buying gps today!

I think! Is there any reason not to buy a Garmin eTREX H basic unit? I am completely new to gps, and get overwhelmed with too much info. Right now I just want to be able to track where I am on the water and mark a few waypoints. think it has “bread crumb” capability, will look back and see. I’ve read extensively from previous posts, and think the ETREX H is a good choice, and as I get more proficient I can always move up. Looking at $90. + 12 2 day shipping.

I have had the basic unit for about 4 years. I initially purchased it to use in a powerboat, but I have been using it with my kayak for at least the last 2 years. You can set waypoints and it will give steering direction as well as estimated arival times based on your speed. I basically use it to track distance and time when I’m out in my kayak on Lake Erie. I have dropped it in shallow water with no ill effects, and the battery life is reasonable.

The basic Etrex is fine for kayak use. Very simple.

Just becareful about one thing… the unit is described as waterproof, but it is not. Keep it out of the water.

Good Choice!

– Last Updated: Mar-08-08 1:15 PM EST –

The basic eTrex H is a great GPS, but only IF you understand and are OK with its basic features. If its OK with you to get the basic features of this GPS, then you'll love it. The 'H' feature is a huuuge difference.

The only thing I'd add if I could - but Garmin doesn't make one - is that I'd rather buy a 'HS' unit - one that had an electronic compass, so that it would point to the waypoint of choice. I find the e-compasses very useful.

Bring a magnetic compass with adjustable declination, know how to use the compass/GPS/paper map together, learn how to use a UTM grid with GPS & paper map (hint: ), and bring a very good topo map of the area (hint - check out for very high quality waterproof topo maps with pre-printed UTM grids).

Lots of folks buy basic GPS units and then wonder why it doesn't have a detailed map of the world. They buy a basic GPS and then soon afterwards either say that GPS's stink and abandon them, or they invest in the mapping unit that they should have bought in the first place.

Just make sure you know what you're getting, make sure it matches with your needs, and you'll be fine.

About the waterproofness ... there are lots of stories out there of folks who dunked the GPS and it didn't make it. Your best bet is to stow it inside an Aquapac small phone/gps case with a lanyard.

Except, that if you have not bought yet,
Academy has the Etrex Legend on sale for $89. Sale ends today. The Etrex is $99 most places.

just got one
Vista HCX, and it is wonderful, just loaded it up with all of the topo maps of Alaska, and the charts for Prince Wm Sound. I can’t wait to get out on the water…


I have a basic etrex, new in box, that I need to sell. $75 shipped if interested.

eTrex H
Good basic unit. Make sure that you get the H though. The old eTrex unit looks nearly identical and I’ve seen it sold side by side with the eTrex H

for the same price. The old unit doesn’t have the new high sensitivity receiver.