ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Different Types of Handheld GPS Devices

Updated on March 19, 2018

Portable GPS HandHeld Systems

If you think that GPS devices can only be used in vehicles, you’re in for a big surprise.  Many people these days use hand held GPS units to help them get around.  These portable navigational devices are often used by outdoor enthusiasts including backpackers, cross-country skiers, bikers and geocachers.  With these pocket-sized devices, you will be able to find your way to your destination and back to where you came from.  You’ll also be able to keep track of where you are.

Types of Hand Held GPS Devices

Handheld GPS devices can be classified into two types.  One type is a dedicated GPS receiver.  This device can show you where you are, the direction you are traveling, how long it will take to reach your destination, etc.  The Magellan Triton is a good example of this type of hand held device.

The other type of hand held GPS device is an add-on that is attached to a PDA.  When plugged to a PDA, it allows the PDA to function as a GPS.  This type of device can be bulky and inconvenient for most people.

GPS Satellite
GPS Satellite

Getting a Satellite Signal

If you are thinking of buying a hand held GPS, you must consider where and how you intend to use it.  Keep in mind that getting a signal from a satellite is dependent on line of sight.  If you will be using the device in mountainous areas, deep canyons, dense forests or even skyscrapers in a city, you may not be able to get a good signal.  Normally there are enough satellites overhead but it is always best to keep this possibility in mind.

Features and Accessories

When considering a hand held GPS unit you will also want to find out what add-ons and accessories come with that particular model. You should be able to download and update your maps easily. Some handheld devices allow you to interface your GPS with your computer or laptop. Choose a handheld GPS device based on your needs so that the system will work best for you.

Popular Hand-held GPS Devices

The Garmin eTrex Legend HCX GPS Receiver is a handheld GPS navigator with high sensitivity even in locations with heavy cover. Its micro-SD card is preloaded with MapSource data than can be used for land and sea excursions. The MapSource card also comes with detailed street maps.

Hikers, climbers and geocachers will love the Garmin GPSMap 60CSx. The receiver of this handheld GPS is sensitive enough to get a signal even under a dense tree cover. It is accurate within a 10-meter distance of the given location. It can provide turn-by-turn routing, Sun and Moon calculation, etc. The Gramin GPSMap has a tough exterior and is waterproof.

If you love to backpack or ski cross-country don’t leave home without your Garmin Oregon 450t. This handheld GPS comes with maps of the USA and Europe. It also comes with an altimeter and electronic compass. You can save 200 routes, 200 tracks and up to 1,000 waypoints on this device. A large collection of state park maps, national forest maps, trails, etc. is available for the Garmin Oregon 450t.

Preview of Garmin Oregon 450, Oregon 450t and Oregon 550

Comparison & Review of Different Garmin Handheld GPS Systems


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)