People the world over enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, enjoying nature and hiking through beautiful scenery. As a sport hiking has become very popular and many people choose to spend time experiencing the wonderful sense of freedom that comes from it. For the person who wants to have an enjoyable but also safe experience in the outdoors it is essential that the proper precautions and preparations are made. There are dangers in the wilderness and one of the most common ones that threaten anyone who spends time hiking is getting lost in unfamiliar surroundings.
Although established trails are usually clearly marked so that hikers are able to follow them, there are occasions when a hiker will leave the course. Sometimes they detour to simply explore the area off the trail, which is never advisable. Weather can also play a part hampering the hiker's ability to follow the course.
In the past, a hiker is usually escorted by a local trekker during any hiking trip. The trekker is experienced and very familiar with the hiking areas of the region. But with the advancement of technology, the local trekker is being replaced by the Global Positioning System (GPS) and getting lost outdoors is no longer as great a threat as before especially if one is equipped with a portable hiking GPS unit similar to the DeLorme Earthmate PN-40 Hiking GPS. This handy GPS unit would allow hikers to set their trips before leaving the safety of their homes or base camp and keeps track of their present position. It basically shows them the path from base to the target area and the actual progress of the hike. It would also allow them to back-track the route in case they want to go back. Some GPS units can download images such as a topographic map of the region where backpackers are hiking.
Every experienced hiker knows that this is a hectic type of sport and his or her equipment needs to be durable and practical to withstand the activity and the elements. The GPS device that you choose should be waterproof, well made and preferably rubberized in order to prevent any damage to the unit. It will need to be easy to operate and also functional, allowing you to download the images you need and require. Devices like the De Lorme Earthmate PN-40 Hiking GPS are excellent as they meet all the criteria as well as being able to download the maps you need quickly. This model, and others like it, does not weigh much and they are compact which is convenient because a hiker has to carry a load and does not want to have to carry anything extra if possible. These units operate using a battery and there has been talk about them consuming battery life very quickly. The unit you choose should offer the best battery usage and there are ones on the market that last up to twenty hours. Although this is good for shorter hikes it is not for hikes that will take longer, or hikes that are difficult to determine the duration of. In that situation the hiker would be well advised to carry extra batteries with him.
Responsible hikers will take into consideration the proper gear needed for their hike to be as safe as possible. Along with that they will make sure that they have sufficient food and water as well. These days a portable GPS device is an essential part of any hiker's gear and no hiker should set off without one. Before setting out on your next hike you should consider equipping yourself with a GPS device like the DeLorme Earthmate PN-40 Hiking GPS. By doing so you will be going a long way in protecting yourself while enjoying time in nature.