Today, most GPS devices come with rechargeable batteries. It is important to have an idea of how long your battery is going to last and to plan your day or trip accordingly. Here are some points to keep in mind when you are selecting a portable GPS system.

Refresh Your Power

Conserve the batteries in your portable GPS system by putting the system into "sleep" mode overnight.

Count Your Features

Remember that the more bells and whistles you have on a portable GPS, the more quickly it will use up battery power. However, most GPS watches come with a power-saving mode. If possible, follow these steps to help your GPS conserve power.

  • Turn the screen off.
  • Switch Bluetooth off.
  • Turn airplane mode on. Airplane mode is designed to turn off cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth functions.


Rechargeable batteries are a good choice for your portable GPS system. Be sure to bring extra batteries for longer trips. Also, try using longer-lasting lithium or alkaline batteries.

Check for Backups

Make sure you don’t lose your data. Look for a portable GPS system with a built-in backup battery. Or, check with the GPS manufacturer and see if they can help you rescue your data.

Plan Your Power Needs

If you have an idea of how far you can go on one battery, plan accordingly. Depending on the model of watch you have, you may need to bring an external charger if you will go a long time without a power source. Some models can last almost a month when left in power saving mode.

Replace the Battery

Most GPS watches have rechargeable batteries. If your battery is old, it may not hold much power and not last long before it needs to be recharged. As batteries age, the capacity of power they can hold will naturally deplete over time.

Whether you are on a day hike or a multi-day excursion, always carry a paper map and compass with you—and be sure to keep up on your navigation skills! For more information on GPS options, watches, and other outdoor adventures, visit your local Sun & Ski Sports.