Hunting is challenging, and you must be able to find the best quality tools that can help you when you are out in the forests, fields, and mountains. Owning and knowing how to use the best handheld GPS is a smart decision that can serve you very well when you are out on a hunting trip. The hunting GPS will provide you with the safety for navigation that you need when you are hunting, and it should be a part of the gear of everyone who loves to spend time in the great outdoors, not just hunters.
When you start to look at all of the options that are available on the market, though, things can become overwhelming very quickly. Many GPS models could work well for hunting from a range of different brands. It can be difficult to find the best handheld GPS for hunting without a bit of guidance. The best brand available today for hunting is Garmin GPS. Even then, there are many models from which to choose. Fortunately, we’ve collected information on the eight best hunting GPS models from Garmin that are on the market today.
Below, you will find out more about each of these units and the features they offer, so you can then make a good decision on just what you should buy. Also, we will be looking at the benefits of using a hunting GPS, why they are better than a phone, the types of information you can receive with a hunting GPS, and more.
Our Top GPS for Hunting List: Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
|Name||Display Size||Battery Life|
|Garmin GPSMAP 64st||2.6” diagonal||16 hours||CHECK LATEST PRICE|
|Garmin Rino 755t||3” diagonal||Up to 14 hours with dual battery system or 18 hours with optional AA batteries||CHECK LATEST PRICE|
|Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator||2.2” diagonal||20 hours||CHECK LATEST PRICE|
Garmin GPSMAP 66i
|3” diagonal||35 hours||CHECK LATEST PRICE|
|Garmin eTrex 22X||2.2” diagonal||25 hours (in GPS mode)||CHECK LATEST PRICE|
|Garmin eTrex 30x||2.2” diagonal||25 hours||CHECK LATEST PRICE|
|Garmin Foretrex 401||1.42” diagonal||17 hours||CHECK LATEST PRICE|
|Garmin eTrex 20x||2.2” diagonal||25 hours||CHECK LATEST PRICE|
Garmin GPSMAP 64st
The model that’s on our list features ANT, as well as Bluetooth and US topographical maps. You will also find that there are several different choices when it comes to the Garmin GPSMAP 64st. There is the base model, an option with ANT, Bluetooth, and a camera, an option with ANT and Bluetooth, and an option with ANT, Bluetooth, and Canadian topographical maps.
Let’s get a closer look at what this GPS unit can offer. The Garmin GPSMAP 64st features a 2.6” color display screen that is readable even in the sunlight, which is certainly helpful when you are out in the field. The GPS device takes two AA batteries, and the battery life is 16 hours. The GPS system can also use an optional rechargeable NiMH battery pack, which can be charged even while it is in the device.
The hunting GPS has a waterproof rating of IXP7, which means it can be submerged in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. The unit can receive smart notifications and pair with optional ANT+ sensors, such as speed/cadence, temperature sensors, and a heart rate monitor. It can also be used to control a VIRB action camera. The quad helix antenna, high-sensitivity, GPS and GLONASS, and receiver help to make this a valuable hunting GPS even when you are under thick cover or in canyons.
It is possible to upload data to Garmin Connect, which can then be viewed on a smartphone. You can even share activities using this method. The hunting GPS has 8 GM of internal memory, as well as a micro SD card slot. It is preloaded with TOPO U.S. with 100k maps and a one-year BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription. The 3-axis company also has a barometric altimeter. It is easy to see why this is one of the best handheld GPS options for hunters and outdoorspeople. Check out our full Garmin 64st review to learn more.
Garmin Rino 755t
The Garmin Rino 755t is a rugged two-way radio and GPS navigator that includes a camera, as well as preloaded TOPO mapping. The 5w GMRS two-way radio has an extended range of up to 20 miles. With this hunting GPS, it makes it possible to communicate via voice or unit-to-unit using text messaging. The GPS unit offers high-sensitivity GPS and GLONASS satellite reception, which can help the hunting GPS to work in environments that other GPS devices might find more challenging.
Another nice feature of this GPS device is that it can offer position reporting, which will show the locations of other Rino users on the same channel. This can be quite helpful if you have a hunting party that’s out, and everyone has one of these devices. The Garmin GPS system also comes preloaded with TOPO U.S. 100k maps, as well as an 8-megapixel autofocus camera with an LED flash. The touchscreen display offers dual orientation – landscape or portrait view. The 3″ screen is also readable in the sunlight, and the GPS unit offers a compass.
The dual battery lithium-ion pack can provide up to 14 hours between charges, while it can offer up to 18 hours with the AA batteries, which are sold separately. Those who are out in the field might want to consider using the pack but also having some AA batteries to use, as well, if the unit doesn’t have a charge.
The Garmin eTrex is a rugged and durable handheld GPS that comes preloaded with a world base map. Also, the GPS device features a WAAS enabled GPS receiver with HotFix and GLONASS satellite support. This helps to ensure fast positioning, as well as a reliable signal.
You will also find that the Garmin eTrex is IPX7 rated, which makes it protected for being up to a meter in water for 30 minutes. This level of waterproofing for the hunting GPS unit helps to ensure that you don’t have to worry about rain or splashes that might get on the GPS device.
The device is powered with two AA batteries, which can provide up to 20 hours of usage, which is a substantial amount of time. When you use the device, you will be able to see high and low elevation points and even store waypoints along a journey. This can allow you to estimate the distance between points and the time it will take to reach them.
The display is monochrome, but you will find that it is easily readable. It is a durable and reliable device to consider.
Garmin GPSMAP 66i
The Garmin GPSMAP 66i is easily one of the best hunting GPS options available today, thanks to the features and benefits that the device can offer. It features a large 3″ color display that is easy to read, even in the sunlight. You can also trigger an interactive SOS to the geos 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center. There is two-way messaging through the 100% Global Iridium satellite network, as long as you get a subscription to the network. Those who are heading out into the boonies might want to think about this option.
The hunting GPS also comes with Garmin TOPO mapping preloaded with direct to device BirdsEye satellite imagery downloads with no annual subscription. The GPS system includes multiple global navigation satellite systems support, as well as navigation sensors.
These GPS units also offer cellular connectivity, which allows for geocaching, as well as the ability to access weather reports. Weather reports are extremely useful for hunters. The GPS device also has excellent battery life. It can provide up to 35 hours of battery life with the internal, rechargeable lithium battery when it is in 10-minute tracking mode and one-minute tracking mode with the display off. It can provide up to 200 hours in expedition mode with 30-minute tracking.
Garmin eTrex 22X
The Garmin eTrex 22x is a small but durable handheld GPS device that provides a high-quality sunlight-readable color screen. It features a 240 x 320 pixel display that helps to make it easier to read. The GPS unit features preloaded TOPO maps that even include routable roads and trails. It features support for GPS and GLONASS satellite systems, which make tracking easier under challenging environments.
The hunting GPS features 8GB of internal memory, which can be used for map downloads. In addition, the hunting GPS unit can utilize a micro SD card slot. With two AA batteries, you will get up to 25 hours of battery life. BirdsEye Satellite Imagery is supported, but it does require a subscription, so you can download and use the satellite imagery with your maps. The GPS is easy to use and is compatible with a range of mounts, which can be used on bikes, ATVs, boats, and more. Of course, it can also be used as a handheld GPS device.
Garmin eTrex 30x
The Garmin eTrex 30x features an upgraded display. It’s not a touchscreen display, but it provides 65k colors, which makes it easy to read, even in the sunlight. This is a small device, but it features 3.7GB of internal memory, as well as a microSD card slot, so you can add more maps of your own if you would like. The GPS units offer a preloaded base map, and it features a built-in 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass and a barometric altimeter. The barometric altimeter can track changes in pressure, which help to provide you with a very accurate location.
It is possible to use the device to wirelessly transfer information, including routes, tracks, waypoints, and geocaches with other compatible devices. The system can track GPS and GLONASS satellites, which can help to provide faster lock-on to a position.
Garmin Foretrex 401
You will notice right away that the Garmin Foretrex 401 has a very different look from the other hunting GPS options on the list. It’s not a typical handheld GPS device. Instead, it can be worn on the wrist, similar to a watch. However, despite the smaller size, it can still perform very well. It has a long battery life with up to 17 hours in GPS mode when using the two AAA batteries it requires. It features a dual-position readout and a high-sensitivity GPS receiver with HotFix for improved performance even when you are in canyons, or there is overhead cover, such as a thick canopy of trees.
The hunting GPS has a TracBack feature, which retraces the user’s path on the LCD screen. There is an electronic compass included in the GPS unit, as well. It provides excellent accuracy when you hold it level, as you would want to do with a traditional compass. The GPS features a trip computer, hunting and fishing information, a barometric altimeter, and sunrise and sunset times. All of these will be helpful for those who spend time in the outdoors.
Garmin eTrex 20x
The Garmin eTrex 20x provides users with an upgraded display on the 2.2″ screen. It has 240 x 320 pixels and 65k colors, which makes it easy to read. It can even be read in the sunlight. Like the 30x, you will find that this option features 3.7GB of internal memory, as well as a micro SD card slot so that you can add even more maps easily. It comes with a preloaded base map that has shaded relief. Still, you will probably want to download your maps.
The hunting GPS features a high-sensitivity WAAS-enabled GPS receiver, along with HotFix satellite prediction and GLONASS satellite support. This provides fast and accurate locations, even in cover.
Benefits of Using a Hunting GPS
Some might be wondering why they would need to use a hunting GPS at all. After all, their ancestors were able to navigate by using a compass and a map. However, to use all of the tools needed to navigate through the untamed wilds safely, you need skills with tools like a compass. You need skills to travel and survive in the woods and to know where you are going. Even if you believe that you have those skills, are you willing to put your life on the line in case you were to get lost?
The GPS can let you know exactly where you are no matter where you are on the planet. It can help you to plot a route out of your location to where you need to go. Many of the options above even have an electronic compass and barometric altimeter that can help you with navigating and knowing exactly where you are. Some also have communication and SOS options available.
Simply put, the hunting GPS is going to help keep you safe and make sure that you get to camp or back home after you are out in the woods. Even those who have experience in the woods can get turned around or have an incident that makes them lose their way and their sense of direction. Having one of the best hunting GPS options on the market on which you can rely will give you more confidence when you are out hunting. In addition, it will provide your loved ones with more peace of mind.
However, the hunting GPS can provide you with even more benefits. With many of the units, you will be able to record your route, which is essential data. You can then make a note of those routes that brought you to good areas for hunting that you may want to revisit later. You can even use your hunting GPS before hunting season to scout out different areas that will be good hunting grounds, and then keep track of all of that information. Getting right back to the exact spots you visited before will be easy.
Why Is a Hunting GPS Better Than a Phone App?
You might be thinking that you don’t need to have a hunting GPS since you already have apps on your phone that can handle similar tasks. However, if you have ever dropped your phone, you know just how fragile they are. You don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere, suddenly realizing that you need a GPS only to pull out your phone and realize that it’s broken from having dropper your pack or sat on it earlier. You don’t want to find that your battery is suddenly drained either.
While a phone can be a good option to have as a backup, it’s not the ideal hunting GPS by any means. You want to make sure that you have a dedicated hunting GPS that you can use when you need it. Cellular data is great for many things, but often, you will find that the GPS data from a dedicated GPS for hunting is a much better option.
What Should You Consider When Getting the Best Hunting GPS?
You want to make sure you are getting the best GPS, and that means understanding what you are going to need when you are out in the field. The options above are some of the best on the market today. Some of the features overlap between the GPS devices, but others do not. Think about where you will be going and how you will be using the GPS for navigation to ensure you are getting the right option for your needs. Let’s look at some of the things you will need to consider.
One of the first things you will want to think about will be the data sources. Some of the devices above gather data from the GPS system, naturally. However, others will also offer the GLONASS system, which was developed and used by Russia. Those that have both of these systems from which they can gather data are a good option, as they can provide a failsafe if you weren’t able to access one for some reason.
You also want to consider the overall quality of the build. The Garmin models mentioned above are all very durable and will be able to withstand the rigors of hunting. However, other brands that claim to offer hunting GPS units are not as rugged. Always make sure that you are considering the build quality. It is as essential as the data you are receiving. After all, if the hunting GPS were to break, you would not be receiving any data.
You want to choose a hunting GPS unit that is going to be easy for you to use when you are out in the field. Fortunately, Garmin provides easy interfaces and displays that are easy to read and understand. You will want to spend some time with the GPS to make sure that you know how it works and how to use all of the features that it contains. It should make navigation easy.
The display screen is important for many buyers, as well. Consider whether you want a touchscreen display or a simple monochromatic display. Do you want dual-display options? Does color matter? The screen and usability are very closely related, so make sure that you are getting something that you like.
Always consider the power source, as well. How many batteries does the unit take, and what types of batteries will you need? How long is the battery life? It’s always prudent to make sure that you have at least a few backup batteries that you take along with you.
What Type of Information Does the Hunting GPS Provide?
A quality hunting GPS can provide you with a wide range of different types of data and information. You can receive your location in coordinates, as well as your heading and elevation. It can provide the time, track your route, and how far you’ve traveled and even provide you with the ability to create waypoints.
Some of the options include an electronic compass and barometric altimeter, which can provide more accurate data and easier navigation. They will often use topographical maps and can provide satellite imagery, as well. Keep in mind that different hunting GPS units will have various features, so make sure you know what you want and what the unit you are considering can offer.
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How Else Can You Use a Hunting GPS?
While the best GPS devices are typically used for hunting, there are so many other uses that they can provide. If you like to spend any time in the great outdoors, whether you are hiking, fishing, geocaching, biking on trails, or even just taking drives out on old dirt roads, you will find that a hunting GPS like the options on the list above can be a huge benefit. They will provide you with data that you need when you are out in the woods camping, exploring the trails, and having a good time, not just when you are on the trail of a massive buck that will fill your freezer. These are just some of the best ways to use GPS.
How Does a Hunting GPS Work?
The hunting GPS makes use of the Global Positioning System, which contains satellites that are orbiting the earth and operated by the United States. The satellites broadcast their time and their location as they move across the planet. The GPS receivers take the radio waves from the satellites and use the data to determine where the receiver – which you are holding – is located on the planet. This can help to pinpoint your position and provide you with that data for your handheld GPS map. This helps with your navigation. They are not reliable on cellular data, which means that the GPS receiver can work anywhere on the planet, which is the best option when you are in the middle of nowhere.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Hunting GPS
When you choose a hunting GPS, you want to make sure that it lasts for a long time. They are an investment for your hunting gear, and you will want to treat them with as much care as you do your bow, rifle, clothing, and other items. Fortunately, they are rugged, and you shouldn’t have too much trouble keeping them in shape. Still, here are a few tips that will help to make sure your device lasts.
Even though it might be rugged, you still want to make sure that you are treating the device with respect. Don’t drop it, be careful of where you are placing the device, and make sure that you put the hunting GPS away when finished using it. Don’t leave it out on the seat in your vehicle, for example. Many of the devices are expensive, and you don’t want someone to steal it.
Do not leave batteries in the device during the off-seasons. The batteries could leak when they are left in an electronic device for too long. In addition, it is a good idea to make sure that you are using fresh batteries each time you are taking the hunting GPS out on a trip, and that you carry some extra batteries with you. This ensures that you will have the juice you need when you need it.
Choose the Best Hunting GPS for Your Needs Today
Above, we have included the best hunting GPS options that are available right now, and that could make a world of difference when you are out in the field. The GPS provides the hunter with more information and a higher level of safety when you are out in the woods and hunting. They are an affordable tool, and they have become an essential part of many people’s gear when they head out into the woods and fields. Of course, even if you aren’t a hunter, the best GPS can still provide you with plenty of use, as noted above. It’s time that you checked through the options on the list and found the GPS unit that’s right for your needs.