Figuring out how to use your new GPS receiver is a simple task that you will appreciate many times over. In fact, in addition to carrying around your compass whenever you are on an outdoor adventure, having your GPS receiver with you as well is like having a reliable backup just in case you need it.
In general, most GPS receivers are simple to use since they provide an easy-to-read display. The display will indicate your location in one of several different formats. The most popular format is to provide you with your latitude and longitude (also shown as lat/lon.) The other commonly used display is to provide the UTM or Universal Transverse Mercator.
Once you read the display, you should use the information with a topographic map since this type of map also utilizes coordinates expressed as UTM or Lat/Lon. This strategy allows you to see where you are in proximity to other locations on the map.
With today’s GPS devices, you can store the position that had been displayed in case you want or need to refer to it later on. This piece of information is referred to as a “waypoint.” This is especially helpful if you accidentally leave a piece of your equipment at this waypoint and need to retrace your steps.
In fact, since your new GPS receiver is capable of storing hundreds of these waypoints, you might want to label this one with an easily recognizable symbol or name. You can always delete the information later if you decide that you no longer need it. One reason why you might like to store the data is just in case you decide that you like that spot for camping and want to return to it in the future.
Another reason that you might like to store your waypoint is to incorporate it into the popular pastime of geocaching. This activity allows numerous individuals, all of whom have a GPS receiver, to go on a sort of treasure hunt for some type of hidden treasure. The individual who hides the treasure takes note of its waypoint and shares it with the others who begin their search using their GPS receivers to try and locate it.
GPS receivers can also be used to follow a specified route or path from one location to another. In fact, these handy devices allow users to load a list of waypoints in order to create a route that they can then follow. This can be an invaluable service for outdoorsmen who often need to follow a trail without any clear or identifying landmarks.
Routes can be created using a topographical map from which you pull up the locations or waypoints. Additionally, a route can be planned simply with the assistance of a computer mapping application. Typically, this type of program is easy to use and involves the use of the mouse only. Plus, you will be able to send the route from your computer to your GPS electronically.
One of the nice benefits to this is that you can use this feature if you ever get lost without a topographical map. Simply contact someone who has one or who has a computer mapping application, send them your coordinates, and ask for help routing you a map that will allow you to travel away from your location.
A GPS receiver can also be used to track your route using the series of waypoints that you have recorded under the same label or name. This route can then be shared with others.