Using a GPS watch is an ideal way to navigate your hike.

Tackling adventures in the great outdoors is an excellent way to spend your time. Hiking allows you to truly connect with nature and gives you the opportunity to unplug. Giving yourself space and a break from the outside world works wonders. Make sure you periodically make plans to get outside and go hiking or camping. Naturally, if you plan to unplug, you likely won’t have phone access when you are adventuring outdoors. So how do you ensure precise navigation implementation? Fortunately, there are numerous tools that do not require Smartphone connection when giving directions. GPS watches are one of the best options to use for this. Of course, you need to know how to use a GPS watch before you go.

GPS watches are one of those obscure yet extremely useful tools, which can greatly assist your hiking adventure. These quirky devices work great for acting as a virtual map of your hiking trail and its surroundings. Unlike smartphones, these tools also provide accurate direction. Consider purchasing a GPS hiking watch before your next outdoor getaway. Once you find just the one you want, it is time to learn how to use a GPS watch.

Here is how to use a GPS watch.

1. What is a GPS watch?

how to use a gps watch

Maybe you are wondering what a GPS watch is exactly. Understanding the purpose and aim of this gadget is the best place to start when learning how to use a GPS watch. In short, the GPS watch is designed to give the hiker reliable navigation while on the trail. This device is quite handy, as it allows you to access your coordinates from virtually any location. If you find yourself trekking to remote places often, then this is something you certainly need on your hiking checklist. The GPS watch also aids in mapping out your intended adventure route. Smartphone signal is not always reliable when hiking outdoors, so a GPS watch helps you stay on track even when you venture outside of service.

There are quite a few GPS hiking watch types to choose from. Some of the watches have a classic look, with a basic screen displaying coordinates and other location information on them. Other GPS hiking watches are quite advanced and have a similar idea to the Apple Watch. These watches have a sleek, touch screen type of layout, which adds to the appeal. You can also choose a watch specifically designed for hiking, or pick one with options for running. These higher tech type of watches also track mileage and time. Having a waterproof watch is a good idea as well, as you never know what to expect while on the trail.

2. Make sure it is fully charged.

Just like going out with a low phone battery is not the best idea, you also do not want to let your watch battery get too low. With this, it is ideal to keep an eye on your watch once you get it, just so you have an idea of how long it lasts.Before you head outdoors, ensure that your GPS watch battery is completely new for long lasting service. This is very important, as the GPS signal directly relies on the watch’s power. Unfortunately, because the watch is continually utilizing energy, the battery does not last long. Fortunately, many GPS watches come with additional battery packs, which you can take along with you on the trail. This allows for an easy switch if your battery starts to get low.

3. Calibrate your GPS watch.

how to use a gps watch

Of course, this is the most important part of the entire process for how to use a GPS watch. As you learn how to use a GPS watch, ensure that your GPS is calibrated with the surrounding area before you go outdoors. The last thing you want to experience when hiking is your GPS watch to give an inaccurate reading. Actually calibrating your watch is a relatively simple process. Put on your GPS watch and switch it to the GPS function mode. Next, just go outside and let your watch get acclimated with the surroundings. Observe the watch’s layout and practice navigating with the GPS mode. It is also helpful to try a few short hikes to exercise the process of using this particular feature.

4. Don’t let natural obstacles interfere with the signal.

Just like your phone loses services in various remote locations, your GPS watch’s signal is also susceptible to interference. An essential thing to keep in mind with how to use a GPS watch is to avoid natural obstacles. Low valleys or areas with dense trees leave a bit too much room for GPS signal obstruction. Of course, when you are hiking through the wilderness, you cannot simply will away any of these natural features. Keep in mind that you may have to wait a while for your GPS to recalibrate itself if the signal gets shaky. If you find yourself in a precarious situation where the GPS is having trouble narrowing down your location, try moving around. Keep walking along the trail to see if the GPS connection improves.

Head into the great outdoors with confidence with your GPS watch.

Before you embark on that long anticipated hiking trip, go and get yourself a GPS hiking watch. This nifty hiking tool is ideal for determining your location and keeping yourself on track. Practice how to use a GPS watch prior to actually hitting the trail, so you know exactly what to expect out there. It is also helpful to bring along a compass and other trail guides, to better aid your navigation endeavors. Also remember to use a fresh battery and calibrate it to the area before hiking. You can never be too careful when it comes to making sure you are on the right trail. Helpful tools and tricks like these all aid in getting you safely where you want to go.

Related Article: The Best GPS Watch For Hiking: The Top Performers

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Faith is a writer and social media manager residing in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is passionate about people and currently attends university in pursuit of a degree in Clinical Psychology and Counseling. A nomad by nature, Faith finds utmost joy in trekking around the globe and strongly advocates backpacking as the best way to explore anywhere. Being a bookworm and an avid coffee drinker, she is likely to be found sipping an Americano and mulling over a classic novel.

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