GPS for Driving, Sports, and Boating

Enhance your next hike, boat outing, or golf game with GPS

With GPS navigation systems, you are never lost and don't need to ask for directions as you drive, but GPS isn't only useful for drivers. Imagine going out for a run or bike ride and capturing your speed, distance, elevation change and heart rate data and uploading it to a training log or an online map you can share. Imagine going hiking and always knowing the way back to camp. Imagine playing golf and always knowing the exact distance to the pin. These scenarios and many more are realities with the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers.

In Your Car

Car GPS
Bobby Hidy/Flickr/CC 2.0

Car GPS devices are still great navigation aids. Screens are bigger and brighter than they used to be and accuracy has improved significantly, as has the usability of maps and directions with added features such as traffic alerts and the ability to wirelessly link a mobile phone to an in-car unit to get hands-free mobile speaker-phone use.

On the Trail

Garmin Handheld
image copyright Amazon

Handheld GPS units have dramatically changed outdoors travel, replacing the map and compass with moving digital maps and precise location, elevation, topographic, and other data. These handhelds let you enter "waypoints" — precise locations — for a favorite fishing spot, safe passage across a stream, a campsite, or anything else of importance. Handhelds enhance outdoor safety and make getting lost much less likely by providing precise position information that can be relayed to rescuers in case of an emergency.

Sports & Fitness

Garmin GPS Running Watch
image Copyright Garmin

Some manufacturers offer GPS products specifically for cycling or running. In cycling, for example, a GPS unit can replace a conventional cycle computer and add another layer of features, such as route mapping and trip, heart rate, and cadence data that is uploadable to a computerized training log or a website. Specialized golf GPS receivers provide precise yardage and other useful information and can be preloaded with your favorite courses.

On the Water

Hummingbird Fish Finder GPS
image Copyright Amazon

GPS has been a boon to recreational and commercial boaters. Moving-map displays and navigation overlays are incredibly convenient and easy to use, and they dramatically enhance all-weather, all-light-condition safety. The ability to provide precise position information in case of an emergency is another key safety feature. Built-to-purpose, portable chart plotters often come loaded with detailed coastal maps, and many additional maps for the Earth's oceans and lakes are available.

In the Air

Portable aviation units offer intuitive, moving-map views with navigation overlays, providing a great supplement to a plane's instrumentation. Aviation features include a map page, terrain page, route page, position data page, "direct-to" navigation, airport information, and more.