Author Bio: I am John Lewis, a blogger, survivalist and outdoor enthusiast. You can follow me over at Epic Wilderness.
Nowadays, the use of GPS has become rampant for people to get from one place to another. This includes the use of GPS for hiking, hunting and driving. Besides utilizing this wonderful technology to keep yourself safe, you should still look into other important tools if you are a hunter especially those who hunt with a bow.
However, other than knowing some tips, you still need to choose a sufficiently good and suitable GPS for yourself. This would mean that you have to look at several aspects including having an excellent display quality where you can see the screen in different weather conditions, ensuring that there is a huge amount of storage enough for your use.
Other aspects to look for is the portability of it, whether the device is waterproof, how long the battery can last with your unit and generally how good is the GPS reception. After choosing a GPS wisely, you can employ the tips below to get the most out of your GPS!
Speeding up your satellite lock
To speech up your GPS’s satellite lock, several methods can be employed. First, you should update the almanac information from GPS satellites. A method to download this information effectively is to leave your GPS powered on under an open sky without moving it for around 20 minutes. You should do this whenever you feel that your unit take a longer amount of time for satellite acquisition.
Second, which can be employed when you are in a new location, is that you can turn on the ‘new location’ feature when you travel to give your GPS a heads-up on where you are going. This would speed up the satellite lock later.
Utilizing the emergency signal
One important thing to use is the distress signals and navigational aids that are available in some GPS units. Basically, it involves two kinds of transmitters, namely the personal locator beacons and satellite messengers.
For personal locator beacons, it is usually for giving out distress signals by using the Distress Alerting Satellite System (DASS). However, this transmission method can only be employed if you are caught in really severe emergencies.
Concerning satellite messengers, this is what the ordinary hiker or hunter would utilize. This is considered one method to help you inform your rescuers about the coordinates you are in. If any of these methods are used, there is no need to ‘search’ for those who are lost, and they can immediately work on rescuing us. But do note that you need to install an adapter into your GPS for this function to work because most GPS units would only have receivers.
Constantly update your firmware
This is basically a software that is placed in your GPS, and it would be updated based on the manufacturer of that particular modal. Usually, these software updates do not require a fee where you can obtain it free from the manufacturer. These updates can make your GPS operate smoother and even fix some system glitches.
Do remember that different GPS manufacturers provide their updates differently. For example, Garmin has a WebUpdater application which helps you check for updates. For Megellan units, you can search its support page.
You can also consider updating your maps in a year or two because there would be a fee charged for it. Usually, you can find the map updates on the manufacturer’s website. By constantly updating the software of your unit, you can be sure that your GPS is in good shape.
Learn how to do scouting with your GPS
Scouting is a method that you can employ when you are hunting, mountaineering or whenever you want to get to know your terrain better. Basically, you would utilize computer maps to know how the landscape look like. After that, you can mark those interesting locations in your computer and transfer those waypoints into your GPS.
This is especially useful when you travel on foot. You can choose to follow your waypoints when you travel which is an easier reference in some situations. Also, you can consider adding your own Point of Interests (POI) which is an easy thing to do! Do note that most POI information in your GPS may be outdated or just lacking in information you need.
Therefore, this is a good way for you to add more locations which you are interested and actually travel them!
If you can effectively use these tips, you can be able to use your GPS for what it’s worth! These are just some general tips which can be employed by the population at large. If you are a hunter specifically for example, other methods can be employed to increase the success rate of your hunt.
Those methods would include using your GPS to distinguish between public and private land, how you can best place your hunting stand or even using different navigation methods which you can refer to most conveniently. Make sure that you have sufficient memory and power for your GPS as well! If you have any tips or experience you would like to share, please do so in the comment box below!