Advantages of Having a GPS While Hiking Having a GPS device while hiking can provide several benefits, including:
- Navigation: A GPS device can assist with navigation, allowing you to see your current location and track your progress. It can also provide directions to a specific destination and help you find your way back if you get lost.
- Safety: In the event of an emergency, a GPS device can be used to alert rescuers of your location. This can be particularly helpful in remote areas where cell phone service is limited or non-existent.
- Trip Planning: Many GPS devices have the ability to plan and save hiking routes, allowing you to plan your trip in advance and see exactly where you’ll be going.
- Recording Your Trip: A GPS device can keep track of your hike, recording things like distance, elevation gain, and the amount of time it took to complete the hike. This information can be helpful for personal records or for sharing with others.
Disadvantages of Having a GPS While Hiking However, there are also some disadvantages to using a GPS device while hiking, including:
- Cost: GPS devices can be expensive, especially high-end models.
- Dependence: Relying solely on a GPS device for navigation can lead to a loss of traditional navigation skills, such as using a map and compass.
- Battery Life: GPS devices require power, which means that the battery may run out during a long hike. It is important to carry extra batteries or a battery pack to ensure that your device remains powered throughout the hike.
- Interference: GPS signals can be disrupted by things like tree cover, canyons, and other obstacles. In some cases, this can cause the device to temporarily lose its signal and display an inaccurate location.
In short, a GPS device can be a valuable tool for hiking, but it’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages and consider how you plan to use it before making a purchase.
Conclusion Ultimately, whether or not a GPS is worth it for hiking will depend on your individual needs and preferences. For some, the added navigation and safety features may be worth the cost, while for others, a traditional map and compass may suffice. Consider your personal level of experience, the type of hiking you’ll be doing, and your budget before making a decision.