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Lose Yourself in Nature (And Get Back Home, too): How to Choose an Offroad Navigation System

Going offroading is a great way to get outside and lose yourself in nature.  You just need to be sure you don’t actually lose yourself while you’re out there.  Dash mounted GPS units have come a long way in the last few years, and we’re hear to help you choose the one that is right for your needs. Get outside, and get back home safely with one of these awesome navigation units from Magellan.

Magellan TR5 Trail and Street Navigation

The Magellan TR5 is what we carry as an entry level navigation unit.  It’s pre-loaded with maps of trails (and streets) all over the US, and is super easy to update — you can even hook it up to your cell phone’s hotspot for updates on the fly. Just make sure you do that before you’re lost in the desert with no cell service and no clue where you are.

It will also allow you to track your path, so you can make notes on interesting way points or landmarks along the way.  We like to use this feature the first time we run a trail so we know which trails and offshoots could use a day of their own another time.

If you’re a social butterfly, you can even set up the TR5 to automatically update Twitter or Facebook followers with your route and location.  Be smart with that feature–make sure your boss isn’t following your Twitter account while you’re playing hooky on the trails.

Price: $199.99

Magellan TR7 Trail and Street Navigation

The Magellan TR7 is a step up from the TR5 in one major way – screen size.  The TR7 offers all of the same, user-friendly features as the TR5, but brings a seven inch screen to the table instead of the five inch screen.

Both units have the same social sharing functions, easy wi-fi capabilities, the ability to make notes on the trail, and even the potentially life-saving BackTrack function, which allows you to get back to where you started with the click of a single button.

The TR7 and the TR5 both come pre-loaded with over 160,000 trails, with the ability to download more, and see other people’s notes on those trails.  You also get a lifetime of free updates, so long as you can maintain the unit (see: don’t let it fly out the window and get run over).

Price: $299.99

Magellan TRX7 Dual Mount Trail and Street Navigation

The next step up in the Magellan line that we offer in the Magellan TRX7.  It’s got all of the features found in the entry-level TR5 and TR7, plus has even more to offer.  Namely, it’s designed to be super durable.

The TRX7 case is made from ruggedized IP67 material – making it shock and impact resistant.  We still don’t recommend running it over, but if it flies off the windshield mount when you’re running the whoops, throttle down (like any responsible offroader would), then you should be fine.  It’s also water and dust proof, so if you’re hard on your gear, it’s well worth the extra money to not have to worry about replacements.

In addition the added durability, the TRX7 comes with a quick release power cradle, and a rail mount.  You can still use the suction cup mount if you prefer, but we’re really love that rail mount for our rigs.

Price: $499.99

Magellan TRX7 CS Dual Mount Trail and Street Navigation with Camera

The Magellan TRX7 CS is the last step up in the Magellan line that we offer.  It comes with all of the features of the less expensive models that we’ve covered, and one really cool extra feature — the TRX7 CS is the only one that comes equipped with a camera, already installed.  If you’re looking for a dash cam, it can do that, whether you’re on or offroad.

While you’re on the trail though, it’s great for capturing photos of cool landmarks on the trail to upload to your maps or social media feed.  You can also record videos of your adventure, without having to fumble with an extra mount for a cell phone or more substantial camera.

Price: $549.99

Make Sure to Share the Love

One of the coolest parts about Magellan navigation is the crowd sourcing of trails and cool landmarks.  Every time you see something worth sharing with other offroaders, they’ve got you covered. Mark it on the unit with a single touch, and you’ll be able to let other people know what it is, why it’s cool, and how to get there.  After safely marking the spot on the fly, you can go back in and add details once you’re stopped, or even once you’re back at home.


In addition the social media sharing options, you can help expand the maps that other Magellan users can see and use to navigate trips of their own.  When you get connected to wifi, make sure you connect to the TRXtrailhead.com site, and upload routes worth sharing. Other Magellan users can see those routes, add them to their TR navigation unit.

Using the site, users can share the best things to see and do along the trail.  Grow the community, and maybe you will even make some wheeling buddies along the way.

One Last Thing About Navigating

We hate to say it, but technology fails.  It usally fails when you least expect it, and when you really need it to not fail.  We only carry the best in offroad navigation technology, and we know – you have your cell phone, but that does not exempt you from using your brain when you’re on the trail.  Before you get out there, make sure you have a good old map and compass, and that you know how to use it. Don’t worry, you can learn on YouTube.

If you have any questions, or need help choosing the navigation unit that’s right for you, our helpful enthusiasts are at your disposal.  Give us a call, or shoot us an email, and we’ll use all the real-world experience we’ve got to help you make the right choice.

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