GPS advice/suggestions

I give up. It is time to upgrade my GPS. I officially got lost on the water. Not a fun experience. Thank goodness I had my compass or I might have paddled forever. I used to stick to just rivers and had a relatively good idea of the lay of the land and getting home has never been a problem before. (How lost can you get on a river, really?) I have an older GPS that is a true expedition style, basically just info and very, VERY basic geography. This sucker predates the time when you could add data and maps. I love it, it’s accurate but if you don’t have a good map too, it’s not too much use. Now I am on open water more and would like to keep it that way and it’s time for me to upgrade.

So what do you guys use? My old one is a Magellan and it’s solid. I’d be happy to stick with them but the world of GPS has changed a lot since I got it so I’m willing to play the field. I really would like some inland navigational info and if I find one more website devoted 100% to coastal waterways I might pop. A GPS that also has some road navigation might be nice too, as some put-ins aren’t always so obvious, but water navigation would be the main idea here with road nav second. It would be nice if it could take some splashes as anything that can’t is more of a pain on the water than a help. I don’t roll yet, but I’m looking to correct that condition so maybe it’ll wind up in a pelican case anyway.

Any suggestions? What have you used and been pleased with? Any chart software preferences? Can I preplan a waterway trip the way the car GPS’s let you preplan a road trip? That would be really nice.

Never been so embarassed in my life…lost on the flipping water…arrggghhh


Head in the sand in shame

Garmin MAP76
Waterproof. Very reliable.

Garmin 76CS

– Last Updated: May-26-07 9:00 PM EST –

You weren't didn't know where you were.

I would use the older one still but do some more map study on the area I was going to. Dead reckoning is the idem I would choose plus back it up with gps. The is a hand bearing compass that is quite the cat’s paw to have on board. Available from Weems and Plath. Otherwise I would look into the Garmin 76s with all the gages on it. I would also carry a hand held VHF for backup for a may-day,or other distress calls. In a lot of places the loran radio has atmospheric problems. Of course you are so low to the water some signals are hard to receive. Talking to local fishermen about what they use may help. some of the newer VHF have gps on them also and will transmit your location automatically. I am not saying to not try to figure your location by seeking others just be smarter on the navigation scenarios. Being in our sport we just have to be smarter and on our game always. Check you illumination’s for weather changes while your at it. I could get wound up on this subject so I apologize in advance. Having these item does not mean to use them all the time but the use of VHF does mean it must be on by USCG rule (ch 16).

Garmin Map76
But don’t forget the map and compass too. They are much more important.

Garmin Map76CSX
I think the Garmin maps are superior to the Magellan maps.

All the posts above have said it.
I think it is fun getting lost !

Especially when I can “track back” to way point number 1.



Thanks all!!
Going to check out that Garmin right now…yes, I know maps and dead reckoning are best. I just got to a point where I didn’t have any landmarks and was a little perplexed for a few minutes. My compass was my friend!!

And my old GPS wouldn’t have done any more good than my compass, had I had it that day, as I had no map on me anyway. My fault for making a mistake…I know better. I had my PFD on at least :slight_smile: and a VHF if I had gotten in real trouble. The new GPS would be to help prevent the need to use the vhf.

76 Csx
I hop back and forth between hiking trips and paddling trips…the 76Csx accepts micro-SD cards, I bought inland lakes and topo north east and southeast…if you read the reviews you’ll see it gets reception even indoors and sometimes even in the basement.

My only complaint is this. It would be nice to put all three of the micro-SD cards on one big one but Garmin doesnt work that way…why? because I will paddle, pull up, get out and start hiking and when changing out micro-SD cards in the field they can get lost/wet/damaged.

Other than that this model GPS is very capable. I still use a Suunto watch that has GPS build in unless I’m in a kayak with a fourth hatch–you can put the 76 Cxs in the fourth hatch and still get reception-that way its not on the deck-I’ve lost too manythings on deck to waves in the past.

is mapsource necessary?
or does the base map that comes with the unit sufficient for getting around outdoors?

You need the additional maps.
The base maps don’t provide the necessary detail.

DeLorme PN-20
Comes with $100 worth (your choice) of downloadable, multi-layer maps. The screen is easy to read and it claims to be waterproof. I just got mine and am still familiarizing myself with its features.

the base map is sufficient unless
you want to blow up stuff and look at it closer, or if you want to plot a route ahead of time and download it to the GPS.

I never use Map source, but my wife uses it prior to just about every new trip.

If you do a lot of exploration to places like the Ten Thousand Island area of Florida, or off shore Keys I would advise getting it.



Garmin 60 CSx
I’ve dunked it plenty of times, and it’s still tracking.

Medicineman- what do you mean you have to switch sd cards? I bought a 4 GB micro sd @ Staples for $55 and have stored the entire US & some of Canada on it.

Oh- did you buy the maps from Garmin on sd cards? You should still be able to upload those onto your PC, then copy them onto a 2, 4 or whatever GB sd card. For you it would mean buying a blank, standard micro sd card now, but if it could keep you from switching sd cards in the field it would probably be worth it.