another gps ?

a friend wants to give me a gift of a gps for kayaking. if i accept this gift , how much moola are we looking at? and how in the world do you pick one? any one brand better than an other…what should i stay away from? thanks.


– Last Updated: Mar-17-10 6:53 PM EST –

You can pick up outdated GPS models like a eTrex Legend cheap , like under $150. but be careful they are being phased out.... others can range up to $500 ( Garmin GPS60CSx ) ... depends on your needs/desires. the best GPS models will work in heavy cover...models like the eTrex will lose the signal in heavy cover. I personally prefer models with AA battery power. Sucks when your Ion or Ni-Cad rechargeables go dead 1/2 way thru a long paddle or hike or multi-day camping trip. Some models are battery hogs and will eat up batteries fairly fast, My Garmin Oregon 400i is like that with the AA's. but the AA's are easily replaced in the field. Also is it WAAS capable ?? waterproof? Something like a eTrex is ok for kayaking use, since it will have a clear view of the sky, but it's only water resistant i think. good luck

I highly recommend atleast a look at the Delorme PN series handhelds. I’ve really enjoyed mine. Has a learning curve to figure out how to properly use but thats with any gps or anything else these days. :slight_smile:

Waterproof and Floating
Get a waterproof one and you won’t have to try using it through a bag. The Garmin MAP76 is one. JackL came up with a great way to mount it to your deck. Do a search and you’ll come up with price info.

I use a Garmin GPSmap 60cx which is good for air, land and sea. It’s very durable and waterproof.

Here it is

– Last Updated: Mar-18-10 7:36 AM EST –



Slightly modified now with a bigger piece of velcro since I now have a bigger Map-76 and a bigger pouch.

Make the bungee the length to attach to your side safety lines


Don’t trust that “waterproof” bit
after four or five years, or many days out in the sun.

Trust me!



i was thinking the floating one was a great idea. so expensive though. cool ideas…thanks y all.

it would go in a case as yours is …
any way…i’m always thinking better safe than sorry. where did you get the material to make this and how did you get such a nice triangle?

It is just high density gray foam.

You can get it at outfitters in various sizes.

If you know someone that uses a lot of it, you maybe can get a scrap.

I cut it with a band saw, but you can cut it with a sharp serrated knife.

The pipe going through it is just a 1/2" diameter piece of PCV pipe. It is not necessary, but I figured it would stop the bungee from cutting through the high density foam.

You can get the bungee kits at West Marine, and then cut them to the length you want. Just follow the directions on the package for connecting the hooks.

Or you can buy bungee by the foot and the plastic connectors loose.

I always cut the latching tab off the hooks, and sand the edge of the cut. those latches are just too stiff for my liking.

Once you have the bungee kit, you will find many other uses for them such as holding down a spare paddle, etc,



very helpful

Which ever one you get
I would get a water proof bag (even if it is a marine GPS) to keep it in. You do not want to take a chance of getting water in it and end up in trouble.

Three top features…

– Last Updated: Mar-21-10 1:45 PM EST –

at least for kayaking purposes.
1) Oops - JackL is right below. I was confusing my electronic devices - it's the VHF radio that has the rechargeable battery back...
Too many toys. The rest works though.

2) A charting GPS, that allows you to download charts with navigation aids like buoys etc showing.

3) A screen that you can see in bright daylight. Take anything you are considering outside on a bright day and see if you can still read it.

The floating and waterproof parts are quite nice - but much pricier. I am not sure how deep your friend's pocketbook is and a waterproof bag will cover that if needed.

2nd the Delorme, but get a PN-60
A basic Delorme PN-60 (there will be several flavors that most of us will not ever need) appears to be a decent upgrade from the PN-40. PN-60 I believe is targeted for a May 1, 2010 release.

Between a PN40 and PN30, I would probably opt for the 30 since I believe the only difference is the barametric altimeter on the PN-40, which isn’t worth anything at the coast where I live.

Spare battery pack ???
What GPS do you have?

We camp many times on outer keys, etc and just take spare batteries.

We don’t even go on a day trip without spares.

Just use the batteries until they run out, and then change them wherever we are.

I wouldn’t even want to fool around with a rechargeable battery pack.

I know most of the Garmins don’t use a rechargeable battery pack.



Maredian triton 2000 by magellan
pros and cons

pro- Waterproof, easy to use, sd card, rugged rubber coated. Easy up/download from pc with plotting and saving info. Several waypoints…

Cons- hard to read screen in bright light, many softwear issues, dealing with a guy in India when you call customer service and not being able to understand him, most maps cost money. Charts are nice, but pricy. Camera is useless,

I think they dropped the ball in a big way with the Triton series. I started with the Triton 1500 and after returning it several times they upgraded me to the Triton 2000. It has been hell getting it right but now it seems to be and I am happy. I would not recomend going this route.

I did have a Magellan years ago and I loved it. It was the sprot trak map, but not sure they make it any longer. Think about what you really need from a gps for they tend to have many features that I dn’t need and will never use.

I have a Blackberry Curve with built in GPS. I downloaded Google Maps and have used it in the Everglades, the Keys and downtown Atlanta. It seems to work fine even when there is no cellphone reception. Off course it is no comparison to the expensive GPS modles but it is an option to be considered depending on your particular needs.

The PN40 and PN30 are decent units but they eat batteries like potato chips. I have a PN40 and I’m using 3-4 pairs of AAs for every pair I use in my Garmin 60CSX when I run them simultaneously.

Another quarrel I have with DeLorme are the tiny menu fonts. It’s the first GPS I’ve ever owned where I need bring my reading glasses along.

Reception on the DeLormes is OK but not up to the standards of my 60CSX.

And finally the kludgy DeLorme Topo software that the unit comes with is an issue. There is quite a learning curve to it when compared to Garmin’s topo.

The chief differences between the PN30 and PN40 are that the PN40 has a barometric altimeter and magnetic compass and the PN30 uses satellites to determine altitude and direction of travel.

Legend / 60CSX
"You can pick up outdated GPS models like a eTrex Legend cheap , like under $150. but be careful they are being phased out"

The eTrex Legend was phased out over a year ago. The Legend H was introduced to replace it. The Legend H can be had for around $120 and is basically the originhal Legend + a high sensitivity receiver and additional map memory (24 megs vs 8 in the old Legend).

There is also the Legend HCX which is a pretty good unit for the money and it has a high sensitivity receiver, color display, USB connection, turn by turn driving direction support and expandable memory, all things the original Legend lacked. You can find a Legend HCX for around $180 and it is a decent, compact unit.

You can find a Garmin 60CSX for well under $500. In fact it is $298 at when I just checked. I think the 60CSX is still the best all around hand held unit on the market today.

Garmin Map 76CSX
For paddling I’d get a Garmin 76CSX. It is nearly identical internally to Garmin’s 60CSX which I think is still the best all around hand held GPS on the market.

Though functionally identical, the 76CSX is slightly larger than the 60CSX and it floats. One of the few hand held units that do. That’s why I would recommend it to paddlers over the 60CSX. Also because the design isn’t nearly as popular as the 60CSX the 76CSX can often be found cheaper than the 60CSX even though it’s list price is actually higher.

Garmin has a wide range of mapping products that run on the 76CSXC including some that might be attractive to paddlers, such as Blue Chart, Inland Lakes and Topo. There are also many free 3rd party maps out there that can run on Garmin units.

Stay away from any unit with a touch screen for paddling. They are hard to read in direct sunlight.