Hunting is a pastime enjoyed by millions of people all over the world. While hunting dates back to before humans, we have certainly optimized it. However, no matter how far we’ve come, it’s still easy to get lost while tracking game. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the dense forest or on a barren prairie, even the most seasoned hunters can lose their way.
Luckily, that’s no longer a problem thanks to GPS. The handy devices help people stay on track, which is why they’re so good for hunters and regular users alike. This guide is going to go over some of the best handheld GPS devices for hunting and explain why they’re perfectly suited for the sport.
- If you want a good all-around GPS device for hunting, consider the Garmin GPSMAP 64st. It is highly-sensitive and can help you find your way around, no matter where your adventures take you.
- The Garmin eTrex 20x is a good budget option. It is resistant to water, comes with a ton of internal memory for storing maps, and contains several other useful characteristics.
- The Garmin Rino 755t is a top-of-the-line GPS device for hunting. It also doubles as a 2-way radio and even has the ability to take photos. It is an all-in-one device that’s absolutely worth considering.
Who Should Get This?
A hunting GPS is perfect for new and seasoned hunters alike. The devices are great for those who don’t want to get lost, but the extra information is also great even for people who know the terrain. Even if you only hunt some of the time, the below models can be used to hike, backpack, and while driving in an unfamiliar area.
If you don’t hunt often, or don’t go on too many adventures, you probably won’t need a GPS. They are also not needed by those who hunt in a more traditional manner with a compass and map.
Best Hunting GPS in 2020: What to Consider
A handheld hunting GPS needs to be portable. It should be light and easy to carry in a pocket or bag. You will likely carry several other items while hunting, and the last thing you need is something else heavy. Of course, the GPS device should still feature a large enough screen to see easily.
In order to work properly, your GPS needs good reception. That ensures your maps will be more accurate and load up quickly. It also gives you an accurate image so you can always find out where you are. In addition, it should also be quite easy to use. Navigating the various functions and features should be clear and simple, even for new users.
Number of Maps
A GPS device is useless without maps. You want your device to be preloaded with as many high-quality maps as possible. Unfortunately, some devices will only come with basic maps, which won’t help you much when you’re deep in the wilderness. Be sure the unit you go with has the map types you need.
Best Handheld GPS for Hunting: Our Picks for 2020
This GPS is a great option for every outdoor activity, from hiking to biking and hunting. The GPS and GLONASS receiver ensures that your position will be located accurately and quickly, no matter where you are. The device is also quite rugged and will last all day with a 16-hour battery life.
The device also comes with many other features like expandable memory, a dual-battery system and a quality display that’s even readable in the sun. The device can also be set up to send you a wide range of important notifications. The wireless connectivity allows you to upload and share data to smartphones as well.
- Great size and design
- Accurate and reliable reception
- Can connect directly to your phone
- User interface could be better
This is a great GPS device that can work for nearly any budget. It offers water resistance, almost 4 GB of internal memory (plus an SD card slot) and a high-quality display. The device comes loaded with a worldwide base map, which is enough for most users.
This also has a high-sensitivity receiver and satellite prediction, which ensures it will be able to show your position even in tough terrain. This device’s design is quite simple and it can withstand a range of bumps and bruises.
- Affordable without being low-quality
- Rugged-yet-simple design
- Can load and store a variety of different maps
- Loading maps can take a while, so do it in advance if possible
The Garmin Rino is an incredibly sleek device that not only looks incredible, it has great functionality as well. It can track you in the most challenging terrains, from the widest forests to the deepest canyons. It also features a large and clear touchscreen display, which can be used in landscape or portrait mode. This device even comes with an 8 MP camera to capture your adventures.
In addition to being an incredibly high-quality handheld hunting GPS, this device also works as a 2-way radio. It has a range of 20 miles and lets you communicate either by voice or text message. It also comes with position reporting that shows other Rino users that are on the same channel. This is a great way to always know where your hunting buddies are.
- Doubles as a 2-way radio
- Comes with a camera, which isn’t very common
- A sleek design in everything from the screen to the durable shell
- Can have a bit of a learning curve
Useful Tips and Resources
Before you ever take your GPS device out on a hunt, you need to be sure that you know how to use it. Learn about its various features, and understand how to access them. If you go out without trying the device, you may end up wasting a lot of time fiddling with it when you should be hunting.
Also, it is a good idea to understand the best ways to use your GPS while hunting (video), to ensure you get the best possible results. Some people will use them to map out a specific route, some to identify the areas where animals might reside, and some simply as a back-up plan in case they get lost.
No matter where (or what) you’re hunting, any of the aforementioned GPS devices are a good option to consider. They will make finding your way around uncharted territory much easier and can quickly and easily help you learn the lay of the land.
If you know of any other great handheld GPS devices, we would love to hear about them. Don’t be shy, feel free to leave a comment below!
Andreas is a freelance tech writer based in California. He works on a Mac in the office and lives with a PC and many old computer electronics at home. While he is not reading or writing, you’ll probably find him playing online games with friends.