A hiking GPS is resilient and weatherproofed to provide a faithful tool for the backpacking or hiking enthusiast.

Plus, the latest GPS devices are built with the ability to communicate via satellite and function as a camera to give all-round versatility.

Hiking GPS units have a variety of benefits over using a smartphone on a hike. For instance, the GPS is built for the rough environment and won’t break so easy if dropped on a rock or you slip over.

A reliable hiking GPS should provide a long battery life, while also giving the option to replace the depleted batteries en route.

What to expect from a Hiking GPS unit?

  • It is built with a solid housing that is strong and waterproof
  • It has long-life batteries and spares are available
  • It has an easy-to-read screen that is viewable in bright and low-light conditions
  • A graphic map and latitude/longitude data (some only display the numerical data)
  • A route can be planned by entering waypoints
  • It has the ability to connect to several satellites (up to 15 or more on some models)
  • It should be lightweight and easy to carry
  • It has the option to accept multiple maps

Other Hiking GPS Choices:

Hiking GPS Device

Here are three of the best hiking GPS units in the market:

A high-quality Hiking GPS is the Garmin eTrex 20 with its multiple functions and full color mapping screen.

It has the ability to track both the Russian GLONASS satellites and U.S. GPS satellites, which should make sure it is able to get a signal at all times for an accurate and reliable readings. The Garmin eTrex 20 has an easy-to-read 1.7 inch by 1.4 inch high-res screen which can be read in right sunlight.

Other attractive features includes to ability to accept Garmin map-sets, custom display screen for quick access to the most popular applications, and paperless geo-caching.

Plus, it gives the option to mount on an all-terrain vehicle or bikes via the purpose-made mounting accessories.


The DeLorme PN-60 in combination with the In-Reach 2-way satellite communicator is a perfect solution to stay connected when out in the complete wilderness.

The In-Reach feature has the ability to provide a variety of services, including sending an SOS, automated tracking and sending text or email messages.

It comes as standard with a complete set of topographic maps covering North America, which are easy to read on high-res color display.

This wilderness tool is also packed with tide chart and a digital compass.


The Magellan eXplorist 510 is a perfect upgrade to the smartphone on the hiking trails with its built-in 3.2-megapixal camera.

Plus, the hiking GPS is significantly more rugged and water-resistant compared to a normal phone. Plus, this GPS unit has the option to store and record sound files via its microphone.

Other appealing features of the eXplorist 510 is the long list of accessory maps, paperless geo-caching, high-res color touch screen, and 3-inch (diagonal) screen.