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What GPS Do Overlanders Use? Your 5 Best Options

Some of the best overlanding adventures are nowhere near cell phone towers. This means you’re likely to find yourself stressed when relying on your cell phone for navigation. Getting lost in the middle of nowhere once might convince you to buy the best GPS for overlanding. Today we want to help you decide so you can get back to your adventures. Let’s get started.

What Is Overlanding?

Overlanding is for people who enjoy the journey more than the destination. It often requires an off-road vehicle and typically involves camping overnight and self-reliance. Those that enjoy this type of traveling style often adventure for extended periods, weeks, months, and in some cases, even years. 

We're Building An Overland Truck Camper Rig! - A Happy And Sad Update From The Mortons On The Move

Overlanding has gained popularity in recent years as many seek to live a minimalist lifestyle. Some love the solitude the lifestyle can provide, while others enjoy broadening their perspective of cultures and communities in various areas.

The lifestyle can be challenging and require individuals to grow their survival skills to be self-sufficient. There’s never a dull moment when you choose overlanding. 

While you can overland in any off-road vehicle, from an SUV to a truck camper, it helps to have a self-contained rig for long adventures. Learn more here: What Is a Self-Contained RV and Do You Need One?

Why Do Overlanders Need a GPS?

While overlanding isn’t about the destination, you still want to get to where you’re going. When you overland, you often travel on unmarked trails and through remote terrains, necessitating a GPS.

A GPS, a global positioning system, is a satellite-based navigation system that enables users to stay connected no matter where they travel. While many individuals rely on their cell phones for navigation in everyday life, remote locations often lack signals.

SUV on muddy road
You never know what the conditions will be like when you head off into the backcountry. A GPS can help you navigate to safer roads or trails when needed.

Getting lost in a remote location can be scary and incredibly dangerous. You might find yourself miles, or even hours, from the nearest fuel station or other services. Using a GPS can get you to your destination, but it also helps avoid a dangerous situation.

How to Choose the Best Overlanding GPS

An overlanding GPS is different from the typical one found in the dashboard of your vehicle. An RV GPS is designed to navigate campers safely on regular roads and also contains points of interest along those routes. 

However, because overlanding typically requires off-roading, a traditional GPS will likely not recognize the road or area or offer assistance for finding points of interest.

truck camper parked near a lake
An overlanding GPS will help you find points of interest off the beaten path.

Another reason to get an overlanding GPS is that these devices typically allow users to view maps offline. This can be essential when traveling in remote areas where cell phone signals and wifi are hard to come by. Having the maps downloaded to the device can give you peace of mind in unknown regions.

Pro Tip: Before you venture out, learn how How To Get Reliable RV Internet On The Move for ultimate connectivity in the wild.

The 5 Best GPS for Overlanding

When it comes to safety and navigation, you don’t want to trust just any GPS. You want the best GPS for overlanding. We’ve got a handful of suggestions we think you should consider. Let’s check them out.

1. Garmin Overlander

About: When you choose the Garmin Overlander, you’ll get a rugged, all-terrain navigator designed with overlanding in mind. It includes a 7-inch color touchscreen display with turn-by-turn navigation for on and off-road adventures.

Garmin Overlander, Rugged Multipurpose Navigator...
  • 7” color touchscreen Features turn-by-turn directions for...
  • Use the Garmin explore app to download additional maps and usgs...
  • Preloaded with ioverlander points of interest (POIs) and ultimate...

 The 64 GB storage ensures you’ll have plenty of space for future map updates. This GPS comes loaded with points of interest and public campgrounds, so you can find the best campgrounds even when you don’t have a cell signal. You can even input specific vehicle information to avoid traveling on roads not rated for your vehicle’s height, weight, or length. 

2. Magellan TRX7 CS PRO

About: The Magellan TRX7 CS PRO has a massive 7-inch display that you can easily view no matter the time of day. It includes turn-by-turn navigation and comes pre-loaded with 160,000 4WD, ATV, motorcycle, and snowmobile trails. 

Magellan TN1840SGLUC TRX7 CS PRO Dual-Mount Trail...
  • Turn by Turn Trail Street Navigation 8MP Camera
  • LED Flash and Pre-loaded Trails
  • 2D Topo and 3D Basemap of the USA and Canada

The free map updates ensure you always travel with the most accurate mapping software. This overlanding GPS also includes an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with auto-start recording to help capture epic footage of your overlanding adventures.

3. Trail Tech Voyager Pro 922-125 UTV GPS

About: The Trail Tech Voyager Pro 922-125 UTV GPS has a 4-inch color touchscreen. The screen features an anti-glare display and anti-dust and water intrusion. The color screen makes it easy to see the topography maps, hill shading, routes, and various waypoints.

Trail Tech Voyager Pro 922-125 UTV GPS 4-inch...
  • Off-road GPS with 4 inch color touchscreen anti-glare display,...

 If you enjoy overlanding with others, the buddy tracking display feature allows you to track up to 20 other overlanders in your group. Whether you enjoy off-roading with others or solo adventures, this is one of the best overlanding GPS units available.

4. Garmin GPSMAP 66i Handheld GPS

About: The Garmin GPSMAP 66i is a handheld GPS unit with a 3-inch color display. It includes a built-in SOS signal sent to a 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center. It comes pre-loaded with the latest Garmin TOPO maps and doesn’t require a subscription for updates.

Garmin GPSMAP 66i, GPS Handheld and Satellite...
  • Large 3 inch Sunlight-readable color display for easy viewing
  • Trigger an interactive SOS to the geos 24/7 search and rescue...
  • Preloaded Garmin TOPO mapping with direct-to-device Birdseye...

With an internal battery that can maintain a charge for up to 200 hours, you won’t have to worry even during the longest overlanding adventures. If you have a cellular connection, you can access weather forecasts and geocaching features. You can navigate and overland with confidence when you choose the GPSMAP 66i.

5. Gaia Offroad GPS Premium App

About: The Gaia OffRoad GPS Premium App provides offline viewing of trail maps and makes planning overlanding adventures easier. It includes a built-in library of dispersed camping locations and various map options to know when to expect rough roads. 

Gaia GPS App
The Gaia GPS App works with your smart devices and Apple CarPlay.

It can also route you to avoid roads with seasonal closures or restrictions and gives precipitation and wildfire forecasts.

Price: $36 per year

The Best GPS for Overlanding

Having a GPS designed for overlanding is essential when it comes to having the best experience. We want you to enjoy your adventures without worry.

Always use caution when traveling in unknown areas and on off-road trails. And use one of the best GPS for overlanding, so you don’t get lost or put yourself and others in danger. 

Overlanding GPS
You can use a handheld overlanding GPS while hiking, so you never have to worry about getting lost.

Overlanding often requires boondocking, as you likely won’t find campgrounds with hook-ups in remote areas. Check out the Best Boondocking Apps and Websites for Amazing Free Camping to find a place to park and rest no matter where you roam.

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About Tom Morton

Tom, a Pacific Northwest native, is our technical genius. Born in Washington and raised in Alaska before settling in Michigan. He's the man who keeps our operation running, both figuratively and literally.

With a background in Electrical Engineering, Tom specializes in RV solar systems and lithium batteries. He made history as the first documented individual to use a Tesla battery module as an RV battery. Tom has personally assisted countless RVers with system installations and has educated thousands more through his videos and articles.

Cinematography is another of Tom's passions, showcased in his work on the Go North series. You can see his camera skills on display in The RVers TV show on Discovery Channel and PBS where he also stars as a co-host.

Tom's mechanical expertise extends beyond RVs to boats, planes, and all things mechanical. He's renowned for taking on maintenance and repair projects single-handedly and is often spotted underneath RVs, making him the technical backbone of our endeavors.

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