When choosing a handheld GPS, you need to understand the features, starting from the receiver and ending with the battery type. In order not to get lost in all the features, let’s figure them out in order.
First of all, it is worth noting that there are gadgets with a touchscreen or controlled by buttons. Of course, in winter fishing conditions, you should choose a navigator with buttons. The second critical condition is the presence of a large-sized display screen. Usually, the more, the better, but some people choose in favor of compactness. A bright backlight will also be useful. The simplest devices use a monochrome display.
The devices have built-in maps, and the user can also download them themself. The navigator can also work in conjunction with a microSD card, on which topo maps will be loaded, or receive them via a PC.
Any GPS receiver must perform three functions: display position, perform tracking, and provide navigation to waypoints.
Architecture and Design
Everybody knows that the simpler and clearer the device, the better. Of course, quality should not suffer for the sake of the look. Most of the units have a push-button design, while some of them can be controlled by a joystick. Any navigator must have waterproof properties.
This attribute differs from model to model. The GPS navigator may have a Bluetooth or USB port for exchanging data with other devices, including a PC.
Some of the devices support work with the Russian developer GLONASS along with GPS. With GLONASS satellites, the time required for the receiver to determine a position is on average about 20% less than when using GPS. When using satellites of both GPS and GLONASS systems, the number of receiving satellites increases.
Portable GPS devices can use standard AA or AAA batteries, as well as proprietary batteries. When the batteries are discharged, you will need to replace the entire set of batteries with a new one. GPS devices with the proprietary battery format can usually charge them from the main charger without additional purchased accessories. The disadvantage is that in an emergency, you cannot replace the batteries. There are several main types of batteries: lithium-ion (Li-Ion) and lithium-polymer (Li-Polymer). With the same capacity, Li-Polymer batteries weigh less than Li-Ion, which affects their price. At the same time, lithium polymer batteries are much more fragile and prone to drops than lithium-ion batteries. The battery life can range from 8 to 30 hours of use per charge. Some devices can last up to 75 hours in tracking mode.
Why Is a Handheld GPS So Useful?
The safest and most successful fishing requires the right equipment. With the navigator, you will not get lost even in unfamiliar areas, and you will also be able to remember and share the places with the biggest catch. In addition, most navigators are compact enough and will never be superfluous.
Even the most extreme and adventurous outings can be fun and safe with a GPS navigator. It will help you return home with your catch, as well as revisit your favorite fishing spot.
We tested and studied five units to choose the best ice fishing handheld GPS navigator. The Garmin eTrex 10 received the highest award for its excellent performance. It is suitable for both beginners and avid anglers as the primary navigation device for all parameters.