“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”
— Dr. Emmett Brown, Back to the Future
Most drivers purchase a GPS navigation system to help keep them on the road. For real explorers who refuse to confine their greatest adventures to the pavement, however, Garmin just announced a rugged, all-terrain GPS device that opens a whole new world of off-road exploration.
Garmin’s new 7-inch touchscreenoffers everything most users expect of a traditional GPS unit, including turn-by-turn directions throughout North America and South America. What sets it apart, however, is that it’s a true, off-road-centric navigation device with features designed to help drivers navigate as well off the pavement as on. It’s purpose-built for anyone who likes their adventures as far from civilization as possible.
In addition to paved roads and highways, it features topographical maps of public land boundaries, forest service roads, dedicated 4×4 routes, waterways, and activity trails, along with extensive campground information and detailed land use data. Going the extra mile, so to speak, the service provides an included compass, altimeter, barometer, and pitch and roll angles to help navigate the roughest terrain. Overlander can even be customized for specific vehicles, allowing it to adjust navigation based on vehicle weights and overall dimensions to account for steep grades, sharp curves, and bridge overpasses.
All mapping data comes pre-loaded onto the device for cell-signal-free navigation. Via Garmin’s free Explore app, personal data can be wirelessly synced across the GPS device, desktop computers, and smartphones. The information can then easily be shared with friends and family before heading out into the wild. A powered magnetic mount with a suction cup ensures the unit stays firmly in place when the going gets especially tough.
Like most typical GPS units, the Overlander is a one-way affair set only to receive data. To make it a serious, go-anywhere emergency device, however, it pairs seamlessly with(sold separately). This allows users to send text messages directly through Overlander’s touchscreen to anyone from anywhere on the planet. Multi-GNSS support via GLONASS and Galileo together help provide better tracking than relying on GPS alone.
The Garmin Overlander won’t drop until August 2019. When it does, it will retail for almost $700. But can you really put a price tag on not getting stuck upside-down in a ditch miles from civilization?
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