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People have been exploring the outdoors for a long time, first out of necessity and then as a hobby.
Although unplugging and getting connected to nature is certainly enjoyable, technology can also add to your experience when you’re enjoying the outdoors.
In fact, technology has become necessary for some activities. If you enjoy hiking or perhaps geocaching, a GPS is a valuable piece of equipment.
It helps you to find your way around and keeps you safe by ensuring you don’t get lost.
That’s why we reviewed the best GPS for geocaching and hiking.
Garmin GPSMAP 64s
This GPS option from Garmin offers a base unit, as well as a choice of extra options to add functionality. These include the possibility of adding ANT, Bluetooth and US or Canada TOPO.
These options means that you can choose the unit that works for your budget, as well as ensure you get the features that you need. The unit offers you a 2.6″ color display, which has been designed to be easily readable in sunlight.
You will easily be able to see the smart notifications that come up, and you can pair it with ANT+ sensors to measure your heart rate, temperature, speed and more. You can even use it to control your VIRB action camera.
Garmin products work with Garmin Connect, giving you the option of connecting your GPS to your smartphone. You can also share activities as you do them with Live Track.
This unit has highly sensitive GPS, GLONASS receiver and a three-axis compass with a barometric altimeter to provide you with accuracy and ensure you can always find your way. It comes with 4GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot to add more memory.
Geocachers will love the 250,000 preloaded caches and the one-year BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription also adds to its benefits. Photo navigation allows you to download geotagged photos from the internet and navigate to them too.
This GPS has a 16-hour battery life to give you plenty of time to enjoy yourself outdoors. Use the Garmin BaseCamp software with it to plan your trips.
Garmin Fenix 5
This wearable GPS unit is wildly popular among sporty outdoor folks that prefer to wear their GPS on their wrist, instead of having to carry a separate unit.
Being able to wear the Garmin Fenix 5 gives it a distinct advantage if you don’t want to carry something bulky.
As a multisport watch, it offers a variety of other functions apart from the GPS, including heart rate technology, smart notifications and a performance widget to track your workouts.
Geocaching with the Ganin Fenix 5 requires some initial setup when you first buy this GPS, and we’ve included a video below that walks you through the process.
The bright, high-resolution display is in full color with LED backlighting so you can read it outdoors. You also have the choice of a sapphire lens, which is scratch-resistant.
The watch benefits from GPS and GLONASS satellite reception, as well as a 3-axis compass with gyroscope and barometric altimeter.
It also has Garmin Connect so that you can connect to the online community for Garmin, as well as the wireless connectivity so you can download watch faces and apps from the Connect IQ store too.
The watch delivers advanced performance metrics, which are particularly good for hikers, but you can find useful if you’re a runner too.
With interchangeable watch bands, this watch also looks good and can be customized to suit your tastes. Download the apps and watch faces that you like to make both the look and functionality of this watch match your needs.
You can choose from a range of colors and choose either regular glass or a sapphire face for a stylish GPS watch. This GPS watch has a great range of functions and it’s good for many different activities.
Geocaching with this GPS requires that you install a widget from the Garmin website onto the Garmin Fenix 5, as well as the companion app on your smart phone.
After that is done, you can visit geocaching.com to load geocaching GPX files from a particular area.
Garmin Etrex 30x
The Garmin Etrex 30x handheld navigator has a large 3.7GB of internal memory so that there is plenty of space for your maps.
It also has a microSD card slot so that you can add even more, with compatibility for TOPO 24K, HuntView, BlueChart g2, City Navigator NT and BirdsEye Satellite Imagery when you have a subscription.
The preloaded basemap is handy, and the built-in sensors will help you to navigate the world. It includes a built-in 2-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass and a barometric altimeter too.
Wireless connectivity allows you to share your information, from geocaches to the routes that you take when you’re hiking. Connect to compatible Garmin and other devices to share your information.
The excellent display has a 240 x 320 display pixels for good readability, which is 65k color sunlight readable and sized 2.2″.
The GPS unit supports GPX files for geocaching so you can download geocaches and necessary details straight onto it.
You’ll get key information, such as location, terrain and difficulty to help you navigate as you’re exploring. The WAAS-enabled GPS is highly sensitive and HotFix satellite prediction also helps you to locate and maintain your position.
This GPS unit offers the advantage of being able to read both GPS and GLONASS satellites at the same time.
The navigator also comes with the BaseCamp software so that you can plan your trips. It displays topographic data in 2D or 3D on your computer to make it easy to plan your adventures.
This waterproof GPS is designed especially for all-weather hiking, with its rugged design. It has a preloaded global map and supports GPX files to make it easy to download and share what you want.
One of the advantages of this GPS is that it has a 3.2 megapixel camera, as well as a microphone and speaker so that you can record your experiences.
It also requires only 2 AA batteries and can run for up to 16 hours, which is the same battery experience that many other units will provide.
This GPS unit is really designed to last, with a more rugged construction compared to other options.
Paperless geocaching is available with this unit, with the ability to download and view more than 20 characteristics, which you can search and filter on your device.
With the World Edition map you can view accurate maps in either 2D or 3D and you get a complete road map of the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia, as well as major roads in the rest of the world.
The touch screen on this GPS makes it modern and easy to use, but it also has two hard buttons. You can customize these buttons so that they are connected to your two most used functions.
It also has a OneTouch menu, which provides instant access to bookmarks of favorite places. You can quickly pull up your home or places that you go to often.
Garmin Foretrex 401
For another waterproof and wearable hiking GPS, consider this affordable option from Garmin.
It’s perhaps not as high-tech as some other options, but it offers excellent value and a highly sensitive GPS with HotFix for good performance.
It runs on just two AAA batteries for a simple way to get what you need from a GPS unit for up to 17 hours.
You can keep track of where you’re going, including waypoints, tracks and routes, and you can add a heart rate monitor to track your heart rate as you move too.
The unit features TracBack, which retraces your path on the LCD display, which has a 100 x 64 pixel resolution.
Some of the features you can benefit from include a trip computer, sunrise and sunset times, hunting and fishing information, an electronic compass and a barometric altimeter.
You can connect the device to your computer via USB to store your waypoints, routes and tracks, as well as share them wirelessly with other Foretrex 401 units.
Like other Garmin devices, this GPS unit allows you to connect with Garmin Connect so that you can share everything with the Garmin community and on social media.
The wrist expansion strap on this GPS is a bonus for anyone who would rather wear their GPS than carry it in their hand. The Foretrex 401 offers a simpler version of a GPS unit that still has plenty of the more modern features of a more modern GPS.
How do you use a GPS for fishing?
After turning on the GPS device, you should load your map and store it in the memory of the GPS receiver.
Then connect the GPS to your computer. Once the data has transferred, disconnect and check that it is in the memory of the GPS.
Check that the GPS is getting s strong signal and is accurately showing your location. Mark the location by using the measurements of latitude and longitude.
Now zoom the display of the receiver to an opposite scale. Use the Breadcrumb feature to pinpoint your fishing area.
The Way Point feature allows you to record the depth of the water. Complete your fishing event by recording the useful data on your GPS.
Give it a title, add details about the weather, water conditions and other information that can help you on your next outing.
Do you really need a standalone GPS for fishing?
No, you do not need a GPS for fishing. After all, people have been fishing without a GPS for thousands of years.
If you are fishing from a pier or in a stream or shallow water, then you will not get much benefit from a GPS device.
However, if you’re going to be heading out into deep weather, then a GPS device can definitely benefit you.
Even then, experienced fishermen will probably not need to use a GPS.
A GPS device, then, is most beneficial for novice fishermen who are heading into deep waters.
It will allow you to very accurately coordinate your fishing trip in order to fish in the spots where the fish are biting.
On deep-sea fishing trips, you will also be able to accurately plot see where you have fished before and had successful catches.
This allows you to return to the exact same spot on future trips.
How do you mark a fishing spot?
Once you are over a spot that you are having success with, you will want to mark this spot on your GPS device. These marks are known as Way Points.
To mark a Way Point, simply press the mark button on your device. Then press done. The spot is now recorded on your device.
What is the difference between GPS plotter and GPS mapping?
GPS mapping is only able to provide you with the longitude and latitude of your current location.
But it will not give you any context to your location. However, a chartplotter is able to do much more than this.
It will take your longitude and latitude coordinates and plot them on maps that are stored in its memory.
From there, you are able to search for locations and set a destination. The plotter is also able to suggest an optimal route to your destination.