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Up to date Jan 25, 2023 3:58 PM

Earlier than the very best searching GPS models had been obtainable, open air folks realized classes in humility. Among the greatest hunters, hikers, and anglers I do know inform tales about tailing massive bulls and bucks over one ridge after which one other solely to cease and understand they’d no concept the place they had been. 

After all, many may pull out the paper map and compass and develop a get-back-to-camp plan, however for others, Mom Nature shortly added to the issue by blowing in a heavy rain or snow storm. It’s scary, and I’ve been there. These tales, thank God, are on the verge of extinction. Certain, they add a component of hazard and may be enjoyable to hearken to, however many who obtained misplaced within the backcountry or discovered themselves damaged and battered by no means obtained to inform their story. They perished, and that’s the onerous fact. 

At the moment, developments in GPS know-how make sure you all the time know your actual location, irrespective of how distant from camp you roam. Some models include radios, whereas others let you ship messages to family and friends and get speedy assist if a scenario turns into dire.

On the much less severe facet of issues, taking a devoted searching or fishing GPS means you’ll be able to mark massive fish spots and locales the place monster bulls are certain to roam. You possibly can scout from the consolation of your sofa and pinpoint treestand websites in states 1000’s of miles away. You possibly can even share these waypoints with others should you select to take action. 

With all the benefits that include the very best searching GPS models, one wonders how we’d ever get alongside with out them. 

How I Made My Picks for the Greatest Looking GPS

We didn’t pull these picks out of skinny air. Make no mistake. Each GPS and app talked about on this article has been totally examined within the mountains, on the water, throughout the plains, and in each climate situation you’ll be able to think about. A GPS is simply too necessary of a device to do a “round-up” type article that displays information solely offered by the producer. You wish to know what works, what is going to get you there and again once more, and what is going to save your life. You possibly can rely on the models offered. 

The Greatest Looking GPS: Evaluations & Suggestions

Greatest Handheld: Garmin GPSMAP 66i

Greatest Handheld

Why It Made The Minimize: Our winner has all of it—ABC sensors, Birdseye Satellite tv for pc Imagery, Preloaded Topo maps, two-way messaging—the works. From the Rockies to the Midwest hardwoods to the dense forests of the East, this unit serves its objective flawlessly.

Key Options

  • Interactive SOS Alerts
  • Location sharing
  • 100 % International Iridium Satellite tv for pc Community
  • Prolonged battery life
  • Constructed for journey


  • Reliable
  • A number of world satellite tv for pc navigation
  • Constructed to army requirements
  • Non-compulsory GPS inReach Climate


In the event you’re in search of one GPS to do all of it, the GPSMAP 66i matches the invoice. From mountaineering to searching to fishing, this 2.5″x6.4″x1.4″ unit permits you to mark and share waypoints. Options like BirdsEye Satellite tv for pc Imagery allow you to obtain high-resolution, photo-realistic maps to the system with out an annual subscription. ABC Sensors offer you an altimeter, barometer, and a 3-axis digital compass. InReach know-how retains you in contact with household and buddies when you’re in your journey. Ought to issues ever go from dangerous to worse, set off the unit’s interactive SOS message, and assist can be on the way in which 24/7/365. The unit has confirmed as sturdy because the day is lengthy, and different options like Expedition mode imply you’ll be able to rise up to 200 hours of battery life whereas utilizing inReach know-how. If there’s a do-all mountaineering, fishing, and searching GPS, the 66i is it. 

Greatest Backcountry: Garmin inReach Mini 2

Greatest Backcountry

Garmin inReach Mini 2 is the best backcountry hunting GPS.

Why It Made The Minimize: Small and light-weight, the unit takes up little or no room within the pack and may be lashed to a backpack or belt loop comfortably.

Key Options

  • 3.5 ounces
  • 14-day battery life
  • Life-saving options


  • Two-Means Messaging
  • Interactive SOS Alerts
  • Location Sharing
  • Digital Compass
  • TracBack Routing


Garmin inReach Mini 2 satellite communicator
Compact and purposeful, the inReach Mini 2 makes the right GPS for a backcountry hunter or hiker. Jace Bauserman

With out this blaze orange handheld, I gained’t stroll 10 ft from my truck into the wilderness. This miniscule unit is nice, and I’ve already written a full evaluate of it for Discipline & Stream. Not solely will it save your life, however it is going to enable household and buddies to trace you by way of the Garmin Discover App. Most buy the unit for its get-out-of-trouble and let others know the place I’m always options, however there’s far more to the inReach Mini 2. I like the TracBack routing function. As soon as engaged, you don’t have to fret about the place or how far you roam. Nor do you need to fret about Mom Nature dropping the cloud ceiling to a stage that makes visibility unimaginable. This routing function will navigate you again to your start line, and also you’ll stroll again on the identical tracks you trekked on. A built-in digital compass offers you an instantaneous, correct heading, and the inner, rechargeable lithium battery offers you as much as 14 days of battery life when the unit is ready within the default 10-minute monitoring mode. And, sure, you’ll be able to set off the SOS button, and assist can be on the way in which.

Greatest for Fishing: Humminbird Helix 7 Chirp Mega SI GPS G4

Greatest for Fishing

Humminbird Helix 7 Chirp Mega SI GPS G4 is the best GPS for fishing.

Why It Made The Minimize: One of the best isn’t all the time the most costly. Humminbird makes finders with extra options, bigger screens, and larger worth tags. However this fish finder ($720) performs duties that will have value effectively over $1K not a few years in the past. 

Key Options

  • 7-inch show
  • A number of sonar choices
  • 1,200 ft. depth w/commonplace transducer
  • Keypad Management


  • Consumer-friendly menu
  • MEGA Facet & Down imaging
  • Twin Spectrum CHIP sonar
  • Inner GPS


I ran a $145 Hummingbird mannequin for 3 years on my craft and determined to improve. This Helix 7 Chirp Mega SI would be the final Inner GPS fishfinder I ever personal. Not solely is it a breeze to arrange and function, however you’ll be able to’t beat the MEGA imaging choices of Facet and Down. Facet imaging offers a 2D, crystal-clear view of the construction, vegetation, canals, drop-offs, and many others., out to 125 ft on both facet of the boat. Down imaging does the identical with most image readability all the way down to 125 ft. MEGA Facet and Down imaging guarantee as much as 3X extra element than commonplace Down and Facet imaging sonar. You’ll additionally love the Large and Slender mode choices of the Twin Spectrum CHIRP sonar, and the Inner GPS and Humminbird Basemap enables you to fish, navigate, and mark sizzling new fish zones shortly and simply. I like the padded contact button management, and I’ve had zero points with this modern unit. Better of all, I catch extra fish with it.

Greatest Price range: Garmin eTrex 10

Greatest Price range

Garmin eTrex 10 is the best budget hunting GPS.

Why It Made The Minimize: The unique Garmin eTrex was my first-ever GPS unit. It by no means failed me and was all the time purposeful. It was a GPS that didn’t break the financial institution and would get me there and again once more. The eTrex 10 will do all that and a bit of extra. 

Key Options

  • 25-hour battery life w/AA batteries
  • GPS and GLONASS satellites
  • Works in heavy cowl
  • Waypoint marking 


  • Rugged
  • Wonderful show lighting
  • Simple-to-use interface
  • Worldwide Basemap
  • Superior Monitoring


  • Not many bells and whistles

A simple-on-the-wallet searching GPS that may stand as much as any terrain and climate situation, Garmin’s eTrex 10 enables you to roam the place you please, drop waypoints alongside the way in which and get again to your camp or automobile safely. You possibly can mark searching and fishing sizzling spots, in addition to along-the-trail places you could revisit. I like the simplicity and no-fail setup of the system, and although not enormous, the two.2-inch monochrome show is straightforward to learn in any lighting situation. Garmin has additionally gone the additional mile in satellite tv for pc communication, and the system grabs each GPS and GLONASS satellites concurrently, which provides the eTrex 10 the power to hook up with 24 satellites. The Map, Compass, Mark Waypoint, Journey Laptop, Setup, and Waypoint Handle choices are extremely user-friendly, so should you’re not a tech guru, this GPS is the way in which to go. You get all of those nice options for below $110. How are you going to beat that? 

Greatest GPS Watch: Garmin Fenix 6 Sequence

Greatest GPS Watch

Garmin Fenix 6 Series is the best GPS watch.

Why It Made The Minimize: That is the very best look ahead to the outdoorsman or lady, interval. I’ve owned the Fenix 3, Fenix 5, and now the Fenix 6. Someway, Garmin continues to enhance on perfection, making this watch a win for health and out of doors fans. 

Key Options

  • Photo voltaic charging
  • Giant show 
  • Snug
  • Topo maps
  • Health steering


  • Rugged as hell
  • Easy to make use of
  • Monitor your health
  • GPS location
  • Health particulars 
  • Enhance your well being


  • Costly
  • A couple of pointless options

From a hike within the backcountry to operating a 5K to conquering a triathlon, this smartwatch gained’t allow you to down. Not solely does the Fenix 6 have a built-in sports activities app for nearly any exercise you’ll be able to consider, however it additionally tracks your efficiency, recommends exercises, and offers you with a slew of knowledge like coronary heart charge, physique battery, and sleep patterns. Constructed for an adventurer, the watch options an altimeter and barometer, and you may entry a number of world navigation satellite tv for pc methods to maintain you on monitor in difficult environments. Expedition mode saves battery, and turn-by-turn navigation retains you on target. This watch has all of it, together with fashions with a solar-charged battery that enables it to run for as much as 16 days in smartwatch mode. When paired with Garmin’s free Join App, you’ll have the ability to monitor your progress like by no means earlier than. 

Greatest GPS App: HuntStand Professional

Greatest GPS App

HuntStand Pro is the best GPS app.

Why It Made The Minimize: For $30 per 12 months, you get limitless entry to premium map layers that present personal and public lands, and you may obtain maps offline for occasions when cell protection is zero. Map readability is second to none, and you may view your hunt areas in Actual 3D. 

Key Options

  • Month-to-month satellite tv for pc imagery updates
  • Detailed map layers
  • Climate information
  • Detailed waypoint markers


  • Value
  • TerraPulse Tree Cowl
  • Correct & Detailed
  • HuntZone Wind Detector
  • Moon Part


  • Takes time to grasp the app

There are numerous digital mapping apps in the marketplace, and all have their place, however HuntStand continues bettering its recreation and including purposeful options. The Month-to-month Satellite tv for pc replace is exceptional and permits the person to see flooding, fires, and the like that might influence recreation focus and motion. Not a state-by-state cost plan, $30 offers you entry to all 50 states, and you may shortly and simply have a look at private and non-private land parcels. Maps may be downloaded to be used once you’re headed to an space void of cell service, which is a good function. HuntStand makes it a breeze to map out your again 40 hunt space or make detailed plans for an off-the-beaten-path journey in a far-flung location. You’ll need to spend a while behind the driving force’s seat, as there’s a lot to the app, and it may be a tad overwhelming when making an attempt to function on the fly. Different must-mention options embody up-to-date climate and future climate forecasts, and with HuntZone, precisely what the wind is doing in your hunt space. 

Issues To Think about Earlier than Shopping for The Greatest Looking GPS

In the event you spend time open air, whether or not searching, fishing, or mountaineering, a GPS is a must have merchandise. My models have saved my bacon greater than as soon as, making life open air a lot easier and fewer disturbing. Nevertheless, maintain this stuff in thoughts earlier than you make your buy.

How Daring Is the Journey

Price range GPS models are in the marketplace—and so they work nice—however they aren’t your best option for each out of doors individual. Suppose you’re occurring a harmful backcountry journey in daunting terrain in an space of the world the place Mom Nature tends to get pissed off commonly and with little warning. In that case, you want the power to speak. In terms of communication, not all searching GPS models are created equal. Some have built-in radios that cowl a decent-sized space and let you talk with others in your hunt get together. Nonetheless, should you’re solo otherwise you and your crew discover yourselves in a nasty manner, you want the power to message household and buddies and get assist by pushing a button. I extremely suggest having a high quality handheld GPS—particularly should you are likely to wander the Rockies—that options inReach know-how. 

One Dimension Suits All

GPS models are costly, and whereas I like to recommend having one in your boat, one in your wrist, and one for the backcountry, I understand that’s not all the time possible. In the event you’re an outside addict, a complicated handheld GPS unit will serve you effectively and within reason adaptable to no matter you’re doing. No, you’ll be able to’t mount it to your boat and use it as a fish finder, however you’ll be able to mark sizzling spots on the lake or pond or drop a pin on fascinating searching places. A handheld unit will work nice for a hike, and if you are going to buy the GPS with inReach know-how, your walkabouts may be anyplace you want. 

Do You Want It

I run ultramarathons, mountain bike, hunt, fish, and spend piles of time open air. I’m obsessive about information like my coronary heart charge, respirations, VO2 max, restoration, efficiency information, and many others. I would like the very best smartwatch cash can purchase for these and lots of different causes. Nevertheless, there are oodles of smartwatches in the marketplace, and chances are you’ll wish to contemplate one with fewer options. Or should you’re not desirous about any of that, simply follow a handheld GPS. You don’t must pay for fancy-to-do applied sciences you’ll by no means use. 

FAQs on The Greatest Looking GPS

Q: How A lot Does a Looking GPS Price

The fee displays options and applied sciences. You should buy a GPS unit that may get you there and again once more for below $110, or you’ll be able to decide one up that sports activities superior mapping options, prolonged battery life, two-way messaging, SOS, climate intel, and many others., for $500. After all, fashions can be found for anglers that value 1000’s of {dollars}; nevertheless, these models have sonar and multitudes of different options particular to severe angling. When choosing the proper GPS, it’s all about matching the GPS to your out of doors life-style. 

Q: Which GPS System Is the Most Correct

Developments in GPS know-how and the power for these models to pair with GPS, GLONASS, and GALILEO satellite tv for pc methods make them pinpoint correct. Even most funds GPS fashions pair with over 20 satellites, making them remarkably correct. 

Q: Is A Handheld GPS Higher Than A Telephone

The quick reply is sure. Why? Life-saving options corresponding to 24/7/365 rescue help. Additionally, should you overlook to obtain maps to your telephone’s digital mapping app earlier than heading out on an journey, chances are you’ll get to your vacation spot, understand you don’t have cell service, and now you’ve severe issues. A number of occasions, I went the phone-only route, and I did all of my e-scouting beforehand, pinpointing quite a few elky spots. The issue was that I all the time forgot to obtain my maps offline. Not solely did this get rid of hours of e-scouting, however it additionally left me within the hills and not using a functioning GPS sign. 

Q: Can You Get A Looking GPS With out A Subscription

Completely. Piles of GPS models let you add maps and not using a subscription. Nevertheless, most require a subscription for options like up-to-date climate information and the power to speak with household and buddies and get rescue assist. Learn rigorously when deciding on particular fashions.

The Greatest Looking GPS: Ultimate Ideas

I firmly imagine that should you don’t have a GPS, you’re setting your self up for catastrophe in a technique or one other. That catastrophe could occur within the mountains after taking a tumble, or it might be so simple as having a ship stuffed with anglers and never having the ability to discover your greatest shallow-water fishing spot. A top quality GPS makes life within the open air safer, extra enjoyable, and should you’re a hunter or angler, extra profitable. 

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