When venturing into the backcountry, I’m a fan of a topographic map and a compass—GPS takes a lot of the ruggedness out of the equation.
But I’m also a fan of survival and, almost equally important these days, staying on schedule. So maybe leveraging a few satellites that are already in space isn’t such a bad thing.
Being a geek, the only suitable handheld GPS is a top-of-the-line one, like Garmin’s Colorado 400t.
The 400-series sports these features common to all Colorado receivers:
- high-sensitivity GPS receiver
- 3-inch color display
- scroll wheel (similar to your iPod, and way more effective than buttons)
- SD card slot
- barometric alitmeter
- ability to share data wirelessly to other Colorado receivers
That last one is especially neat, since you can beam the route you took on an excursion to a friend for them to repeat, or vice versa.
The primary difference between the Colorado 300 and the Colorado 400 series are the preloaded maps: the 300 doesn’t have any extra maps beyond the general ones of North America, while the 400 series are configured as follows:
- 400t: 3D topographic maps
- 400i: inland lakes
- 400c: BlueChart g2 with limited capability
Suggested retail pricing on the 400-series is a hefty $640, but you can pick them up for considerably less from Amazon:
Or, if you decide the Colorado 300 is sufficient for your needs, Amazon has that for $395.54 (the suggested price is around $535).