The 10 most asked questions people ask before buying an outdoor GPS unit
Mon 11th June 2018
In the next five minutes I'm going to answer the 10 most asked questions people ask before buying an outdoor GPS unit, so let's get the clock underway.
1. What does GPS stand for?
GPS stands for global positioning system. They work from satellites thousands of miles above, both American and Russian satellites, and they give you an exact position fix of exactly where you are anywhere on the planet. You don't need a mobile phone signal, these work anywhere.
2. What does a GPS do?
The GPS does a number of things, it's like a car sat nav for walkers. You can preprogram your route, and your GPS will take you on that walk. When you're out walking, you have a trip computer that tells you how far you've walked, average speed, how long you've been stopped for, how long you've been walking for, and lots of other information.
Also, the GPS is tracking where you are, so you can do what's called a backtrack. You can say to the GPS, take me back the way I've come, and the GPS takes you back to the start of that day's walking.
3. Are they waterproof?
Of course, they're waterproof. They're waterproof, outdoor GPS units. These things are rugged. You can smash them, you can kick them around, you can hit them on rocks, they will not break. They're hard, waterproof, and they can be used whatever the weather.
4. Can I just use my smartphone?
Of course, you can use your smartphone, but your smartphone is a phone isn't it? Do you really want to drop your 700 pound iPhone and smash the screen? The other thing with a smartphone is if you start navigating properly with them, your battery will be flat by lunchtime. So, you might to keep your smartphone for that emergency situation, or to speak to someone and use it as a phone. Get a proper outdoor GPS unit that will navigate and enhance your walking experience.
5. How do I plan my walk?
There's a number of ways you can plan your walk on the GPS. The easiest way is just to plug it into your PC or your Mac and it pulls all the Ordnance Survey maps off it and you see it on your computer screen. Then, you literally just click on the map exactly where you want to go and transfer that route on to your GPS unit. Then, when you're out in the hills, you literally just follow an arrow on the screen and it also overlays that route on the Ordnance Survey maps. If you've done no route planning beforehand, you see yourself moving across the ordinance survey map so you can see exactly where you are.
Also, you can plan a route directly on the unit. So, again, by just using some basic instructions that we're going to give you, you can plan that route in on the unit. So, if you're away camping or you're away in the caravan and you didn't know where you were going to end up, you can plan it directly on to your GPS unit, then go out straight away and navigate that walk.
6. How does it navigate me around my walk?
It navigates you just by following the arrow on the screen. It also overlays that route on the Ordnance Survey map. You can also navigate on what we call the compass page, which has a big arrow on it and it tells you how it is to your next waypoint, which is when you've got to change direction. It also tells you how far it is to the end of the walk and what time you're going to get to the end of your walk.
7. How long do the batteries last?
If you get some good quality batteries in your GPS unit, you're going to get 8 to 10 hours of continuous use out of those batteries. You can just change them. Most GPS units can just run off AA batteries, as well as some of them will have a built-in battery which you can take out and replace with AA batteries. I take four batteries with me. I put two in my unit, two in my rucksack just in case. I've got 16 to 20 hours of battery on my GPS. That's plenty. Just in case I get into problems.
8. How can a GPS help if I run into a problem?
It can help you in a number of ways. You can literally just press a button on the GPS unit and it gives you a 10-figure grid reference of exactly where you are. Then, you can just ring for the emergency services or get someone to go down to a telephone box and give the emergency service the grid reference where the incident has happened. If it's not that serious, you've got this backtrack facility, so you can just say to the GPS, "Take me back the way I've come," and your GPS takes you back to the start of that day's walking.
9. Aren't they complicated to use?
Of course, they're not complicated to use. They're simple and straightforward and from GPS Training, we'll give you extra instructions to help you get going and to gain more experience when you're out walking with your outdoor GPS unit.
10. Why should I buy a GPS from GPS Training?
The reason is, we're not going to just sell you a box. We're going to set up that GPS unit before it leaves us and even update it to latest operating system. You get access to what we call the online resource, an online training area you can access 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and that's full of videos of how to use both your unit and also how to plan routes on your computer. You also get two free webinars. These are live seminars teaching how to ... One on how to use your unit and the second one about how to plan routes on your computer. And if you have any other questions over the first year of the purchase, you can just ring up one of our tech guys, they'll answer the telephone after two rings and simply help you out and answer any questions you have.
So, that's the reasons you need to buy from GPS Training. Five minutes, is it up? Just about. I didn't do too bad, did I?
You can view all the Outdoor GPS units on our website here.