How to Choose a Hiking Watch

Hiking is a favorite activity for a large number of people. To make your navigating much easier, you need to have a hiking watch on your wrist. If you have tried to get yourself a hiking watch, you probably already know that the selection process is not very simple. The market does have numerous watches to choose from. Unless you know what exactly you are looking or in a watch, your chances of taking home the best hiking watch will be really slim. In this article, we will provide you with some tips to help you get the best hiking watch.

The Features

When looking for a hiking watch, you need to watch out for three main features. These are the altimeter, barometer, and the compass. These features are the reason why hiking watches are referred to as ABC watches. You are probably likely to ask yourself, “how are these features going to help me?” Below, we tell you why these features have to be on a hiking watch.

1.    Altimeter

As the name of this feature suggests, it helps you determine your altitude. In other words, it utilizes the air pressure to calculate your approximate height above the sea level. When hiking, knowing your height above the sea level is as important as knowing your direction. Some watches will allow you to just know the current altitude while others will allow you to upload the altitude data to a computer. Whether you decide to choose a hiking watch that allows you to track only your current altitude or record and upload your data to a computer will depend on your preferences. If you are a data junkie, the latter hiking watch might be a great fit for you.

2.    Barometer

Being stuck in the middle of the forest in a storm is no fun at all. The purpose of a barometer is to help you determine when the storm is coming so that you can locate a shelter. A barometer will measure the atmospheric pressure to determine whether a storm is coming or not. When the pressure suddenly drops, you will be able to realize that a storm is on the way. Some watches will have a storm alert. This is essential since you might forget to check your watch.

3.    Compass

When hiking, you wouldn’t want to miss a compass. This makes this feature one of the most important feature on a hiking watch. Almost every hiking watch has a compass nowadays. However, some watches will have compasses which are more effective than others. For example, if a watch has a 2D compass, this compass will not work unless the watch is in a perfectly horizontal position. If your watch has a 3D compass, it will work irrespective of the angle. The best hiking watch will have a 3D compass. You wouldn’t want to struggle when checking the direction.

4.    The GPS

A GPS watch is one you would love to have on your wrist. The GPS will help you especially when you are out hiking in remote and unfamiliar areas. This feature has even more use than letting you know which way or route to follow. The feature will allow you to track other important data such as distance, current location, and speed.

5.    Connectivity

Having the ability to connect your hiking watch with your computer or smartphone is important. Sometimes, you may need to exchange data between these devices. Maybe you don’t want to keep checking your smartphone while you are out there hiking but you still want to see who is calling, receive text messages and push notification. This can be achieved if it is possible to sync your hiking watch with your smartphone. Also, you may need to upload data such as the distance, altitude, and routes to your laptop when you get back home.


When considering how durable a hiking watch is, there are various things that you need to consider. These include resistance to scratches and water. While hiking, you are likely to come across harsh conditions and even accidental falls. A great watch should have a water resistance of up to 100 meters. Also, a great hiking watch should have the ability to withstand low temperatures.

Battery Life

There is nothing that is more annoying than the watch you are depending on dying in the middle of your hike. Before paying for a watch, make sure that it can last for a long time before you need to recharge it. Even better, you can choose a solar-powered watch. A solar-powered watch will always recharge itself as long as it is exposed to light.

The Watch Style and Design

You wouldn’t want to have a bulky watch on your wrist. After all, you are out hiking. You wouldn’t want a heavy watch on your wrist which makes you feel like someone is tearing your wrist apart. The best hiking watch should be lightweight.

If you are planning to wear your hiking watch while you are not out there navigating, you will need to purchase a watch that at least complements your style. Instead of looking for a survival-style watch, look for something that has the survival features in it but still looks great on your wrist.

The Price

Let’s face it, a hiking watch may have all the features you will need during your hike. However, if that watch has a price that is way out of your affordable range, it will be useless. Generally, the price of an item will correspond to its quality. This tells you that you shouldn’t purchase a watch based on the fact that it is cheap. If you have to purchase a watch, make sure that it is at least on the upper side of your affordable range. Otherwise, you might save a few dollars but then end up with a watch that makes you regret purchasing it. Instead of focusing so much on the price of a watch, focus more on the quality of the watch and the features it has to offer.


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