GPS Question

I just ordered a Garmin eTrex Vista HCx GPS Bundle that includes the Topo 2008 DVD. I hike, trail bike ride and paddle rivers, lakes and along the coast. My question is: What other maps (DVD) should I purchase that I could need/use? My SUV has a built-in GPS so I will not be using it for travel directions. But may want to use as a reference if we happen upon a new place at the end of a paddle, bike or hike. My activities are mostly in the Northeast.

Sounds like you are all set.
Play with the GPS a few weeks. Then if there are any shortcomings it will be obvious.

There are some NAV charts available for some units that can come in handy for larger bodies of water that charts have been produced for. But most of the bouy, channel, wrecks and obstructions should already be in your bundle.

hit it on the head. Look at the various mounts and accessories if anything.


Garmin Topo 2008 issues
I have had Garmin GPS products for some time, and am pleased with them overall. I had the Topo version dated 1995-2002, and thought the 2008 would be better, so I bought it when I upgraded to a color GPS. The 2008 has a major local highway (with its bridges under which I paddle regularly) mislocated by 0.2 of a mile. It also dropped all on-the-water information (depth of water, navigation aids, etc.) which was available on the older version. After trying to use the 2008 version, I deleted it from my GPS and reinstalled the more useful, accurate, older version.

I will wait before I add any mapping then. I hope that the issue with accuracy is not too widespread. I also will use it to measure distance and speed. Again thank you for the advice.


All set

– Last Updated: May-08-08 2:03 PM EST –

Since you have Topo and don't need the road mapping software then you're pretty much good to go. That is unless you do a lot of coastal paddling, in which case you might want to get Bluechart.

If you don't have it, you could get a 2 gig memory card (micro SD) so you don't have to worry about reloading maps when you travel.

Regarding the previous post about inaccuracy,nearly every mapping package will have some inaccuracy. I have Garmin's older Topo package and there are some roads that have been around for 15 years that don't show and I've seen a few roads mis-located by as much as a quarter mile.

Major errors are rare however. Generally it's pretty accurate, other than the old data in some areas (it uses USGS maps which aren't always up to date).

Free Canadian topos with a Garmin

Someone else here turned me on to this package that works great with Garmin’s MapSource software and it saved me $120 for my upcoming North Shore of Superior trip. Of course, if you never intend to bike/hike/ski/paddle in Canada, it won’t be of much use to you.


A good find, I do plan on going to Vancouver next year and I have been known to visit Nova Scotia on occasion.