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Recent Navigation Tool Reviews

Garmin GPSMAP 62st

rated 3.5 of 5 stars Hand draw your route in Base Camp. My problem with Base Camp and all other back-country mapping software, is that you can't just put in the starting point and the end point and any waypoints in-between. You must manually hand draw on your computer the actual route you want to take as precise as possible, then transfer that route to your GPS. It won't just route itself on the trail, like a street GPS follows a street route. WHY NOT? This is 2016! Precision is required if you are wanting any kind… Full review

Casio PRG270

rated 4 of 5 stars Solar-powered altimeter, barometer and compass (ABC) watch with temperature sensor, world time, stopwatch, and timer. The Casio PRG270 Suunto and Garmin watches represent the gold standard in hikers’ watches and the Casio PRG270 will inevitably be compared to them. However, it should be kept in mind that the PRG270 is basically an altimeter, barometer and compass (ABC) watch, with the addition of a temperature sensor, world time, stopwatch and timer. It does not have GPS or advanced athletics… Full review

Brunton TruArc 15

rated 3 of 5 stars Not something I'll recommend. All the different tools and function that come with this are a good idea in theory but, when you put it together with chintzy plastic it doesn't matter how good of a cool idea you have. When you put it into play it can become a piece of trash really quick. And that is my experience with this compass.  They could have used some better lightweight material to snap things together. The center piece pushed out so easily and the plastic holding it in broke too. I couldn't… Full review

Garmin GPSMAP 62st

rated 4 of 5 stars Great unit, accurate, reliable and robust, but loses a star because of the BaseCamp software. This GPS can get a signal in many places where other GPS units fail. This unit is quite old, released in August 2010 (five years ago) but sold up until 2016. It has (just) been superseded by the new 64-series of models. It has been a long time since I have intensively used a GPS. I did engineering at Uni and did two years of Surveying. Back then GPS units were the size of suitcases. Almost 20 years ago… Full review

Brunton TruArc 5

rated 5 of 5 stars Great backup compass, With today's GPS, compass and maps are lost art. I use this as my backup, a just-in-case tool. But I find using it simple and reliable. I use it all the time. Precision artillery, NO. Finding my way home, YES! Full review

Garmin GPSMAP 62s

rated 5 of 5 stars This is my go-to handheld GPS. OK, so this GPS is awesome! I have loaded it up with SO much topo, like multiple states, and it still rocks. It's really easy to use as a basic GPS, which I normally use it for.  You can essentially turn it on and start walking. It gains its 3 satellites in a matter of minutes depending on your location. Not to be used in caves. But I can turn it on in my house and it magically has service.  The buttons on it are a little excessive.  The POWER button on the side… Full review

Garmin eTrex

rated 5 of 5 stars Great little GPS. This little GPS does what you need—it gets you there and back. I have had this eTrex since sometime in the early 2000s. The screens are basic and so is the operation of the unit. It can be used one-handed without any problems. I can plug in my coordinates and be gone before my son can using his phone app.   It's pretty well shock proof, water/dust proof and never fails to navigate me where I'm going. The battery life is amazing also. Besides backpacking I also geocache so I… Full review

Suunto MC-2

rated 2.5 of 5 stars Works great for me, I have heard of people having up to a 6 degree offset, which could be catastrophic. I wish it had a measuring device in more that just 1:24000, also the miles are NM but not labeled as such. I have used this a few times for bushwhacking locally, got me back to the trail. If you know how to use all the functions and have a good map this is an excellent beginner compass. The Rotating dial gets kind of rough if it gets dirty. However, it stays in place.  It is pretty easy to use,… Full review

Garmin GPS 64

rated 3 of 5 stars $150 on Costco.com! I've needed a GPS for a while after getting lost (because I didn't have a map — yeah I know — stupid). But planning some major adventures coming up and don't ever want to be without map and GPS. I like to know my progress and my map skills aren't 100% but I am pretty darn good. I'm not rich and was never willing to drop $200-$400+ on a GPS My girlfriend got me this one for Xmas on Costco.com for $150. I told her that was a steal since it goes for $250 and if I don't like… Full review

Top-Rated Navigation Tools

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Ultimate Survival Technologies Lensatic Compass Compass
$4
 
Adirondack Mountain Club Long and Ell Ponds Trail Map, RI US Northeast Paper Map
$4
Great Swamp Press Long and Ell Ponds Trail Map - Rhode Island US Northeast Paper Map
$4
Pocket Profile Maps John Muir Trail/PCT Map US Pacific States Paper Map
$4
 
Map Adventures Portland Maine Trails Map/Guide US Northeast Paper Map
$5
 
Sun Company Zippersnapper 1 Compass
$5
 
Silva Fisheye 328 Compass
$5 MSRP
National Geographic South Carolina Map US South Paper Map
$6
National Geographic Illinois Map US Midwest Paper Map
$6
National Geographic Indiana Map US Midwest Paper Map
$6
National Geographic Massachusetts Map US Northeast Paper Map
$6
National Geographic Northern California Map US Pacific States Paper Map
$6
National Geographic Wisconsin Map  US Midwest Paper Map
$6
National Geographic North Carolina Map  US South Paper Map
$6
National Geographic Georgia Map US South Paper Map
$6
National Geographic Pennsylvania Map US Northeast Paper Map
$6
National Geographic Texas Map  US South Paper Map
$6
National Geographic Washington Map US Pacific States Paper Map
$6
National Geographic Alabama Map US South Paper Map
$6
National Geographic Virginia Map  US South Paper Map
$6
National Geographic New York Map  US Northeast Paper Map
$6
National Geographic Southern California Map US Pacific States Paper Map
$6
National Geographic Colorado Map US Mountain States Paper Map
$6
National Geographic Kentucky Map US South Paper Map
$6
 
Little River Enterprises Custom Correct Enchanted Valley - Skokomish Map US Pacific States Paper Map
$6
 
Little River Enterprises Custom Correct Buckhorn Wilderness Map US Pacific States Paper Map
$6
Little River Enterprises Custom Correct Gray Wolf - Dosewallips Map US Pacific States Paper Map
$6
Little River Enterprises Custom Correct Quinault/Colonel Bob Wilderness Map US Pacific States Paper Map
$6
 
Little River Enterprises Custom Correct Mount Skokomish - Lake Cushman Map US Pacific States Paper Map
$6
Little River Enterprises Custom Correct North Olympic Coast Map US Pacific States Paper Map
$6
Little River Enterprises Custom Correct Seven Lakes Basin Map US Pacific States Paper Map
$6
Map Adventures Northern Vermont Hiking Trails US Northeast Paper Map
$6
Mount Diablo Interpretive Association Mount Diablo State Park Trail Map US Pacific States Paper Map
$6
 
REI Universal Transverse Mercator
$6
user rating: 2 of 5 (1)
Brunton 9068 Compass
$6 MSRP
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
Rite in the Rain Outdoor Journal
$6 - $10
National Geographic Arizona Map US Mountain States Paper Map
$6
National Geographic Florida Map  US South Paper Map
$6
National Geographic Utah Map US Mountain States Paper Map
$6
National Geographic Southeastern USA Map US South Paper Map
$6
 
Sun Company Zippersnapper 2 Compass
$6
Silva Companion 609 Compass
$9
 
Coghlan's Map Compass Compass
$7
 
Adirondack Mountain Club Carolina & Burlingame Wildlife Management Areas Map US Northeast Paper Map
$7
 
Ultimate Survival Technologies Folding Map Compass Compass
$7
National Geographic Tennessee Map US South Paper Map
$7 MSRP
National Geographic Maine Map US Northeast Paper Map
$8
Franko's Maps Franko's Hawaiian Islands Guide Map US Pacific States Paper Map
$7
National Geographic Pine Ridge National Recreation Area Trail Map US Midwest Paper Map
$7
National Geographic Yosemite SE - Ansel Adams Wilderness US Pacific States Paper Map
$7
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