2020's Best Hiking GPS Reviews
It’s 2020. We don’t have to rely on our own two hands, a map, and a flashlight anymore.
Are you one of those folks who can’t find what their mama gave them with the above listed supplies?
Don’t worry. The future is here on the shoulders of giants, and you don’t have to make your way in the world alone any more.
See the whole wide of it and find your way back again with confidence, when you have the best satellite assisted/generated maps at your constant immediate disposal.
Before you know it, you’ll be an old pro bushman who is as at home on any trail as the wildlife that shares it with you.
And if you’re already an old pro, imagine what the latest and greatest in technology today might reveal through your expert perspective; but how to choose which one from a field of quality contenders?
This list will be the last map-key you need before you’re out in the wild blazing your own path.
Editor’s Choice: Garmin Oregon 750t
More maps, satellite sources, utility tools, and safety features, jammed into a package—that is as easy to use as it is ruggedly reliable—than anyone could ever hope to find while lost in the wilderness. Be it forest, desert, tundra, or purchasing online.
Top 5 Best Hiking GPS Reviews
The Garmin Oregon 750t puts your adventure in focus with preloaded topo U.S. 100K maps, Birdseye satellite imagery subscription, built-in 8 megapixel autofocus camera, and bright 3-inch touchscreen display.
A recently re-engineered antenna for GPS and GLONASS satellite reception guarantees optimum tracking in even the most unexpected conditions. Further, there’s support for active weather forecasts with animated overlays directly over the map. Other features include the 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter, expanded wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ant+), and automatic geocache downloads Garmin is known for.
You can wirelessly update all software, get notifications, upload your adventures to the Garmin connect online community, and even share your live track location data/geocache discoveries, device to device, with other compatible GPS units.
IPX7 water resistance renders this model useful in everything short of immersion. Handy, because nobody can predict every random squall. Besides, calm seas never made skillful sailors… or whatever that is, but for hiking.
USB compatible charging fits it into your routine, and its SD chip port makes this ultimately, the most versatile handheld GPS for hiking.
The Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS is perfect if you’re on the trail or in the bush. Either way, you’re apt to have an armload of survival gear in tow. Freeing a limb up to use a GPS can make for a fun juggling routine out in the rough.
If you are more interested in making time and tracking your progress than working on your one man show, the FORETREX 701 is the unit for you. Simply slap this bad-boy on your wrist and you’ve got all the data an outdoorsman needs, at a glance.
With it, you can track routes and waypoints. It features a trip computer, sunrise & sunset times, and hunting & fishing information, all for the everyday burden of wearing a wristwatch.
Its high-sensitivity receiver delivers fast signal acquisition and locks for reception in narrow valleys and under dense tree covers—situations no experienced hunter is unfamiliar with. It is computer compatible and it allows you to load waypoints and routes directly from your PC via USB.
If longitude is function, and latitude is value, then the Garmin Oregon 700 Handheld GPS is a confluence point.
The 3” daylight legible touchscreen on the Garmin Oregon 700 supports dual orientation (portrait or landscape), comes with an easy activity menu interface that includes hunting, fishing, climbing, geocaching, hiking, & many more; also features the ABC sensor/3 axis tilt-compensated electronic compass (with barometric altimeter sensors and accelerometer) that Garmin users have come to count on.
This model is IQ connectible so you can customize your device with personal data, widgets, and apps. It has a rugged construction and an ergonomic design, taking dirt, dust, and humidity very well with an IPX7 waterproof rating. So long as you’re not trying to hike to Atlantis, this reliable model will keep up.
The high-sensitivity dual GPS and GLONASS satellite reception accounts for its accuracy and reliability. It also features Bluetooth-enabled smart notifications and a number of automatic uploads to the Garmin Connect online community.
The Garmin GPSMAP 64 Worldwide is an absolute bang for your buck best, and one of the most sought after hiking GPS units today. This tough-built workhorse is as reliable and durable as any minimalist outdoorsman could ever need.
Right out of the box, it’s preloaded with HIGH-Quality Topographic (1:100,000 scale) and 3-D birdseye maps (64st). Combined with high sensitivity technology unavailable in many competing GPS systems.
Linked to the GLObal NAvigation Satellite System—or GLONASS—and synchronizable with Apple smartphones (backward compatible all the way back to the iPhone 4) this Garmin does its job and keeps you in the loop while out in the bush.
Encased in impact-resistant plastics, and featuring actual haptic controls, it’s constructed for hard and consistent use. And the buttons, as opposed to a touch screen, make this model much harder to render inadvertently inoperable. That means break it, for those who haven’t had to explain the entropy that happens around you all the time. COINCIDENTLY.
You can use this model to create custom trails, share your current location with your hiking group or—if you run into a surprise—you might even be able to use it as a bludgeon.
Coming in five models, each with its own specialized function, the GPSMAP 64 has an inexpensive unit that will work for most hiking needs.
The Base model 64 is as listed. The 64s is Bluetooth compatible, 64sc is like the 64s with an 8 megapixel camera, and the 64st has all of the above along with more bells and whistles than you can shake a stick at. I recommend walnut.
The Garmin inReach Mini GPS Satellite Communicator is a small, rugged, lightweight satellite communicator that enables two-way text messaging using a global Iridium network (with required satellite subscription).
Access U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery, downloadable maps, and more by using the free Garmin Earthmate app, including optional weather forecast service— providing detailed updates directly to your inReach Mini.
Send and receive inReach messages through compatible Garmin devices, including connected wearables and handhelds.
Combined with an interactive SOS to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center, this GPS is excellent for long range, dangerous-environment hikes, where every cubic centimeter and gram matters.
Because often times the best hikes—the most personal growth—is found well off the beaten path.
I can think of a number of times in my teens—out adventuring in the Sonoran desert—that both my father and I wished I had something like this on hand.
A Grand Pilgrimage Showcase
Whatever it is that motivates you to grab your hiking stick and take that first risky step off your front porch; whichever instinct we share that makes us brave being swept away on some wild goose chase or another every time we open our door, everyone knows it isn’t a wise person who proceeds without a map.
Whether you’re trying to check off the fifteen best American autumn hikes (I’m fairly partial to Lower Crystal Lake Trail in Breckinridge) or just looking to get the best possible deal on a new GPS in the offseason, Garmin has a model for every hiker’s unique needs with the Garmin Oregon 750t leading the way.
Get yours now and never be ill-prepared to answer the call of the wild. Even if it’s only a short call to get caught up with old friends.