GPS input needed

For those of you who are into hiking and kayaking, which of these Garmin GPS’s would you recommend for both of those activities?:





GPSMAP62S GPSMAP 62ST (it’s more expensive than the 62S, but the 62ST includes US Topographic Maps)

I want to watch my budget, but I also want to make sure that what I get is good for both of these, especially when under dense cover and/or between steep cliffs.


Why garmin?
Why does it have to be a Garmin? I recently bought a Delorme Earthmate PN-60 and it’s pretty much perfect for my hiking/kayaking/geocaching/mountain biking ventures.

What sold me on it was map access. You can get all kinds of information from topo maps to satellite imagery to NOAA charts from Delorme and the yearly subscription fee is about $25 instead of paying per map as I understand Garmin charges.

60 Series
I have been using a Garmin GPSmap60CX for the last 4 years. It has performed very well while kayaking, hiking and road navigation. This model has been replaced with the 62 series as you have noticed. I like how it fits nicely in the palm of my hand and keep it tethered either to my boat or PFD.

You won’t lose reception with the …

In over a thousand miles of use, I have not lost it yet.

It holds it under bridges, in the house, and in dense mangrove tunnels.

jack L

As long as the unit is serviceable the maps really are the key. Detailed water maps and detailed land maps are usually separate.

Ryan L.

I have Garmin Rino for hiking. Also own a Garmin oregon 400i …the 400i is junk …it crashed on me ( 1 year old !! )and hasn’t worked reliably since, even after a factory reload of O/S. I recently bought a PN60 Delorme ( on sale ) . the PN60 does take a tad longer to acquire a satellite fix than the Garmin’s. Not real happy with Garmin’s tech support! Also Garmin updates dont work with Mozilla Firefox, at least not on my comp, I have to use IE for their website. So far no probs with the Rino but its a tad complicated to use. PN60 seems easier to use in comparison. Delorme has the better maps IMHO.

Still using 60 series
Have an old Garmin GPS 60 that is going strong - love it

GPS used to back me up on my UTM coordinates

when using paper maps in the backcountry.

GPS also downloads just fine for training data

I’ll upgrade when Garmin ups the battery life of those

massive power sucking color touch screens.

My Garmin GPS 60 batteries last a long, long, long time.

i only have
a garmin etrex legend h but i love it was only 99 bucks but the map it has is awefull .but i just use it to get me back to where i was and i can alos conect it to google earth and see my exact course i was on earlier

additional input needed
Thank you for your input. I actually have a DeLorme PN-60, but I’ve had trouble with it losing it’s signal, being too short on the distance and too fast for the speed. Another PN owner was letting me know what I may have done wrong.

You said that your PN-60 has been pretty much perfect for your backpacking/kayaking…ventures. Why the “pretty much”? Have you found something(s) that you didn’t like about it?-Darwin

Speed depends on ““Pinging””"

– Last Updated: May-09-11 10:57 PM EST –

Depending on how often the GPS pings the satellite
will determine how accurate your speed is

If you are walking, it won't change much every 10 - 20 seconds
--- kayaking is pretty similar, speed stays fairly constant

The reality is most GPS units can't track you mowing the lawn.
The resolution of turning, cutting corners, etc.
just isn't there resulting in a big tangled mess
when you download the data.
If it pings relentlessly giving breadcrumbs every 1/2 second
you may get a more realistic view of ""speed""

I know darn well when I see a data point claiming 12 mph
it's a glitch since I can't paddle that fast on flat water

We all stop for things, bathroom breaks, water breaks,
snack breaks, and adjustment of gear,
All that stuff adds up throughout the day.
You may not realize how that kills your overall forward moving mph !

Until you graph your data , you won't see those things.

I bought one about 2 months ago, my first hand held. I liked it because it had a compass, gave you elevation, is waterproof, and FLOATS.

Garmin has discontinued it as their new 78 series is out. You can find deals on the 76csx with vendors that still have them in stock. Got mine for $260, but a friend of mine got one last week for $220.

Mapping is important - the base maps supplied with the unit are weak, you’ll want more detail than what comes out of the box. You can download free Garmin compatible maps at

I’ve had two Garmin products, both etrex. They are light, work well, and are easy to use. However, after a few years the seals dry up or weaken or something, then they leak, then they are wrecked.

I’ll likely buy another, as I know how to use it, and I haven’t heard that others are much better. However, do so knowing the price you pay is only amortized over a few years.

The Oregon
Too bad you had trouble with the Oregon since I own a 400t and my wife a 550 for over a year and we had no problems with them. We both are training SAR wilderness-air-scent dogs and use the GPS several times a week in training and when on missions. I also own an Astro 220 that I use to track the dogs. The Oregon is much better to use for navigation because of the touch screen. I bring both of them with me when training since I find the Oregon so much easier to use and only use to Astro to track the dog.