Here at the best gps units for hunting.
Chances are if you're reading this, then you're about to buy a gps for hunting. It's likely you want a unit that is reliable, durable and has a lot of easy to use features. Let's face it, some units on the market now require a degree in computer engineering degree to figure out! Here are the top gps units for hunting based on my experience and research. If I can use them, I know you can!
1. Garmin GPSMAP 62s
This is by far and away the best gps unit you can buy in my opinion. It's the Garmin GPSMAP 62s. Hands down easy to use with long battery life and enough features to satisfy the geek in anyone!
One thing that you'll notice right off is the accuracy of this unit. I can't tell you how many times I couldn't find my blind or treestand in the dark when using other units. Depending on where you're at and how much foliage is above you, you could be off by hundreds of feet when using lesser units. The Garmin GPSMAP 62s has a quad helix antenna and high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver and HotFix satellite prediction that allows it to really lock on to satellite signals. Accuracy for me and others is usually around 9 feet or less.
While it's accuracy is probably the biggest reason to choose the Garmin 62s for hunnting, it's ability to use different maps, downloand updates as well as other maps, and its feature rich interface rank right up there on the user-friendly scale. The unit comes with a built-in basemap with shaded relief. A lot of people find this feature is all they need. But if you're like me, you like to fiddle and get the better maps that show more detail. Garmin makes this very easy! You can upgrade to topo maps, marine maps and even highway maps!
While all the above is cool, it won't do you any good if the Garmin 62s wasn't durable and waterproof. Lucky for us it is! It can take drops and soaking rains and keep on working! No reason it's the top gps unit used by hunters, outdoorsmen and geocachers.
2. Garmin Oregon 450 Handheld GPS Navigator
My first GPS unit was a little Garmin Oregon 200. I still have that little unit and will use it from time to time just for old times sake. But the Oregon line of Garmin gps units have come a long way since those days. One of the most popular units in the Oregon line is the Garmin Oregon 450.
This unit is a little less in price than the 62s but it also has fewer features. You can get the Garmin 450 with built in Topo maps as well. This unit is called the Garmin 450t. The Garmin 550's are basically the same with the only difference I can tell is that the Garmin 550 comes with either a camera (550) or a camera and built in topo maps (550t).
The Oregon line has a reputation for being the easiest gps units to use. The graphic interface makes navigation a breeze on its 3 inch screen. It's also very easy to see in sunlight. Many of the 180 plus reviews on Amazon said they loved their 450's for these same reasons.
Additional maps are available on MicroSD cards. You can use this unit as a street level map with the MapSource cards. It will show your route and guide you step by step, street by street. The BlueChart G2 map is a marine map that allows you to use the unit on your boat. This map shows you depth, navigational aids and harbors.
But the one feature I like best for hunting is the ability to upload topo maps and use them in the 3-D view to give me a better perspective on my elevation. I can also mark such things as my treestand locations, scrapes, rubs and other things related to my hunting area.
If you're on a budget but want the best gps for hunting that you can get, try the Garmin 450. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how many features you get for your money!
3. DeLorme Earthmate PN-60 Portable GPS Navigator
Coming in at #3 behind the Garmins is the DeLorme Earthmate PN-60. This unit has a few features that I really like. For one, it has a cut-a-way view of your elevation. If you spend a lot of time in the hills or mountains, this will give you can idea of how steep the grades are.
Another feature that I really love is that the unit comes with updated DeLorme USA Topo 9.0 maps. These are awesome maps with exceptional details showing things like boat ramps, hiking trails, natural features, roads, streets and campgrounds! Plus, they'll do this for both U.S. and Canada!
This unit is also capable of showing NOAA Nautical Charts which is a great feature if you spend a lot of time on the water.
I also appreciate the one button waypoint creation and the search feature. I wish more handheld gps units offered these two features. It would make our lives a lot easier!
As good as these units are, I just wish they supported 64 bit operating systems. The interface is not quite as easy to use as the Garmins in my opinion and the software is somewhat complicated for me. I've seen these same complaints on forums so I know it's not just me.
Also, I think they could have made the screen a little bit larger. It seems now that I'm getting older, I need larger and larger screens! But trust me, there are a lot worse units out there!
At the end of the day, if you're a hunter then any of these 3 units will do you well. If you need an easy to use gps with a lot of advanced features, then go with the Garmins. If you're somewhat of a nerd and love to fiddle with software, give the DeLorme a try. I think you'll be happy with any of these units. After using them, you'll see why they're some of the most popular gps units for hunting.