This Garmin hiking tool will save your life, and it's $200 off for Black Friday

A route to the Lafayette Ridge on the Garmin GPSMAP 67i
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Garmin is best known for its smartwatches, but it also makes handheld GPS devices with topographical maps and trail guides so you never get lost in the woods. Newer models like the Garmin GPSMAP 66i and 67i have Iridium satellite support, so you can message family where there's no cell reception, or even send an SOS to local emergency services if you've been attacked or injured in the middle of nowhere, and can't make it back. 

Any serious hiker, backpacker, or outdoorsman who can't count on cell service should buy a satellite device, but they're expensive as hell. Thankfully, the Garmin GPSMAP 66i is $200 off, courtesy of Black Friday. With its MIL-STD-810 protection against water, heat, and shock, plus up to 200 hours of battery in Expedition mode, it'll never quit on you in an emergency.

Garmin GPSMAP 66i: $599 $399 at Amazon

Garmin GPSMAP 66i: $599 $399 at Amazon

This handheld GPS and satellite device will guide you to your destination, while notifying family members of your exact location every 10 minutes (if you want). It lasts 35 hours with GPS tracking, so as long as you charge it overnight, you'll never run out of juice in an emergency.

If you run into any trouble, you just press and hold the dedicated SOS button, and Garmin's 24/7 emergency services will coordinate with local rescue services to track you down. You can even use the 66i or your smartphone to directly message the rescue team over satellite, so they know the exact situation and how urgent it is. 

With the GPSMAP 66i in hand, you can download and view satellite maps of your exact location to gauge your surroundings, download a real-time map of the active weather happening around you, turn on the built-in LED flashlight at night, and send check-in messages to family with a few button clicks.

To use the GPSMAP's satellite features, you'll need an InReach subscription, which you can pay monthly or annually depending on how often you hike. The cheapest Safety plan is $12/month annually, which means this deal would essentially cover a full year of satellite connectivity with some money left over. 

If money is no object and you want the best possible experience, however, I recommend the GPSMAP 67i, which I personally tested and is $100 off for Black Friday

I'd describe the GPSMAP 67i as an enhanced 66i: it has the same features and design, but uses USB-C charging instead of microUSB and has much better battery life (165 hours in 10-minute GPS mode instead of 35 hours). It also supports dual-band GPS instead of multi-GNSS tracking, with more satellite systems like QZSS and Beidou for international travel. 

Garmin GPSMAP 67i: $599 $499.99 at Amazon

Garmin GPSMAP 67i: $599 $499.99 at Amazon

Different number, same deal: It's a GPS- and satellite-enabled handheld that you can predownload with maps and waypoints, or pull up that data on the trail. It weighs exactly the same, but it has much better battery life, able to last for weeks without a charge so you always have the SOS option ready. Plus, if you have a power bank and USB-C cable, you'll be able to recharge it quickly in a pinch. 

Keep in mind that both of these handheld GPS devices are incredibly useful, but difficult to master because of the weird UI and many buttons. Until you master it, you'll want to print and take the manual with you so you aren't stuck trying to figure out how to use it. Still, once you take the time to figure out its inner workings, it's incredibly useful to hiking enthusiasts exploring new areas. 

If these aren't what you need, not to worry: I've made a guide on the best Black Friday Garmin deals focused on all the discounted watches available, from Forerunner to Epix, Instinct to Venu. Or you can check our more general guide on the best Black Friday smartwatch deals!

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, Wearables & AR/VR

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on wearables and fitness. Before joining Android Central, he freelanced for years at Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, and Digital Trends. Channeling his love of running, he established himself as an expert on fitness watches, testing and reviewing models from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, Suunto, and more.