A few months ago, I bought a GPS unit for my truck and lo, what a boost of self confidence that gave me. I can now drive through Atlanta during rush hour with aplomb and find places I’ve never seen before with such ease it makes me giddy.
Granted, I’m what marketers call a late adopter because it took me so long to succumb to the technology. However, a few annoying road trips pushed me to learn enough to make an informed decision and commit to spending some coin.
Rarely is something as bad as you think it’s going to be. Turns out, I didn’t need a degree in “GPSology” and I scored a model for less than $300.
If you’re ready to throw away your road maps or quit relying on computer generated directions, here are a few things to consider:
All GPS devices show your location on an electronic map, and then show you how to get where you’re going. What separates good from great are features such as:
- Bigger screen
- Voice prompts that include street names
- Ability to determine the best route from several options
- Real time traffic reports
- A listing of points of interest, gas stations, restaurants and more
- Bluetooth capability
After that heady rush of success using a GPS unit in my truck, I began thinking how neat it would be to have a device to use in the field. The handheld units on the market today meet a variety of needs and come equipped with zillions of features. You can measure a food plot so you know how much lime and fertilizer to buy, mark a fishing hot spot and download topo and aerial maps. However, if you’re like me and the other 90 percent of those shopping for a GPS receiver, you want one that gets you from point A to point B without having to marshal every brain cell to use it.
While at the Professional Outdoor Media Association conference last week, I saw exactly what I wanted. The Bushnell BackTrack has two buttons, an easy-to-read screen and the ability to save three locations. Once you record locations, all you have to do is push the button and the arrows point the way. Not only is it simple to use, it’s compact and uses AAA batteries, which you can buy anywhere.
While it’s perfect for finding your way when fishing, hunting and hiking, I can think of other nifty applications. I think $69 is a fair price to pay to never wander around a mall parking lot in search of my vehicle. It would also allow me to bail out of a hotel and explore the city without sprinkling a trail of bread crumbs to find my way back. Plus, if I’m trying to get some exercise, I can tell how many miles I’ve walked.
The BackTrack, which comes in orange/gray, green, pink, tech gray and camouflage, is generating some buzz right now. It was recently selected as the hunting product of the year at the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence Awards and has been featured on the Today Show, USA Today and even The View. Makes me wonder what the women of The View might use a BackTrack for, though certainly not to locate controversy!
So, if you want to find yourself no matter where you are, check the BackTrack out at this link: http://www.bushnell.com/general/
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