How many use GPS systems?

And what kind do you prefer? I am thinking about buying one to bring along on Kayak and hiking trips. What works best for you guys and what do you recommend? Im hoping to come out of this for a couple hundred $'s, but may end up spending more. TIA

My wife and I both use them
We gave up the compass many years ago and place it in the catagory of slide rules.

If you are in a coastal estuary, swamp, Everglades or off shore paddling to some remote Island they are a must.

We have two Garmin Map-76’s and one el cheapo Etrex.

I recommend the Map-76, but there are many others that are just as good or better.

I also use it for race training.



eTrex works for me …
i like to keep my chart and compass skills up to snuff since electronics (GPS) are apt to malfunction when you really need them most. but i DO use a GPS when expedition paddling in places like Newfoundland where charts are not up to date or fog is likely. did a 5 mile crossing in ‘white out’ fog in NL and would have had alot of trouble without the GPS. i use an eTrex. you can certainly buy more expensive units but i don’t find them advantageous for my purposes.

I’ll be getting one, but…
…as another poster stated, I like keeping my chart and compass skills tuned up. I’ll be getting a decent GPS in a month or so just for when I might need it. It’s not that hard to get lost in Iowa, but since I like night river running…I may find the GPS useful. I’m still doing research.

nice toy
My GPS has saved me inconvenience a few times. Recently, though, it failed due to condensation inside. I sorta fixed it in the oven, but it won’t ever be the same.

I had a Garmin E-Trex (which, as mentioned, is not waterproof). I have been told the more expensive units are less prone to failure. Since they are all rated the same for waterproofness, I would get the cheap kind and just store it in a waterproof case/bag.

A necessity for touring around marshes. Garmin Map76CX or Csx is having $100 rebate. BlueChart costs about $100. Add CitiNavigator $75?, you take it to your car for road trips. Super senstive. It picks up satellites from my living room! Do get a DryPak ($20) even the GPS is waterproof.

Etrex waterproof?
I know this was discussed at length in another thread but if you follow the directions given with the unit it should be waterproof. In particular, when you return from a paddle open up the battery enclosure, wipe it out, and let it dry out before you close it again.

I use it as a back up
and am very glad to have it in marshes.

Garmin Map76
I have been getting used to using it but rarely paddle anywhere where I really need it. I have not paddled out of site of land yet and have it more for speed and distance than finding out where I am or how to get to where I am going.

Happy Paddling,


don’t leave the launch without it…
I love my Magellen Sport Trac Pro, and take it with me for different reasons- one to track my way back out of marshes and windy areas that I might easily get screwed up in. The other reason is I like to track my distances that I paddle just for my own sake. And the best and most fun reason I like to have mine with me is that I’m out there looking for a geocache around a lake or pond or a water cache!!

Foretrex 101
Solves the issue of where to put the GPS where you can see it while paddling.

After I got lost on a backpacking trip
when, because of snow, I wandered off the trail, I got a GPS and now never home leave without it. If you get turned around in a flat, featureless place, a map and compass will work after a time, but a GPS will tell you exactly where you are without a struggle. I found that after I figured out how to use one, learning about datums, etc., I got better at reading maps and using a compass. I bought a low end Magellan, Sport Trak and am happy with it. I thought about getting a more expensive unit, but figured that with the added software (maps) that it would get too expensive.

I’m perfectly content with my Magellan Explorist 100.Very basic but i dont really want/need anything fancy. I bought it and a Garmin Geko 201 on Ebay, for 160$ canadian, delivered, sold the Geko privately for 120, so net is 40$ paid for the Explorist that runs 150$+tax at stores. Explorist 300-600 would be nice for a mapable version.

I use a magellian eXplorist 210 which I have nested inside a cleartopped Pelican 1040 microcase with foam. I only have to open it up to turn it on or off cause I rarely use anythign toehr than the map while im on the water.

Magellan Map 130M
has been my choice for over 5 years. Too bad it’s no longer in production as it has the capability to switch between detailed street maps and detailed nautical maps. And that’s from the program which came with the GPS.

Use it all the time for paddling and road touring.



The leaking Etrexs have nothing to do
with the battery case.

After long exposure on the deck to hot sun, the glue that hold the case together dries out and it can leak and some of them do which will fry it.



Let’s See…
Don’t paddle off shore, or do tidal marsh areas…

The River only flows one way…

I have pretty decent cell coverage…

Nope, probably not. But I do carry a surveyor’s compass with me at all times out there and know how to use it.

E-Trex Legend
I’ve been using it for about 3 years with no problems and it’s been wet alot.

Garmin 48
It is an older model, doesn’t have the land definition that newer models have, but works well.

I have thought of buying a newer model such as the Legend or Vista, but can’t justify the $$$$

GPS Fanatic
I use my GPS whenever I take the kayak out, it helps me figure out my pace and workout stuff. It’s also made kayaking on unfamiliar water nice for myself and everyone in my group when we were figuring out some things. I don’t get in my boat without except for a nearby lake. I have the etrex legend c and it’s worked fine for me, even geocache with it.