A handheld GPS Receiver is an excellent navigation tool and they come with a wide variety of form factors, features, and options for many different intended uses. Being a ‘modern’ survival site, we certainly acknowledge this particular high-tech gadget and its wide array of functionality and usefulness in our lives today.
While a compass, map, and ‘know-how’ will certainly provide a near ‘bullet proof’ backup, lets talk about the handheld GPS, how they work, their many uses, and which one that you have (or would like to have)…
What is GPS?
GPS is a Global Positioning Satellite System developed by the United States Department of Defense. It uses a constellation of between 24 and 32 earth orbit satellites that transmit precise radio signals, which allow GPS receivers to determine their current location.
These satellites are in high orbit above the earth’s surface and their signal is what is picked up by any GPS receiver that are now commonplace worldwide.
How Does GPS Work?
The basic concept is this… A GPS receiver calculates its position by precisely timing the signals sent by the GPS satellites. Each satellite continually transmits messages that include the time the message was sent and the precise orbital information (the orbit path and speed of each satellite).
The receiver measures the transit time of each message and computes the distance to each satellite. A form of triangulation is used to combine these distances with the location of the satellites to determine the receiver’s location.
The position is then displayed, perhaps with a moving map display or latitude and longitude; elevation information may be included. Many GPS units also show information such as direction and speed, calculated from position changes.
GPS usage is everywhere
Much of our modern world relies on GPS. Transportation and distribution systems are intertwined with the signals from GPS satellites for tracking purposes and all sorts of integration into automated and control systems to assist in a variety of ways. We use it in our vehicles for navigation. We use it in our smartphones. We use it for recreational activities. There are many useful functions for GPS. While privacy issues are a concern for some applications, lets focus on what you may find useful…
Your Primary Use Or Interest For A Handheld GPS
Lets hear what your own uses are for a GPS unit…
Road & Street navigation?
Which handheld GPS receiver do you have, or would like to have?
Here’s one that I’m thinking about…
Garmin GPSMAP 64st, TOPO U.S. with High-Sensitivity GPS & GLONASS Receiver
Rating: 4.3 stars, with fewest ‘1’ ratings (which are often ‘user’ issues)
Most ratings/reviews on Amazon: Indicative of popularity
Maps: 100K Topo maps and capability for higher resolution 24K topo maps
Breadcrumbs: Ability to save tracks of where you’ve traveled
Satellites: Includes GLONASS receiver for more satellites than ‘just’ GPS
However there are LOTS of handheld GPS receivers out there, and I’m curious to hear your choices and experiences…