Trail riding is a fun and adventurous outdoor event usually done following bush trails, forest roads or paths and can range from short to long distances. Trail riding is usually not done on roads or highways for safety and several other reasons. Trail riding majorly includes activities such as hunting, fishing or camping and you get to experience nature and wildlife you don’t get to see regularly.
It is fun to take out your UTV on an open trail, but when you choose to explore new trails in your UTV, one of the dangers is getting lost or wandering off the path especially if it’s an uncharted path. This may be a little issue if you can easily find your way back on track, but can get more serious than that especially if you are lost in the wild and the tracks are not clear enough to track.
In recent times though, technology has come to the rescue as you can now find your way back on track using any of the Best GPS for UTV trail riding. Every adventurous UTV trail rider must therefore take a GPS along with them, especially when exploring new trails.
Top 7 Best Off Road GPS Listing
The Magellan TRX7 CS Dual Mount Trail and Street GPS Navigator is an excellent all-around, affordable navigation solution that has a 5MP camera with LED flash.
The device also provides turn-by-turn trail guidance for driving on the streets as well as offroad paths to help you find your way back home when exploring new areas of interest.
With preloaded maps in over 115, 000 4WD, ATV, motorcycle and snowmobile trails it’s like taking a mapmaker around town without having to ask directions from gas stations along the way or risking getting lost in unclear terrain just waiting – this item will get you where you need quickly!
The Trail Tech Voyager 912-114 is a GPS enabled, active compass, elevation readings, distance, and the ability to record ride data to SD card. The trail tech Voyager 912-114 has a 4-inch anti-glare color touchscreen display.
This off-road gps also features a speedometer and tachometer readings in real-time, shows current/total ride time and battery voltage.
It’s waterproof for up to 30 minutes at 3 feet. The trail tech voyager 912-114 comes with preloaded topographic maps.
The Trail Tech Voyager Pro 922-125 UTV GPS is the ultimate off-road GPS with 4-inch color touchscreen anti-glare display, sealed and rated IP67 for anti-dust/water intrusion.
This UTV GPS supports tracks, routes and waypoints to provide you with a complete navigation solution for your ATV or UTV.
The trail tech navigator comes preloaded with topo maps so you can navigate trails without cellular service or data connectivity.
Garmin is the world leader in navigation, and we’ve been making maps and GPS since 1989. We have a wide variety of devices that are perfect for any adventure you can imagine. Whether you’re looking to explore the backcountry or find your way around town, our products will help you get there with ease.
The Garmin 64st GPS has an 8GB internal memory so it can store up to 200 hours of data and comes with a 2.6-inch color display that’s sunlight readable. It also features Smart Notifications* and Live Track (64s/64st only) which allows you to share your activities as they happen with friends and family on social media or via email.
With the ability to wirelessly upload data to Garmin Connect and view on your smartphone or share activities as they happen with Live Track (64s/64st only), this is the ultimate GPS device for any adventurer.
It has a 3-axis compass, barometric altimeter, and sun-readable display that’s perfect for all outdoor activities.
Garmin eTrex 30x is the perfect device for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s rugged, waterproof and has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to use in any environment.
eTrex 30x is one of the most advanced handheld GPS units on the market today! With 3.7 GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot, there are plenty of options for loading maps including TOPO 24K, HuntView, BlueChart g2 and City Navigator NT (subscription required).
This unit also comes preloaded with a worldwide basemap with shaded relief – no more worrying about downloading map updates before your next adventure!
The Garmin eTrex 30x even wirelessly connects to compatible Garmin devices like VIRB action camera (sold separately) or accessory sensors so you don’t have to worry about transferring data manually when they’re connected together!
The Garmin 60CS offers all of the features that you need to get where you want to go with ease and confidence. It’s packed with 12 parallel channels so there are never any outages or interruptions in service, even under heavy tree cover or deep canyons.
And it comes preloaded with detailed maps of North America including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands so you’ll always be able to find your way home regardless of where life takes you.
The 2-inch transflective TFT display is sunlight readable which means that this device will work just as well on a bright sunny day as it does at night when other screens become difficult to see without backlighting – not only can you use this device during the daytime but also at night! This unit has 56 MB internal memory for storing map detail meaning that if your phone dies while navigating then your GPSMAP 60CS will still have everything stored inside ready for use!
You won’t ever have to worry about running out of battery power because this unit runs up 20 hours on two AA batteries!
Garmin is the most trusted name in navigation. With our latest technology, we’ve taken everything you love about your Garmin and made it better.
The GPSMAP 276Cx has a bright display that’s easy to read, even in direct sunlight. It also features an internal antenna with GPS and GLONASS satellite reception for improved performance in challenging environments like deep canyons or dense tree cover.
The 276Cx has a worldwide basemap with shaded relief and supports Garmin TOPO maps, BlueChart g2 HD marine charts, Custom Maps, raster maps and vector maps.
if you want to share your adventures as they happen – just use LiveTrack so friends and family know where you are when out of cell range. Plus, it’s compatible with Wi-Fi® and ANT+™ wireless technologies so there’s no need for cables while uploading maps or tracking activities wirelessly through Garmin free app.
Importance of using GPS
Using the GPS is very efficient for a lot of reasons, which is why the GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) is growing more popular among hikers, campers and trail riders. It serves as an efficient means of finding your way around the woods or forest to avoid getting lost or hurt without anyone around.
With a GPS receiver, you can confidently trail ride a long distance of a new area knowing fully well that you are safe, you know where you are and can always find your way if you get lost, and should you need help; you can easily share your location or coordinates so that help can easily reach you.
Most GPS devices for UTV work by using the longitude and latitude coordinates and has other features such as instant messaging, smart tracking and recognizing other devices within a range which make them safer to use and highly recommended.
Types of GPS available in the market
There are lots of choices available to you when looking for GPS for UTV trail riding mostly because they are of different types and different categories. This section will describe the different types or categories of GPS devices so you can have an idea of what works best for you.
- Hand-held GPS system
They are also known as portable GPS systems and most common among trail riders. Hand-held GPS devices are very efficient in the wild and point out locations for fishing spots, campsites and other spots in that area.
They serve as digital maps and alongside showing your location, they also indicate all the topographical features around your location. One extra feature that makes this type better is that they can pinpoint your exact location and send for help in case of an emergency situation.
- In-vehicle GPS system
These are more standard to most vehicles and as such not a new system for UTV riders as most riders are used to their features and spoken instructions in cars. It is no different for trail riding because it provides the map direction and comes with the voice support, high connectivity except that for trail riding, they have the trails and tracks in addition to the roads on them; which makes it easier to lead you from home to the start of the trail and back. The in-vehicle GPS system works with improved accuracy of map direction so that you are not confused or at loss for directions.
- Sport and fitness GPS systems
These are more like the rave of the moment especially for fitness freaks who love to have an update of every little detail of their exercise such as the heart rate, distance covered, calories burned and cadence. These GPS systems give all information alongside the location details needed while trail riding.
- Water-based GPS systems
Suitable for sea divers, jet skiers and other water-based activities that require one to have a real-time update on the location inside water. People also get lost in water which is even riskier, but with a GPS system, they are able to find their path, avoid obstacles and detect sea animals so as to avoid them on time. The water-based GPS system also triangulates your exact location in case of emergency.
Top Best GPS brands
There are so many GPS devices on sale and you can easily be at loss for what to choose. We have therefore come to the rescue by selecting a few of the best GPS for UTV trail riding. The following factors were put into consideration before compiling these brand choices; functionality, affordability, portability, ease of use, battery life and durability among many other factors. The top GPS brands are:
- Garmin GPS
Garmin GPS products are well-designed, highly sensitive and have long-lasting battery life. This brand rolls out different products with the GLONASS satellite system and a quad-helix antenna to pinpoint your position regardless of how dense the area is.
- Margellan GPS
The Margellan GPS brand designs all its products with high-definition touch screen and well-advanced trail navigation technology for direction accuracy. They have over 100,000 installed routes and works well for road and off-road navigation.
- Wahoo ELEMNT GPS
All Wahoo ELEMNT products are designed with a large screen that makes it convenient to read directions at a glance. They are compatible with other apps for direction and works well for workouts, road navigation and real-time location sharing with friends.
- Trail Tech Voyager moto GPS
All Trail Tech products are easy to use ATVs, motorcycles, 4 wheel drives as well as UTVs and alongside location accuracy, they let you know your speed and the distance you cover in time and also indicates the altitude of your location.
- Bad Elf GPS
Bad Elf GPS uses the Bluetooth technology to share direct data to paired devices and allows apps to read your real-time location.
How to use GPS for UTV trail riding
To use a GPS device on your UTV, install the GPS device by attaching to a clamp and fix it anywhere convenient and easy to view on the UTV. Start the device, open the map, and type in your start point and destination. The map will calculate the distance and time it will take to get to your destination and bring it on the device screen.
You will also see the various stops, landmarks, and other geographical information you need to know before you begin the ride. Once you are ready, then press starts and it automatically re-centers the map to your start point and readout directions as you go.
What to do if I go out of network coverage?
Most GPS devices allow you to switch to satellite mode when there is no reception, so in a situation where you go out of network coverage,
- Know that you can still send or receive text messages, a text message to your friend or family to make them aware of the situation may seem good.
- Activate the SOS buttons on the GPS device in case of a life-threatening emergency
- Share your real-time location to gives others an idea of how far you went before the signal loss.
Is there any GPS that can work without network signal or coverage?
There are many GPS apps you can download before the trip that allows you to navigate or find locations without network connections. Download the apps for offline use and pinpoint your location. These GPS devices can also work as a text messaging device when there is a signal loss, which means you can still communicate with your friends and get directions or location details from them. Most offline maps allow you to trail ride with the stored information about your location without the need to connect to data.
Important things to consider when buying GPS device
In order to have the right GPS that works perfectly with your UTV, there are important details to look out for such as the portability of the GPS device, its battery life, the display size, ease of navigation while using the device, and how much topographical information it provides. These factors are indicators of how effective a GPS will be. The best GPS for UTV trail riding, however, should be able to provide these features and also work offline. Some of these features are outlined below:
· Easy to read display
A good GPS device should have a large screen and bright or adjustable display so that you can read off directions on the go without having to stop frequently. Colour screens are more popular in demand because let you see clearly under bright sunlight. But in all, try to find a balance between the size of the device and its screen because sometimes, the larger you want the screen to be, the bulkier the size of the device.
· Correct mapping
One of the features you will need a GPS device for is to alert you to important topography and unsealed roads including familiar 4WD trails. Following a well-known vetted 4WD track is a guarantee to keeping safe.
· Easy smartphone connectivity.
Since you carry smartphones around these days, it should be useful for connecting your GPS system which gives you access to different apps and other functions related to your off-road GPS device. Some apps allow you to record your off-road trail.
· Battery life
Battery life cannot be over-emphasized as one of the key features you would need in your GPS device. You wouldn’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere because your GPS runs out of power.
Your choice of GPS device should be one that is strong and durable and especially weather-proof or water-proof since you’d be using it mostly outdoors
You need to consider how convenient it is to operate the GPS device whether you are driving or not. It is best to buy a GPS device you can mount on your UTV that won’t get in your way as you navigate the trail. A compact design will be preferable for easy movement without being too bulky to mount or carry about
The trail ride is a strenuous activity that exposes you to different weather and road conditions. This is the same for any item you carry along on the trip, which is why any GPS device you purchase should have durable features such as weather resistance, abrasion or scratch resistance and most of all water-proof or water resistance so that it can last through the outdoor conditions it will be exposed to without you worrying about changing GPS trackers frequently.
Frequently asked Questions
Question: Is a GPS system totally reliable and accurate?
Answer: GPS systems are very accurate and reliable. They show your exact location and the topography around you so you can know what you will come across on your trip. These devices can even find a location within a dense or thick jungle or woods and give you the altitude details of your location. If set properly and all necessary measures are taken, a GPS device can be trusted.
Question: Can a GPS system work for both trail and road navigation?
Answer: depending on design and brand, some devices have both the road map and trail map and can give directions right from your doorstep until you begin your trail ride and back. Others however are only designed for trail rides. Using a dual GPS system saves you money though because it serves both functions efficiently
Question: Are all GPS systems waterproof?
Answer: Product features and specifications are listed on the products before buying, and you can get to see the listings to know which is water-resistant or waterproof. Most GPS devices with silicone covers are waterproof while some are only scratch or impact resistant. Do ensure that you read the specifications before the purchase.
Question: What is the main feature to look out for in a GPS device?
Answer: There are several features you will need to consider but the three most important features are location accuracy, battery life and device connectivity as you don’t intend to get stranded in the wild.
Question: Can I attach my GPS device to the UTV ?
Answer: Yes, you can attach your GPS device to your vehicle somewhere you can easily read off directions and view the map. A clamp or device holder can be used to hold the device in place while you drive.
Trail riding just got better with the dependable off-road GPS technology and now that you are well aware of the choices available to you, it’s time to make the best selection and enjoy your off-road adventure.