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Chapter 5. The Ultimate High-Tech Advent... > HOW TO BECOME THE ULTIMATE HIGH-TECH...

HOW TO BECOME THE ULTIMATE HIGH-TECH ADVENTURER

All About GPS

Back in Part 4, “The Ultimate High-Tech Car Owner,” I first talked about GPS navigation systems. It's an especially useful technology for finding your way when driving, but it's also quite popular among outdoor adventurers. The technology is a tad complex, originally developed for military use, but it's definitely filtered down to the level of the average consumer—in terms of both usability and price. Today you can purchase a decent handheld GPS unit for less than $200 and get the same type of performance that our soldiers do in the field.

You can also spend a lot more than $200, especially if you like lots of gee-whiz features. Spend more money and you get a more compact unit (it costs big bucks to make things smaller), a color display, and more creature comforts, in the form of automatic route generation, more programmed points of interest, more storage capacity, and so on. Some higher-end units also claim increased accuracy, by using more satellites to gauge position. (The typical unit tracks up to 12 satellites at a time; some track a few more.) In any case, expect accuracy in the three-meter range, which isn't shabby.


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