your GPS. These also include other benefits such as a barometric altimeter, an electronic compass, games, and a calendar and you can plan your route ahead of time on your PC and upload it to your GPS. These units display pre-loaded maps and map detail is reflected by the size and resolution of the screen. This means that mapping units are generally larger than basic units.
Related Articles -
GPS, GPS to choose, Units,