Welcome to the world of knowing what's around every turn, every time – the world of automotive GPS.
From the variety of automotive GPS units available, it can seem like an impenetrable jungle of choices. The best first step is to purchase a name-brand unit from Cabela's selection.
The beauty of an automotive GPS unit is that it calculates your location with government-funded satellites, requiring no monthly subscription fees.
Most automotive GPS units are programmed to help you find your way through cities and across highways. This programming sets them up for ease of use, especially for someone new to automotive GPS navigational aids.
To start, mount the unit in a location with a clear line to the sky (i.e. windshield or dashboard) – check local laws, as some states do not allow windshield-mounted accessories.
Next, plug the supplied power cord into the AC outlet of your vehicle. Hold the power switch down for 1-2 seconds. A welcome screen will appear followed by a brief legal agreement you'll accept via a touch-screen button (on most models).
It could take up to two or three minutes to acquire a positioning signal. If it takes longer, the unit's internal antenna probably does not have a clear shot at the sky for satellite acquisition.
The unit will alert you when it is ready to navigate. Most models are set up to guide you through the "go to" navigation process. Just follow the steps.
When you're finished entering destination data, the unit will calculate a "best" route. Most automotive GPS units automatically calculate a route that takes the shortest time. You will also be able to choose a route based on your own travel criteria. For example, you may want to avoid toll roads or choose the shortest-distance route.
You may also calculate side trips on your automotive GPS. Once a route is calculated, the unit will direct you through step-by-step directions to input and calculate your side-trip destination information.
You can also search for nearby gas stations, restaurants and other points of interest on your automotive GPS. Just like general "go-to" navigation, your unit will take you step-by-step through a straightforward keyword search.
Automotive GPS navigational aids can make travel faster, safer and generally more enjoyable. Take a few minutes to get to know your automotive GPS. If time allows, take a few "practice" trips with it before your first big excursion.
Once you become familiar with these user-friendly units, you'll wonder how you traveled without one.