Keys to Navigation – Part II

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The question is often asked, “Which GPS Unit should I buy?” This is a very common question, but I won’t tell you that it depends. Seriously…I don’t think it matters which one you buy – they all do the same thing, more or less.

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An important thing to decide is how you would like to use the GPS: on hikes, on bike rides, just in the Jeep? You can get units in many sizes; some fit in your pocket, others are up to the size of a book.

One with a big screen is high on my priority list. The unit I currently have is a Garmin GPS MAP 76S. This one is likely unpopular with the masses because it’s designed for marine use. It won’t navigate by addresses, which many new units will do. However, this is not an important feature to me. The 76S does give me cool features such as, heading, average moving speed, barometric pressure, and current elevation.


I find this to be a crucial matter, mainly because I’ve broken several GPS mounts while driving on trails. My mounting failures ended when I found RAM Mounts out of Washington. They manufacture heavy-duty mounting solutions for GPS units, PDA’s, cell phones, laptop computers, and more.

I picked up a double ball joint mount for the 76S and attached it directly to my dashboard with rivets. The ball joints allow me to swing the GPS into any position and lock it down quickly – so I can have the GPS facing the driver or the passenger at any moment. If you’re not too keen on putting holes in your dash, RAM was clever enough figure out a superior suction cup that grips your  windshield and doesn’t let go until you want it to do so.

RAM Mounts are rock solid, fully adjustable, and otherwise just damn nice. For off-highway driving, these are the mounts to use.

Ask Mark any questions about navigation and GPS use by clicking his image above and sending him an email

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* Published by JPFreek Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

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