Gravel riding is an exciting and adventurous way to explore the great outdoors, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. Riding off the beaten path means navigating unfamiliar terrain, and getting lost or taking a wrong turn can quickly turn an enjoyable ride into a stressful situation. That’s why it’s important for gravel riders to always carry some form of GPS and a backup if possible. Here are the top 5 reasons why.

1. Navigation

Perhaps the most obvious reason to carry a GPS device is for navigation. Gravel riders often venture into remote areas and ride on unfamiliar trails, and it can be easy to get lost without a clear sense of direction. A GPS device allows you to track your location and route, and ensure that you’re on the right path. With the help of GPS, you can explore with confidence and enjoy your ride to the fullest.

2. Safety

Another important reason to carry a GPS device is for safety. When riding in remote areas, accidents and emergencies can happen. A GPS device can be a lifesaver in such situations, allowing you to quickly and accurately communicate your location to emergency responders. It can also help you navigate your way back to civilization if you get lost or injured.

3. Recording Rides

A GPS device can also be a great tool for recording your rides. With many GPS devices, you can track your distance, speed, elevation gain, and other metrics. This can be useful for tracking your progress over time, setting goals, and sharing your rides with friends and fellow riders. Some GPS devices also allow you to create and share routes, which can be helpful for planning group rides or discovering new trails.

4. Competition

For those who like a little friendly competition, a GPS device can be a great tool for comparing your performance with other riders. Popular apps like Strava allow you to upload your rides and compare your times and stats with others who have ridden the same route. This can be a fun way to push yourself and see how you stack up against other riders.

5. Wildlife Tracking

Lastly, a GPS device can be a great tool for tracking wildlife. Many GPS devices come with features like wildlife tracking, which can help you locate and identify animals in the wild. This can be a fun way to connect with nature and learn more about the wildlife in your area. It can also be helpful for avoiding potentially dangerous animals like cougars and bears.

In addition to carrying a GPS device, it’s always a good idea to have a backup. This can be as simple as carrying a paper map or downloading maps onto your phone in case your GPS device runs out of battery or malfunctions. You can also consider carrying a second GPS device as a backup.

In conclusion, carrying a GPS device and backup is crucial for gravel riders. From navigation to safety to recording rides and tracking wildlife, there are many reasons why you should always be prepared. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, a GPS device can help you make the most of your gravel riding adventures. So, the next time you hit the trail, make sure you’re carrying a reliable GPS device and backup.