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Must-Have Features for a Handheld GPS

Part of the GPS For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you're happiest in the great outdoors, a handheld GPS device may make you even happier. Use a GPS unit to help with your personal navigation needs whether you're boating, hiking, geocaching, or doing any other outdoor activity. The following table offers recommended features to help you choose the right GPS receiver for your purposes:

Activity Useful Features in a GPS Device
Hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing Altimeter/barometer
Electronic compass
Sunrise/sunset table
Uploadable topographic maps
Geocaching Electronic compass
Geocache database
Uploadable topographic maps
Hunting Hunting and fishing calendar
Sunrise/sunset table
Uploadable topographic maps
Fishing Fishing calendar
Floats
Saltwater tide table
Sunrise/sunset table
Waterproof
Boating (inland and offshore) External power supply
Floats
NMEA output (for autopilots)
Saltwater tide table
Sunrise/sunset table
Uploadable nautical charts
Waterproof
Canoeing, kayaking (inland and coastal) Floats
Saltwater tide table
Sunrise/sunset table
Uploadable nautical charts and topographic maps
Waterproof
4x4ing, motorcycling, ATVing Electronic compass
External power supply
Uploadable topographic maps
Flying External power supply
Jeppesen database
WAAS
Mapping, data collection Area calculation
Differential GPS
External antenna
Helix versus patch antenna
Large number of waypoints and tracks
WAAS
Caving, scuba diving, visiting art museums Sorry, you're out of luck! You need a clear view of the sky for a GPS receiver to work.
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