The uptake of these specialist units has been driven by the growth in popularity of outdoor sports and sailing. Many of the features on these GPS devices are designed to meet the individual requirements of specialist outdoor activities.
1. A rugged waterproof personal navigation device
2. Offer excellent battery life
The key features to look out for in Specialist GPS Devices are the ruggedness of their outer cases, types of screen displays, Ordnance Survey Mapping capabilities, ease of use and battery life.
Because these devices are used outdoors, it is essential that the outer cases can withstand severe knocks and they are fully waterproof.
Types of DisplayScreen
These units come with either black and white or color displays. Basic models display pre-determined waypoints joined together by navigation lines. More advanced models can display your journey in real-time on detailed maps. The size of the screen can be relatively small, so it is essential that the unit can display a clear image.
Ordnance Survey Mapping
A base map is supplied by the manufacturer with the device. Leading brands offer a range of more detailed plans that have been developed in conjunction with the Ordnance Survey as they can provide the necessary degree of topographic detail for safe off-road navigation. Map upgrades for different regions across the UK and the world can be purchased separately and then inserted into the base unit usually via an SD memory card.
Ease Of Use
Outdoor pursuits usually require a very different approach to journey planning than driving or pedestrian navigation. Users typically have to preplan their routes and identify waypoints from maps so they can ensure that they remain on their way and determine their position at any time for their safety. This requires the waypoints to be entered into the unit before commencing a route. These groups can also be used for city navigation just like Smartphone GPS, but they do not feature voice directions.
The requirements of different outdoor sports can be particular. Leading manufacturers offer specialist models for runners, cyclists, hikers, mountaineers, and mariners. Examples of such additional features are watch strap designs, training modes, heart rate monitors, barometric altimeters and two-way radio.
Outdoor Sat Nav units require a good battery life to ensure that users can remain safe in their chosen environment throughout the day. This means that these groups use standard rechargeable batteries which allow users to carry fully charged spares as a backup. Typical battery life for these units can be up to 16 hours.
A durable high tech device that you can rely on in the great outdoors.
These are specialist devices that are designed to do one job well. Buying additional maps can become very costly.
These units are an essential tool for safe navigation in the great outdoors. Their relatively low cost means that they have now become a vital navigation aid for serious outdoor enthusiasts.
You can also check the latest product reviews using the links on our product review page to shortlist your preferred outdoor GPS unit.