How to Use Your Car GPS in Pedestrian Mode

Man walking in country with GPS

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Most portable in-car GPS receivers have a pedestrian (or walking) mode. The pedestrian mode optimizes your route for walking; most even adjust arrival times to match walking rather than driving speeds.

When You're Walking Rather Than Driving

Use your portable GPS for walking just as you would for driving. Select your destination by entering the address or searching for a point of interest, and start your route. You will receive text and spoken directions just as if you were behind the wheel.

Entering Pedestrian Mode

Consult your GPS model's user manual for directions on how to select pedestrian mode. For example:

  • Starting from the main menu in the Garmin line, touch Tools > Settings > System > Usage mode > Pedestrian > OK.
  • In the TomTom line, select your destination, then choose Walking as your route type.

GPS Receivers for Hiking

Car GPS navigators are useful for street navigation, but they do not have maps suitable for off-road walking navigation unless they are special "crossover" models such as the Magellan CrossoverGPS or the Garmin Nuvi 500. If you plan to do extensive off-road hiking, you will be better off with a handheld GPS receiver.

Car GPS receivers typically don't offer long battery life (usually just one to three hours). If you're on a long walk, turn on the GPS when you need direction, then turn it off to conserve battery life.

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