Garmin Map Help

Just got a Garmin e-Trex Legend C and am very pleased with it. Here is the questions: Which mapping software do I want to get? My main reason for getting the GPS is so that I can follow my progression down rivers and mark good campsite locations for future reference. It is hard for me to determine from the Garmin website which software would give me better detail on rivers and creeks.

US topo
I have the legend C as well, and use US topo,

it covers everything well, except water depth.

Small streams, creeks, bends, hollows, etc are

named. Boat ramps, campsites, stumps, etc. also.

It looks great on the color lcd.

With the legendC memory I can store topos for an area 300miles wide from Austin,TX to OK City,OK.

Thanx, ZoSo
Question: When you have a map screen displayed and scaled like you want it, does the map stay on screen as you move across/off the page? I am trying to figure out how all this is supposed to work. If you go to another panel, say the Compass Page, and then return to the map is the scalng still the same?

the scale remains set whereever you put it. The map moves as you go, thus you will always be on the center of the screen.

Another option…
Maptech’s Terrain Navigator makes a great program for mapping that’s compatible with Garmin units. It has 1:24,000 maps verses 1:100,000 maps that Mapsource Topo has. I’ve used Terrains Navigator for years and I love it.

Here’s a link to Mapteck’s Terrain Navigator in case your interested:


Paper Maps
Whatever software you use it’s helps to carry a printed map to get an overall picture of where you are at. The screens on all GPSs are too small for that. In an emergency where you might be forced to hike out the paper map makes finding the best route out is a must.

Terrain Navigator
Thanx for the reply and website. Can the Navigator maps be loaded into the GPS receiver or do you have to downnload your track onto the Navigator maps?

I always carry laminated topo maps of the area that I am paddling. These are the same maps that I use to plan the trip and determine put-in/take out and emergency access locations. Now that I have a GPS I know that I can record the location of campsites and mark those on the hard maps, I was just wondering if it could all be done in one package (the GPS). I would no more think of going on a trip without maps and a compass than I would without my survival and first aid kits.

My understanding…
is that for Garmin GPS units you can only load maps from their Mapsource software. When I looked into it, the Mapsource Topo series didn’t seem to offer enough detail. That’s why I don’t use the actual GPS screen for navigation but usually have a topo map printed from Terrain Navigator.

The Terrain Navigator software from Maptech is for waypoint, route, and track log management. You can use the software to set routes or waypoints prior to your trip and then download them onto your GPS. I’ve found I like being to download my track logs and wayoints after a trip to show people where we’ve been.

Here’s a couple of examples:


Thanx, Scott. Good stuff.
Since I mostly float rivers, there is not a whole lot of navigation involved. I always plan my trips from arial photos that I get from TerraServer. But sometimes, it is hard to keep track of exactly where you are on a long river trip so it is difficult to mark the map with those “perfect” campsites that you always find 30 minutes downstream after you break camp an get going in the morning after camping on a POC spit of land. So I guess with the GPS receiver I can mark a site as a waypoint and then locate it on the map. I guess that I thought with the right mapware loaded I would be able to follow my progress down the river. Guess I will just have to get my butt out on the water and see how it is all going to work.

One you have
marked waypoints into your unit, you can upload them back into your pc for future reference or retrieval. The next time you are returning to that area, simply upload those waypoints back into your gps. Having the waypoints in the unit allows you to see how far you have to go to the “good site” (as the crow flies). You can do the same with the track logs if you want to keep records of where you traveled.

I have been using a Garmin Etrex Legend and the Garmin Mapsource software to do this for the past couple of years. I’d be lost without it.

garmin 76c and mapsource
Although it is best as many have said here and elsewhere to depend on map, compass, ranges, etc. to stay found, as “another source of information” gps and mapsource topo and marine maps can be amazingly informative.

The Screen on the 76c is very detailed, viewable in sunlight, and it has the advantage zooming in and revealing ahuge amont of detail ledges.