The Best Handheld Hiking GPS 

Hiking is a term used in the United States and Canada for long, vigorous walks in forested areas and countryside terrains. It is a popular hobby for people around the world. Hiking outdoors, on or off trails, for recreational purposes has a huge following. Walking organizations are plentiful around the world. They encourage people to get outside and be closer to nature. While most continents around the globe have luscious scenery for hikers to visit, each trail is unique. From overgrown jungles in South America to the desert coastlines of California to the green grasslands of the United Kingdom, planet earth is one big hiking map separated by bodies of water.

Hiking gained popularity by large groups of people because of its health benefits. Hiking helps improve cardio-respiratory fitness and muscular fitness. Walking and hiking lower the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol. While some hiking trails are more challenging, walking on natural terrain will still provide the same benefits. Hiking is attractive with groups, families, amateurs, athletes, and for solo fitness excursions.

While mother earth is beautiful, some of her trails can be dangerous if hikers do not come prepared. When taking long hiking trips, the risk of getting lost is severe. Especially when dehydration kicks in and hikers can start to hallucinate.Many people have lost their lives getting lost in harsh terrain and lost battling the elements. That is why hikers should come prepared no matter how simple or easy the hike is. Plans change, and it is better to be safe. We have put together a product review guide for the best GPS handheld devices for hiking.

Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld

The Garmin eTrex 10 worldwide handheld is a tiny device that fits in the palm of your hand. With sunlight-readable display and IPX7 standard waterproof abilities, this gadget is at the top of our list. The eTrex 10 features paperless geocaching and can hold up to 2000 geocaches. 2 AA batteries fit in the back of the device which gives it 25 hours of battery life. The eTrex 10 stores all information needed to be prepared for a hike. Giving you data on location, terrain, difficulty, and hints on how to proceed, hikers can travel the world. If you visit multiple locations numerous times of the year, the eTrex 10 is a perfect GPS device for you.

Garmin eTrex 10 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator
List Price: $87.00
Price: $84.99
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Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS

The Garmin Foretrex 401 is a great asset for a range of outdoor activities. A feature of this device allows you to strap the tool to your wrist so you can use both hands at all times. The Foretrex 401 is lightweight and can share data with a simple USB connection to a computer. You can also share data wirelessly. Save locations and get back to your original destination with TracBack features. Hikers using the Foretrex 401 will have security and measure to prevent them from getting lost or stranded. A health feature of this device is that you can track and monitor heart rates and other vital signs.

Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
List Price: $154.49
Price: $154.49
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Bad Elf 2200 GPS Pro (Black/silver)

The Bad Elf is a tiny device that does big things. It is the perfect GPS receiver for iPods iPhones and iPods. You can connect up to five devices using Bluetooth to the Bad Elf at once, track and store their data. Each device comes with a mini-USB charging cable as well as a detachable neck lanyard. Its size makes this item attractive among jet pilots, general aviation specialists, sailors, power boaters, and for those on a road trip. The self-contained power supply and powerful navigation tool means you don’t consume other energy sources while traveling.

Bad Elf 2200 GPS Pro (Black/silver)
List Price: $179.99
Price: $149.89
You Save: $30.10
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Garmin Oregon 450t Handheld GPS Navigator

The Garmin Oregon 450t another top favorite for handheld GPS navigators. With a rugged touchscreen navigation system, preloaded topographic images with 3D map views, and touchscreen operate, this device is a modern day miracle. Users can exchange tracks, waypoints, and geocache wirelessly between similar devices. With an easy-to-use interface, the experience is enjoyable and visually easy to digest. We like to think of this device like the iPhone of handheld navigators. With a clean exterior shell, beautiful operating system and interface, the overall design make this advice the most attractive.

Garmin - GPS, OREGON 450T
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Garmin GPSMAP 64st, TOPO U.S. 100K

This handheld GPS uses advanced sensors and wireless connectivity to outperform its competitors. High sensitivity GPS receivers and antenna provide the most accurate data about the surrounding environment. A preloaded map of Europe is also available. This device wirelessly connects to your smartphone with allows live geographical tracking and smart notifications. The GPSMAPis waterproof with a barometric altimeter and three axis compass.

Garmin eTrex Vista HCx 

No terrain is too tough or hard to map with the eTrex Vista. The receiver holds a GPS signal in the thickest of foliage, tunnels, canyons, harsh weather and more. Reception is reliable, dependable and secure for hikers and navigators. With a build in compass, hikers can track information even while standing still. Worried about an upcoming storm? You can track barometric pressure to keep your eye on the weather.

DeLorme AG-008727-201 InReach Explorer

The InReach Explorer tracks and navigates with an on-screen map view for the hiker to see while in use. Users can browse through different route details such distance, waypoints, and time ahead to share with friends and family. Let your biggest fans track your progress, so they never have to worry again about whether you are okay or not. With featured planning systems, you can schedule your journey in advance. Need to send someone an emergency message or trigger an SOS? The InReach Explorer can coordinate messages to cell numbers, emails, and post to social media. The brand also has an in-house 24/7 emergency response team who can communicate back and forth with you through the device in times of distress.


These different GPS handheld devices all range in price, style, size and operations. While many perform the same tasks, it is important to understand what you want out of a device before making a purchase. There are waterproof devices for hiking by the sea and devices made for hiking in Europe. There are also hiking devices that are good for all over the world exploring. Please not that some devices do not have global GPS tracking. Many of the devices in this list do not cover Asia, Russia and so on. It is easy to use these devices in addition to maps.