Do I Need a GPS Watch for Hiking?

GPS Watch

Most people probably wouldn’t think that you could hike with your Smartwatch, but in reality, it’s actually quite easy. For example, there are brands like Fitbit and Garmin that have created devices specifically for outdoor activities like hiking.

These devices feature built-in GPS so you can easily track your location with Google Maps or Apple Maps from your watch. If you’re going on a hike or any other type of outdoor activity where getting accurate GPS is extremely important, then a smart Watch device is the way to go!

With GPS enabled, you can track your location while hiking with a watch that doesn’t even need to be connected to a Phone (although we recommend keeping your phone handy). You can also use third-party mapping apps to find trailheads and points of interest along your route so that you know where you are at all times.

Do I Need a GPS Watch for Hiking?

Today’s GPS watches have a lot of features other than watching time. They can track your location, your height, the route you are taking, and even your heartbeat rate and the calories you’re burning, but do you really need one for hiking?

A lot of people use GPS for different reasons, some use it as a mini device, and some use it as a fashion device but here are reasons why you need a GPS watch for hiking.

  1. Staying Safe: Navigation is very important while hiking, it can also be the difference between life and death. The probability of getting lost while hiking is very low, but there are high chances of getting injured or walking to the wrong places. The GPS makes you trackable if you ever enter situations like this.
  2. Finding Your Way: You may be just plain interested to learn more about where you’ve been hiking or are planning to hike. Besides general information, a lot of GPS smartwatches can actually give you your GPS coordinates in terms of longitude and latitude. It also syncs with a real map, which means it helps you navigate your way more safely during a hike.

Remember, GPS watches have very small screens, and they don’t have large screens. This means that your smartwatch is meant to connect to a smartphone if you want to use a digital map.

  1. Fitness statics: Aside from tracking your location, a GPS watch also checks your fitness levels. It checks your heartbeats per minute (BPM) and it also calculates how many calories you’ve burnt by checking your steps. Besides hiking, a GPS watch can also tell how many laps you’ve taken while swimming or how many steps you’ve taken while running.

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Why Should I use a GPS watch while Hiking?

You should always try and use a GPS smartwatch when going for a hike. GPS enabled smartwatch gives an accurate longitude and latitude of your location, it also checks your fitness level like your heartbeat and the number of calories you’ve burnt.

Overall, Hiking without a GPS is almost the same as going without water.

Do GPS Watches also Check My Fitness Level?

When you begin your search for a GPS enabled smartwatch, one of the features you’ll see offered is Fitness tracking. GPS (Global Positioning System) can track your location wherever you are in the world thanks to a process called triangulation. Triangulation is done by satellites. The signal bounces from your phone to three other satellites to accurately track your location.

It does not matter if you are walking, running or on a bike. GPS is very accurate, and it’s a great feature if you would like to see maps of where you went on your hike or if you want a more precise knowledge of your speed or the length of your hike.

However, most GPS watches have a fitness app installed on them. This fitness app tracks your health, it tracks your heartbeat and also checks how many calories you burn daily. Let’s say you’re planning to go on a 3-hour hike.

The GPS watch will calculate your average hiking speed, and the fastest speed you reached and it will also track your heart rate if you want it to do so.

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What Are The Best GPS Watches for Hiking?

A GPS is a powerful tool that helps you navigate or tracks your movement. It also monitors your heart rate, tracks how many calories you burn daily and also gains insights into your sleeping patterns.

GPS produced in this century comes with a package of tracker and fitness tracker in one. There are lots of GPS smartwatch brands and most times it might be hard to make a decision on which one to get. Don’t stress, we made and compiled a list of the 10 best GPS watches currently on the market.

  1. Garmin Instinct Solar
  2. Coros Pace 2
  3. Fitbit Charge 5
  4. Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
  5. Coros Apex
  6. Garmin Venu 2
  7. Garmin Forerunner 945
  8. Polar Vantage V2
  9. Garmin Venu SQ
  10. Apple Watch Series 7

These watches range in price, battery life, ease of use and style. Sometimes, all these might not be enough to make a decision. Make sure you check before making a decision.

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Today’s GPS watches have a lot of features other than watching time. They can track your location, your height, the route you are taking, and even your heartbeat rate and the calories you’re burning.

GPS are a very important tool to have in one’s hiking gear, they have health benefits as well as protection purposes. They track your location and they also check your fitness level so you won’t go over your limits.

It is important to know that they are different types and brands, so make sure you do your research before getting one. 

As I said, GPS watches exist for other sports activities besides hiking. They are suitable for running and swimming too.

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Written by Jane Miller

I'm Nomadic Jane, a digital nomad and travel blogger. Since 2009, I've been traveling the world and exploring cultures through my travel blog.