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What Is The Best GPS For Trail Riding On The Market?

Trail riding is one of the nicest, most fun and rewarding types of ride you can do. It’s just you, your horse and the trail (and your friends and their horses, if you are bringing company). It’s a great way to experience nature, see some amazing views, and catch sight of wild animals that you may not ordinarily see – and of course, there’s that delicious wild freedom when you get to go galloping off for a hair raising run in top gear!

But there are dangers to trail riding – if you get yourself lost far off the beaten track it could end up being a very serious situation. These days, technology is here to help us out. Why not have a look into the best GPS for trail riding, to make sure you never get yourself into trouble?

Best GPS For Trail Riding

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GPSs for Trail Riding

Price

Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS TOP PICK: Garmin Foretrex 401

A compact, convenient little GPS for your wrist.

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Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator Garmin eTrex10

A good GPS for long trail rides.

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Garmin GPSMAP 64st Worldwide Handheld GPS with 1 Yr. Birdseye Subscription and Preloaded TOPO U.S. 100K Maps + 1-Year Extended Warranty Bundle Garmin GPSMAP 64st

An extremely hard wearing and durable GPS.

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1. Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS Review

Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS

This compact, convenient little GPS will sit snugly on your wrist and help you find your way about. You can tuck it right up your sleeve to keep it safe from any damage!

Pros

  • High sensitivity GPS with HotFix – This is the most fantastic addition to any GPS system ever; the ability to keep a signal even in dense undergrowth, thick trees or deep canyons.
  • Keeps tracks of routes, tracks and waypoints – This is an excellent feature, especially if you venture down a path you have never visited before and want to be able to go there again in future.
  • No chance of getting lost – The Foretrex 401 will plot your route as a a dotted line on the screen, meaning that if you lose yourself all you have to do is retrace your steps following the lines on the screen. Simple, easy and effective.
  • Supports dual position reading – This means you can view your current position in a few different formats, in case it is easier for you to see it one way than another.

Cons

  • Does not work in single digit temperatures – This is worth bearing in mind if you are trail riding in very cold areas, or even if you are camping out and it may get cold overnight. Keep your Foretrex warm in your sleeping bag or something!

Recommendation

This is a nifty little GPS that is well loved by active service personnel as well as hobby riders, because of its high functioning performance and the fact that you can attach it to your wrist.

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2. Garmin eTrex10 GPS Review

Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator

This hand held GPS will be your best friend come rain or shine. It’s perfect for figuring out here you’re going, and has a large enough screen that you can see where you are without squinting.

Pros

  • Waterproof to IPX7 – As we all know, you can’t really control much on a trail ride, the weather being no exception. This GPS is resistant to rainwater splashing, so you won’t get lost halfway round because it stops working.
  • Works for up to 20 hours on just 2 AA batteries – There is no chance of your GPS dying on you in the middle of nowhere – just make sure you have a spare battery or two in your pack in case of emergency.
  • Maintains its position even in deep cover – Even if you are riding through forests or canyons, this GPS will maintain its signal thanks to HotFix and GLONASS positioning systems.
  • Easy to work out trail durations – You can store details such as high and low points, waypoints, and start and finish points, so you can work out the length of the trail and distances between landmarks.

Cons

  • Not ideal for the technologically challenged – There are some of us who just don’t get on with technology and prefer maps on paper. This unit is not ideal for those who like things to be very simple!

Recommendation

A good GPS for those wanting to trail ride off into the sunset, and who don’t mind a bit of learning about how to set up the technology. The fact that it can last 20 hours on just 2 AA batteries is a big plus on long trail rides.

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3. Garmin GPSMAP 64st Worldwide Handheld GPS Review

Garmin GPSMAP 64st Worldwide Handheld GPS with 1 Yr. Birdseye Subscription and Preloaded TOPO U.S. 100K Maps + 1-Year Extended Warranty Bundle

A hand held GPS that comes preloaded with a lot of information, is extremely hard wearing and durable, and should last you for many years and many trail rides to come. What more could you possibly want?

Pros

  • Preloaded with TOPO 100K – This comprehensive system comprises full coverage of the US, including Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico, so wherever you are trail riding you will be sure of knowing where you are.
  • You can wirelessly share with this device – As long as the devices you are sharing with are Garmin, you can share your routes, waypoints and tracks with your other devices, or friends.
  • Can also be used to receive emails, texts and alerts from your smartphone – If you have a compatible phone, you can receive all your alerts on your GPS, saving you having to dig around to find your phone as well as your GPS.
  • Can be used to track weather conditions – The barometric altimeter can track barometric pressure, meaning that you can keep an eye on what the weather is up to in your area.

Cons

  • The maps included are not as up to date as they could be – If you live in an area that is constantly experiencing new buildings and developments then this GPS could be improved. If you live in the middle of nowhere and nothing ever changes, then this one is ideal!

Recommendation

This is a fantastic, high quality GPS that should stop you from losing your way whilst out and about, and help you keep track of your routes at the same time.

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Conclusion

The best GPS for trail riding should be convenient and easy to carry around with you, as well as accurate and able to pinpoint your location so that you can find where you’re going. Having a feature that can trace your steps if you get yourself lost is very useful, as is a bit of weatherproofing to keep your device safe if it rains.

Do you need a device which can track you through canyons? Or one that can stand up to a bit of rain? Or one which can remember your trails for the next ride? Whatever your needs, we’ve got it covered – just have a look through and find the best GPS for trail riding that suits your needs.

Sam Ellis
Sam is a founder and editor of Horses & Foals. In personal life he is a proud father of a boy and twin girls. He believes it is more important than ever before to encourage children to experience the joy of horse riding. Horses make as much sense as the sunshine in our world.


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