The Guide to Using GPS for Hiking and Hunting

When making a trip to the outdoors whether you’re hiking, climbing or hunting, most people want to feel equipped and secure. We also realize how crucial it is to know your location at any point in time. Unfortunately, mobile signals don’t always work in the wild, which is where a GPS can come in handy.

GPS helps hunters and hikers calibrate the sun set and sun rise timings, which helps ensure your activity never gets delayed. Also, the chances of getting lost are minimum to zero when the device is set up correctly. Of course, the best GPS models come with specific features, which you need to be aware of.

What to look for in a hiking and hunting GPS

  • Altimeter – This provides details of the barometric pressure. Changes in pressure can signal whether the weather is going to remain pleasant or get worse.
  • Sun tracker – The best GPS devices have the calendar of the time when the sun rises and sets. This can help you hike on the top of a mountain and conduct hunting legally.
  • Cool display – You need to be able to read the information on the GPS device, which isn’t so easy in bad weather. As a result, look for features like touchscreen to make it easy on yourself.
  • Waypoint totals and memory – The greater the quantity, the more navigation data and maps you can save.
  • Wireless transfers – This feature will enable your device to send and receive signals from compatible units. This is the best way to coordinate with other GPS users.
  • Geofencing – Allows you to mark a territory to stay in.

Best Hunting and Hiking GPS to Buy

After a lot of research, we came up with the following GPS devices. You can invest in one on this list, go with one of our previously reviewed handheld GPS, or use some type of combination – the choice is yours.

Where to Buy
Magellan eXplorist 300 Water Resistant Hiking GPS
Spot 3 Satellite GPS Messenger - Orange
goTenna Mesh | Two Off-Grid SMS & GPS Devices that Pairs with Android and Apple IOS Phones | Chat, Send Texts & Location Information Without Cell Service or Wi-Fi | 24-Hour Battery
ONX: Hunting Maps for Garmin GPS - Hunt Chip with Public & Private Land Ownership - Hunting Units - Includes Premium Membership Hunting App for iPhone, Android & Web
VGEBY Mini GPS Tracker Locator, Personal Pocket GPS Navigator for Outdoor Hiking Camping Hunting Wild Exploration
Suunto Core Wrist-Top Computer Watch with Altimeter, Barometer, Compass, and Depth Measurement
GPS Tracker - Optimus 2.0 - 4G LTE Tracking Device for Cars, Vehicles, People, Equipment
Floratek GPS Tracker for Dogs Cats Pets Waterproof Real-Time Pet Tracking Device with APP for Phone Light Weight GPS Tracking Collar Attachment Pet Finder Locator Pets Activity Monitor

1. Magellan hiking GPS

Magellan eXplorist 300 can become your hiking and hunting partner. It is a water-resistant pocket GPS device with a Barometer, Altimeter and electronic compass. The keyboard and joystick make it easy to switch between different functions. There are three navigation screens and a built-in map display in this device. The GPS accuracy of this device is maintained by fourteen parallel channels with WAAS enhancements.

What makes it stand out? Magellan eXplorist 300 has an 8MB basemap of North America, which is pretty cool for travelers on the get-go.

2. Satellite GPS Messenger

The Spot 3 Satellite Messenger is orange in color, so you can never misplace it. This handheld GPS device has many buttons for power, messaging, tracking and S.O.S. It also has a keyring that you can use to attach to a rope or your belt. Spot 3 lets you record a custom message to send to your loved ones when in need. You can enable location tracking and your loves ones can track your path through Google maps. In an emergency, there is a special S.O.S button that quickly sends your message to nearby authorities.

What makes it stand out? The ability to create customized messages and prompt your family/friends when checking in or leaving makes this GPS messenger stand out. It is also easy to carry and secure in your pocket.

3. goTenna Mesh GPS Device

The goTenna device pairs with your phone and lets you send a message between other goTenna devices within 4 miles radius. It is perfect for hiking and hunting in areas with low cellphone connectivity. It comes in two funky shades of green and turquoise. goTenna’s super smart powers both 1 on 1 and group chats. Public emergency broadcasts are also possible to send to nearby people. You do not need any phone service, internet router, satellite or tower to switch on your goTenna device.

What makes it stand out: All chats on this device are end-to-end encrypted and fully secure.

4. OnX Hunt

The onX Hunt is a GPS hunting chip with one of the most precise offline location data in the market. It is your hunting partner, because it guides you about private and public land ownership on each step. This enables you to hunt in a legal and ethical way. onX hunt has 420+ maps in its memory, with more being added. You can view the geographic 24K topo, complete with section lines, water, streets and key points of interest. The comprehensive data zooms into city, state, highway, Forest Service and trails.

What makes it stand out? You can pair the Hunt with your phone via an easy to use application. The company also offers Hunt membership for phone, tablet and computer.

5. Mini GPS Tracker

The Vgeby mini GPS tracker is ideal when you do not want to carry a big device on your hiking trips. It is made of aluminium alloy, high quality finish that makes it sturdy but lightweight. This little device is made to bear the wear and tear of adventure trips. Vgeby mini comes with a keychain so you can attach it to your clothes easily. You can store sixteen locations on the vgeby mini and find real-time longitude and latitude coordinates. There are three buttons on this device.

What makes it stand out? The mini GPS tracker is ideal not just for hunting trips but for day-to-day cycling, running or outdoor trips. You can get one for your children and be aware of their trail at all times.

6. Suunto wrist watch

This cool watch by Suunto comes in a variety of colors, for the fashionable adventurer. Take it on your hiking and hunting trips and keep track of both the weather and sun movement at all times. There are many variations of this watch, so you can choose the features that you like. The altimeter in this watch tracks vertical movement, barometer tracks air pressure and compass guides your way. Digital display on this watch keeps you updated about time, day, date, location and much more.

What makes it stand out? This watch maintains present sunrise and sunset times of up to 400 locations, so you are never clueless. It will pull up the weather graph to help you plan your next move.

7. Optimus 2.0

The Optimus GPS tracker keeps tab on cars, people and important assets for you. This accessory is most useful when you camp at one place and head out to hunt around the area. It is a multifunctional device that can be used on both adventure trips and in daily travels. The 4G LTE tracker pairs with your devices and offers both iPhone and Android app. You and your loved ones will receive Email and SMS notifications about S. OS, Entering, leaving, low battery and speeding. There is an option to insert SIM card and activate a data plan for this device.

What makes it stand out? Optimus 2.0 is covered by McAfee security so your personal data is never at risk. It has a special routing feature for investigators.

8. Floratek GPS tracker for pets

This 23 grams’ weighing device will not irritate your pets on hunting trips. The tiny device comes with a silicone cover to protect against water, dust and scratches. Daily usage and moisture also does not affect the performance of this GPS tracker.  Floratek work on GPS, LBS and AGPS network, locating the target through SMS and internet. It’s positioning accuracy is up to 5 meters and it refreshes every 5 seconds. Both iOS and Android devices can be paired with this tracker. There is not pet collar included with this device, but you can easily attach and fasten it. There is an option to add SIM card (T-Mobile is preferable) with this device for better connectivity. However, it works perfectly well without mobile service.

What makes it stand out? Based on the nature of long trips, the battery of Floratek tracker has a long life. It goes up to two weeks on a single charge and charges in 2.5 hours.


As you can see, there are many hiking and hunting GPS devices you can carry with you on your journey. Just make sure to invest in something that’ll stand the test of time (and nature). We are confident that every device on this list is strong enough to withstand whatever the adventure throws at them. And hey, there’s even one to ensure your pets stay safe. How cool is that? Take a look at these devices and stay safe on your journey.