As a seasoned off roader, I have had my fair share of adventures and misadventures. From conquering challenging terrains to getting lost in the middle of nowhere, I have experienced it all. One thing I have learned from my years of overlanding is the importance of having a reliable navigation system. In this blog post, I will share my insights on choosing the best Overlanding GPS to ensure a safe and enjoyable off road experience.
Why is a GPS Navigation System Essential for Overlanding?
Overlanding is all about self-reliance, exploration, and adventure. It involves traveling to remote destinations, often on unmarked trails, and being prepared for any situation. A reliable GPS navigation system is essential for overlanding because it helps you:
1. Stay on course: A GPS system provides accurate and real-time information about your location, direction, and route, ensuring that you stay on track and reach your destination safely.
2. Plan your route: With a GPS system, you can plan your route ahead of time, taking into consideration factors such as terrain, weather, and points of interest. This allows you to optimize your travel time and avoid potential hazards.
3. Navigate off road: Unlike traditional road maps, a GPS system is designed to work in remote areas with little to no infrastructure. This means you can confidently navigate off road trails and unmarked paths without getting lost.
4. Access emergency services: In case of an emergency, a GPS system can help you quickly locate the nearest medical facility, mechanic, or other essential services.
5. Track your progress: A GPS system allows you to track your progress and record your journey, making it easy to share your adventures with friends and family or revisit your favorite spots in the future.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Overlanding GPS
When selecting a GPS navigation system for overlanding, there are several factors to consider:
1. Durability: Overlanding can be tough on your gear, so it’s essential to choose a GPS system that is built to withstand harsh conditions. Look for a device with a rugged design, water resistance, and shock protection.
2. Mapping capabilities: The best GPS systems for overlanding come preloaded with detailed topographic maps that cover a wide range of off road trails and points of interest. Make sure the device you choose has the necessary maps for your intended destinations and the ability to update or add new maps as needed.
3. Battery life: A long battery life is crucial for overlanding, as you may not have access to a power source for extended periods. Look for a GPS system with a battery life of at least 10-15 hours and the option to use external power sources, such as solar panels or portable chargers.
4. Screen size and readability: A large, high-resolution screen is essential for easy navigation and map reading. Choose a GPS system with a screen size of at least 4 inches and a display that is easy to read in bright sunlight and low-light conditions.
5. Ease of use: A user-friendly interface and intuitive controls are essential for a hassle-free overlanding experience. Look for a GPS system with customizable data fields, clear menu structures, and responsive touchscreens or buttons.
6. Connectivity: Some GPS systems offer advanced connectivity features, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or satellite communication, allowing you to connect with other devices, access real-time weather updates, or send emergency messages. While not essential, these features can enhance your overlanding experience and provide added peace of mind.
Top Overlanding GPS Systems to Consider
Based on my experience and research, here are some of the top GPS systems for overlanding:
1. Garmin Overlander: This all-in-one GPS system is specifically designed for overlanding and comes preloaded with topographic maps, public land boundaries, and points of interest. It features a 7-inch touchscreen display, a rugged design, and an impressive battery life of up to 18 hours.
2. Magellan TRX7 CS: This off road GPS system features a 7-inch touchscreen display, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, and comes preloaded with over 160,000 off road trails. It also includes 3D terrain views, satellite imagery, and the ability to track and share your adventures.
3. Gaia GPS: This smartphone app offers a comprehensive mapping solution for overlanders, with access to a wide range of topographic, satellite, and road maps. It also includes advanced route planning and tracking features, making it a cost-effective option for those who prefer to use their smartphone or tablet for navigation.
A reliable GPS navigation system is an essential tool for any overlander. By considering factors such as durability, mapping capabilities, battery life, screen size, ease of use, and connectivity, you can choose the best GPS system for your needs and enjoy a safe and enjoyable off road adventure. Whether you opt for a dedicated GPS device like the Garmin Overlander or Magellan TRX7 CS or prefer a smartphone app like Gaia GPS, investing in a high-quality navigation system will undoubtedly enhance your overlanding experience.
Supreme T lives for the thrill of off roading. An expert in the wild, he shares his passion for rugged vehicles, innovative equipment, epic trails, and overlanding adventures on his blog.
For over 20 years Supreme T has been heavily involved in the off road industry in a variety of ways from being a casual fan to a hardcore off roader with multiple off road vehicles.
Supreme T is Addicted To The Adventure.