Handheld GPS units put to the test

MaryKay Barton goes hiking all the time with her kids. But getting lost on one of their outings made her wish she had been closer to home.

"You know, I don't know how we got lost. We just got turned around. There was nothing that looked familiar and we were just walking in circles. And then when it got dark, forget it. There was no chance of finding anything," said Barton.

Consumer Reports says now there are handheld GPS units that can help you from getting lost.

Testers evaluated seven. They range in price from $150 to a pricey $600. To see how they work, testers headed out on dozens of hikes and walked miles through the woods.

GPS handheld devices work a little differently than ones for cars.

"These don't give you turn-by-turn directions. Simply, they connect point A to point B. It's really up to the user to decide the best way to get there," said Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports.

It turns out all the devices kept testers from getting lost. But they do vary in the controls and features offered. The most expensive, at $600, had advanced functions like a touch screen, topographic map, and electronic compass.

But for the casual hiker, Consumer Reports says you don't have to spend the big bucks. The entry-level $150 Garmin Etrex Venture HC provides more than enough navigation abilities.


MORE L.A. BREAKING NEWS, WEATHER, TRAFFIC, SPORTS

USEFUL LINKS:
SEND TIP || REPORT TYPO || TWEET @abc7 ||  WIDGET

Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.