Handheld GPS Devices

December 27, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
It's not unusual to hear news reports of hikers getting lost, especially during the winter season. But could new handheld GPS units made just for hiking keep you from losing your way?

Consumer reports said now there are handheld GPS units that can help you from getting lost. Testers evaluated seven. They range in price from 150 to a pricey 600 dollars.

To see how they work, testers headed out on dozens of hikes and walked miles through the woods. GPS handheld devices work a little differently than ones for cars.

It turns out all the devices kept testers from getting lost. But they do vary in the controls and features offered. The most expensive, at $600 dollars, had advanced functions like a touch screen, topographic map and electronic compass.

But for the casual hiker, consumer reports said you don't have to spend the big bucks. The entry-level $150 dollar Garmin E-Trex Venture HC provides more than enough navigation abilities.

Consumer reports said people are using the handheld GPS devices for a kind of treasure hunting called geocaching. Small plastic boxes filled with trinkets are hidden along hiking trails.

To find locations to look for those boxes, you go to Geocaching.com and type in your zip code.



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