GPS that uses Ordnance Survey Maps
Q. As a complete novice to handheld GPS I would like some advice. I am looking to buy a GPS that is able to provide OS grid references. I've been searching the internet for advice and it seems that many units arent able to provide OS references. The only one I have managed to find is the Satmap 10 which seems to work on this basis. However, at £300 this is a little out of my price range. Does anyone of anything else that would be suitable. Thank you
Debbie Smith, Hull
A. Hi Debbie All Garmin handhelds will compute LAT/LONG into most National Grid Refs in common use throughout the world i.e. Ordinance Survey, IGN etc. I've got the Garmin GPS 60, a basic handheld. It has everything you need for the walker / mountaineer. Cheap (although the price has gone up recently), quick/easy to use, accurate, reliable, robust and long battery life but remember - GPS is no substitute for good conventional navigation skills. All the best
Steve Charlesworth, Barnsley
A. Hi Debbie, I think you are getting confused between GPSs that will give OS grid references and those (such as the Satmap 10) which will display OS maps on their screen. Mike is correct in saying that pretty much all GPS units will display your position in OS grid reference co-ordinates. I wouldn't bother spending a lot of money on a GPS unit that will display OS maps. In my experience their battery life is short compared to more basic models and the amount of map you actually see on the screen is quite small. It is always best to carry a proper OS map and compass (and know how to use them) and use a basic GPS for quick position fixes. Never, ever rely solely on a GPS. If the batteries run out you're on your own! A map and compass just keep on going.
Lloyd Atkins, Norwich
A. As far as I am aware all hand-held GPS Devices designed for walking and hiking will read your position as an Ordnance Survey Grid Reference so there are plenty to choose from. The Garmin Etrex certainly does.
On the other hand the majority of in-car Satellite Navigation Systems are unable to give your position as Ordnance Survey Grid References and use the Lat Lon co-ordinate system instead.
Hope this helps