Map, Compass & GPS

Map, Compass & GPS
Wild flowers along Fall Creek on the way to the Green Lakes - Oregon

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Power For Your GPS

In 13 years of teaching GPS classes I have had very, very few reports of a GPS breaking or failing electronically but I do hear about battery power draining at the worst time.
I’d offer a few suggestions:

  •  Batteries will generally last for a reported 20 hours of continuous use; more on that shortly.  If you just turn it on, mark a waypoint and turn the receiver off the batteries will last you most of the hunting season.

  • I like the Duracell and COSTCO alkaline batteries. 
  •  If your GPS can use Lithium batteries that is great.  They are more expensive but they last longer and work better in cold temperatures; check your owner’s manual. 
  •  I keep my GPS powered up all day when in the backcountry.  I like to download my track and waypoint data at the end of a hunt to my Terrain Navigator software. (This gives me the best historical record of my outing.)  I dump the batteries back at camp each evening.  Usually my batteries become drained after a full day and it just simpler to change them out as I get my gear ready for the next day’s hunt.  I don’t want to worry about dead batteries during the next day’s hunt.

  • Keep a spare set of AA batteries in your pack.  I recommend storing the batteries in the paper box that the Duracell’s come in or in the plastic wrapper that the COSTCO batteries come in.

  •  I keep fresh batteries in my GPS all the time.  I am reading more frequently that this is no longer needed.  That said, because of my SAR responsibilities and the frequency of my trips, fresh batteries are always loaded.  It’s my personal preference that “works for me.”

  • I don’t have a baseline for rechargeable batteries.  My suggestion would be to keep extra’s on hand and really “wring them out” over a full day to see how well they work. Do this before your trip afield.   Remember, it has to work for you.
  •  Features such as the backlight, audible tones and electronic compasses drain a set of batteries.  On many models the electronic compass can be turned off by pressing and holding down the page button.  Manage your power needs.

A fully charged GPS is a wonderful tool that complements your backcountry experience.  Remember, even though you have the latest and best receiver, you always take that map and compass on every trip. 

No comments:

Post a Comment