Some questions to ask when buying a GPS

  • Does the brand have a good reputation?
  • Does it have a backlit screen which is easy to read and contains all the information required without having to scroll through several screens?
  • Can it switch between portrait and landscape (vertical and horizontal) display on the screen?
  • Is it simple to operate (even with gloves on)?
  • Is the unit water and dust proof?
  • What temperature range can it operate within?
  • Does it have a battery indicator which accurately indicates the charge remaining in the batteries?
  • How long do batteries last under normal usage?
  • Will the unit accept disposable batteries as well as rechargeable ones?
  • Is there a simple ‘on’ button or a ‘switch on’ sequence which avoids accidental start ups while in the pack?
  • Does it switch off or shutdown automatically?
  • Will the weight of the GPS be the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’?
  • Is the model designed to work well under tree cover?
  • Will the screen indicate if I have 2D or 3D resolution?
  • Will the unit allow manual addition of variables such as altitude?
  • Is there a visual representation of the number of satellites in use?
  • Does it have a lithium backup battery so any stored data is not lost when changing batteries?
  • Does it have a warranty, and servicing centres in Australia?

The Bush Search and Rescue Victoria website offers some information about two types of GPS unit.