3 Reasons You Should Own a GPS Watch

If you count ounces when you head into the backcountry, but don’t want to forsake the security of GPS, then a wrist-sized device might be for you

watch with gps technology
GPS technology is so advanced, watch makers are having no trouble squeezing in many of the same location tools you’d find on a handheld device, into a watch.Suunto

Global Positioning System (GPS) technology is literally everywhere, from phones to televisions, automobiles to agriculture. And of course, GPS is essential technology for outdoorsmen who tap into global satellite networks for navigation, game tracking, timing, and a host of other useful functions. But heading into the woods GPS-enabled doesn’t have to mean packing a handheld device. Wearable GPS watches have come into their own, and there are plenty of reasons to own one.

Navigation

Garmin Foretrex 401 Waterproof Hiking GPS
You don't need to carry a large handheld unit to get basic GPS functions.Garmin

The essential function of GPS technology is to help us navigate. While GPS watches and other wearables lack the screen size or functionality of their handheld counterparts, they are plenty useful in tracking your course, setting waypoints, and all of the essential benchmarks of staying found in the wild.

Activity Monitoring

Garmin vívoactive 3 Music
A watch that tracks your position and your health statistics at the same time means no more having to carry multiple devices.Garmin

While some GPS watches are dedicated to helping you for find your way around, others serve as activity monitors analyzing your heartrate, stress levels, and other fitness metrics. Additional features include music storage, Bluetooth technology for syncing with other mobile devices, and, yes, super-accurate time keeping.

Safety

Suunto Traverse Alpha
These days, manufacturers have no trouble packing in GPS technology with other advanced features.Suunto

Compactness is the area in which wearables have a distinct advantage over handheld GPS. They are no more burdensome than a wristwatch and sport features that watchmakers a generation ago could not have even imagined. They are stylish and lightweight, which means you are more likely to walk out the door wearing a GPS watch than toting a handheld unit. Wearable GPS technology is more than just a fashion statement. It could save your life.