G.P.S. recomendations

whats your choice in a easy to use gps for paddling ??? what should i have to spend??? i dont know “jack” about them so any advise is good thanks …jack

I use…
…the Garmin ETrex legend CX for driving, hiking, and yakking. The color screen is far better than my previous ETrex and this unit is more user friendly and has plenty of functions. I can use the windshield suction cup mount in my truck or I can attach it to the bunji cord on my kayak deck. I can’t remember the price but I got it at Bass Pro Shop for less than $250.00.

I returned 3 GO2’s then bought a Garmin. I had to return the Garmin and they replaced it. So far no problems but I have had really bad luck with GPS.

After two
really bad experiences with Magellan products and their horrible customer service, I have no confidence in them standing behind their product.

The following is what people in my club have observed with their GPS’s on paddling trips.

I don’t know if anyone out there has ever compared their river paddling results between Magellan and Garmin, but my group has several times as we have several members that have different models of both and there have always been significant discrepancies in position and distance. In most cases the Magellans have been off by close to a mile in distance over a 10 mile route, granted no one paddles exactly the same route in the river but even allowing for zig zagging a mile seems pretty significant.

If there are two Garmins and two Magellans on a float, the two Garmins are more likely to be pretty close to the same distance and will both give you the same position , not so on the Magellans.

One thing we have noticed is that the more you travel in a “straight line” , like driving on a highway or paddling across a lake the more the results are likely to agree.

None of this is at all scientific, but the concensus of our paddlers is that they are more likely to choose Garmin models the next time.

Garmin’s customer service has also been superb. Every time someone has had an issue, it has been resolved cheerfully.

Hope some of this helps.

I’ve had several units…
…but they were all Garmin. I can’t speak for other brands, but the Garmins have given me no trouble with lots of hard use. I now use a 76c for almost everything - including mounted to the handlebar of a trailbike.

I am partial to the 72/76 series units because of the buttons which are easier to use with cold or gloved hands than the Etrex series and similar units.

My only real beef with Garmin is that, like Magellan, the mapping software for the unit must come from Garmin and is a little spendy. There are a couple new products from other brands (Bushnell comes to mind) that might be more useful because of their more varied map options - but I don’t know how their performance and durability stack up.

MAP76 or something similar. They’re designed to be waterPROOF. I routinely roll with mine strapped to the deck. No water gets in. No need to keep it in a bag.

I use a trimble system at work

– Last Updated: Oct-04-07 9:43 AM EST –

so i am kinda use to their system. it is too expensive for recreation uses but they have a new system that uses gps cell phones and gps software for your desktop. i have not messed with it yet but was wondering if anybody else has tried it...


watch out

– Last Updated: Oct-04-07 9:11 PM EST –

Here is what it says on the Garmin page:
"Don't worry about losing this GPS device in the drink. The GPSMAP 76 floats in water, and it's IPX7 waterproof to withstand the accidental dunk or splash in the lake."

The problem with this is that IPX7 is dustproof rating, not actually waterproof. I have replaced one Garmin unit (a different model, but also IPX7) for water ingress, and a friend has replaced 2 for the same reason. I now use the unit in a clear dry bag.

In comparison, the waterproof cameras that people talk about on these boards are generally IPX8 (or, more likely, the Japanese equivalent JIS8), which is waterproof.

Thanks for the Warning
but I must have gotten a ‘Tuesday’ unit. Never got a drop inside after many, many rolls.

Been using the cheap yellow
Garmin Etrex for years now with no issues. I carry it in the canoe, mount it to the handlebars of both my bicycle and dual sport motorcycle and use it for an occasional geocache hunt. For river paddling I just use it for keeping track of mileage and storing good campsites (gravelbars) as waypoints. I have no need for the mapping features. Accuracy is good enough for me but elevation readings are waaaay off! Less than $100.00 See ya soon Jack!

Needs to be repeated…
“I have no need for the mapping features.”

Maps are nice. I like using my high-end mapping units - but if one is concerned about cost (or the loss/damage of a costly unit), or if it’s what you already have, it’s pretty easy to get along without a mapping GPS. It’s also true, IMO, that paper maps are easier to read anyway. If you carry a basic GPS and a map of the area you are in, with a little practice, you can easily figure out where you are on the map by comparing your tracklog and marked waypoints (camps, portage points, etc) to map features. If you are following a river, it should be especially easy - provided your paper map is a good one.

It’s a valid argument against spending the extra money - especially since you should be carrying map & compass as a backup anyway.