opinions on GPS

Kudzu is correct on the basic yellow one
not being waterproof unless they have corrected their problem.

On my first one, five or six years ago after using it for about six months I dropped it off the deck into the water and fried it.

On examining the case, the glue that they used had dried out and the water had seeped in through the seam.

They honored the guarantee, but the one they sent me only had the warrantee continuing from the date of purchase from the new one.

I now keep mine in a flexible waterproof clear pouch and my wife keeps her Map-76 in a similiar pouch.

They are easy to operate through the pouch, and you don’t have to worry one way or the other of them getting wet.



Nope – Check the website
If you look on the Garmin website [ http://www.garmin.com ] you will see that ALL models of the e-trex series are waterproof to IPX7 standards, which means that they are waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes. This has always been the case with the e-trex series. Incidentally, the Map 76 series and the GPS 60 series are constructed to the same waterproof standards.

Perhaps your bad luck with the e-trex was an isolated incident?

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, putting your GPS in a plastic bag may be more harmful than helpful.



I paddle lakes
and rivers too. Do I need 1? no , but ya can bet in comes in handy finding the take out in the middle of the night or finding other points of intrest on a second run thru. Also works for marking lunch, dumped boat points ect.

you’re not missing anything. i don’t mind carrying one as a back-up, but i’d rather rely on my skills than a piece of gear anytime. it’s a safe back-up though, but typically not needed unless you geocache or are just a gearhead.

Think about safety & performance…
In addition to using a GPS for navigation, it can be thought of as a piece of safety equipment, and, can also be used to evaluate your paddling performance.

Regarding safety, if you get into trouble and have a cell phone or vhf radio to call for help, you can provide your exact location. In a serious emergency this may make a difference between life and death.

For paddling performance evaluation, a GPS provides speed info and records a tracklog that you can download to your PC and plot average speed vs distance/time etc.

I’ve been looking at those
am glad to hear a paddler say he likes them. Makes me more confident to buy one.

Garmin GPS60C
We have a 60C that we use for geocaching and auto navigating (w/ MapSource City Select). This is a great GPS and all our friends that have lesser units are quite impressed with the 60Cs functionality. We use a Gilsson remote antenna so the 60C can be stored under deck. The 60C has ports for the remote antenna, external power (12volt car adapter), and USB port PC connection.

Feel free to E-mail me directly with any questions.

Impala Bob

Lowrance GO2
I finally got my GO2 last week after a 2 1/2 month BO.$100 + shipping. I am still learning to use it. The instructions were minimal and I have never used a GPS so it is hunt and peck time. The map feature is nice. I could follow my track on the map and it would have been easy to get back to my starting point if it was dark or foggy. The unit is supposed to be waterproof to IP7 but I still like the idea of a bag that will float it if necessary. We found out our average speed is about 4.2 mph. Lots of other things to find out yet as soon as I figure out how to use all the functions.

etrex legend
I have owned two Garmin Etrex Legends. The first one I used without a clear dry bag and I ultimately killed it from water intrusion. The second Legend was given to me by Garmin (free of charge) after they looked my first Etrex over and confirmed that I killed it (warranty had not expired). The Garmin people are great to work with. Water had totally fogged the lense and the metal terminal point of connection for the computer had corroded so badly that my computer and etrex could no longer connect with one another. A friend, in the club I belong, just bought a color screened Garmin. It is similar in size to the etrex but is color and has a slightly larger screen, I sadly have forgotten the name…but when I kill this Etrex legend I am going to buy that model (it was not available when I bought mine). Also, make sure to buy the Parks and Recreation maps from Garmin. They don’t cost that much and you’ll be amazed at what it will show you in detail. Good luck and make sure you buy a dry bag for that water proof Garmin, even Garmin will suggest you do that. Franklin

I know what they are guaranteed for.
I speak from experience, and I imagine that if Liv-2-Paddle reads this post he will chime in also, since he also fried one about five years ago by dropping it in the water.

Be my guest and wait till the day your warrantee runs out and then hold it under water.

This subject has been beaten to death here for a long time.



GPS - Why not ?
I have a garmin etrex vista and love it. I always run it while in my boat. I have yet to need it for navigation, what I do use it for is to keep track of my distance, speed, average speed, things like that. I have never regarded it as a replacement for my deck compass and charts. I do regard it as another tool in the tool box and an enjoyable aspect of information that I would not otherwise have…

Time to get over it

– Last Updated: Apr-25-05 3:30 PM EST –

You’re talking about something that happened 5 years ago?!? Do you think that since that time Garmin has not corrected any problems that might have existed?

Before you go getting your hackles up, think about this… if you were a manufacturer of a product that had a problem, don’t you think that you would fix it to stop yourself from going out of business by being up to your neck in warranty repairs? From what I’ve seen, Garmin HAS dealt with problems that the e-trex series has had, and dealt with them very well.

I suspect that if the product is as bad as you make it out to be that they wouldn’t have sold the thousands of units that they have. I personally know at least a dozen people who have e-trex series GPSs and they haven’t had the problems that you express and are quite happy with them. There are also many in this thread who have expressed that the e-trex series are good units (especially for the price!).

Seriously, they’ve obviously fixed the problem that you had. Don’t you think that it’s time to stop slagging a company for something that happened several years ago?

btw: I got my 2 year old Legend absolutely dripping wet last weekend and it seems to be working just fine today.



I save good fishing spots in mine.
I also sometimes paddle out of sight of land in the Gulf and it’s a nice reassurance to be able to save a little time not having to correct my course once I get within sight of a landmark, but you’re right, people have paddled for years without them and many probably do not “need” them.

I really like it
Paid a little over $100 for it but that was with a bicycle handlebar attachment which is pretty useless on a kayak but great on my bike. You might find it for less money sans the attachment. I have rinsed it off in the sink after using in salt water - not been a problem.

Reply from Garmin
I sent off an e-mail to Garmin yesterday asking if it was advisable to place the e-trex unit in a plastic bag or other container. Here’s the reply that I received this morning:


Thank you for Contacting Garmin Product Support.

The eTrex series has a waterproof rating of IPX7 which means the unit can be submerged in 1 meter of water for 30 minutes without damage. As long as the unit falls within these parameters, the unit should be fine. I would avoid using a plastic bag because there is a possibility that the unit could get hot.

If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me!

Best Regards,


Product Support Specialist


Seems that placing the unit in a bag will indeed cause a greenhouse effect which is not good for the unit.



Opinion on my GPS
My GPS’s opinion is that I’m slow. It tells me this constantly so I’ve been leaving it home lately.

I suspect you have stock in Garmin?

Garmin is guilty of telling a great big HALF-truth. My manual for my yellow Etrex stated that the unit was waterproof except for the battery compartment. Whether the waterproof section of the unit was good for 1 foot or 100 feet is meaningless since the battery compartment takes on water.

You stated that Garmin’s Etrex series has always been waterproof. Let me absolutely assure you that Garmin has whispered in small print “except for the battery compartment” regarding the Etrex.

Sorry, no stock in Garmin

– Last Updated: Apr-26-05 8:47 PM EST –

I've certainly no desire to argue back and forth with you -- I've had a very good experience with Garmin products and service and believe that they sell a remarkably good product at a very affordable price. You have to admit that having this type of technology for under a hundred bucks is truly amazing.

The manual does state that after getting the unit wet, that one should remove the batteries and dry before reuse. Is it possible that you didn't follow maintenance procedures (which are outlined clearly in the manual) and that is what caused your grief? I suspect that it might have something to do with it. I've always followed the maintenance procedures and rinse the unit with fresh water after every salt water outing (especially under the rubber flap for the computer connectors) and I can honesty say that I haven't had any problems with my current unit.

I don't know who is telling the half-truth here -- it clearly states in the E-trex manual (you can find a PDF version of it on the Garmin site) in REGULAR un-whispering sized type:

CAUTION: Electronics are protected if immersed, but the battery compartment may get wet. Make sure the batteries and compartment are dry before using.

I check my battery compartment every time I get off the water and have not found water in it -- ever. Perhaps you have, but I haven't. Maybe this is because I follow the maintenance procedures that are outlined in the manual each time I use the unit.

Regardless, have you contacted Garmin directly to express your disatisfaction? I suspect that this would be the best way to deal with your problem rather than slagging a company that obviously works very hard to keep their customers happy. I'm sure that if you have a legitimate complaint that they will show you respect and courtesy as I and others that I know have experienced.

No, I don't have stock in Garmin. I just believe that some of the negative comments that have been posted in this thread are a bit unfair.


Try this for the battery compartment
I have an e-Trex legend, and this is my second season for it. Try this trick on yours, and you will be pleasantly surprised.

Vaseline is one of the “greases” that will not block the flow of electricity. Rub some Vaseline on the contacts inside the battery compartment,and on the ends of the battery. This will keep any moisture from corroding them.

Also, on the Legend, smear a LITTLE Vaseline on the external contacts under the top back flap. This will protect them.

I also smear a LITTLE Vaseline around the edge of the rubber battery lid. This is just one extra precaution, to help keep out water.

I just set my legend on the deck under the bungies, and let the water drip off of it. No problems so far.

Not Trashing Garmin
If I held great ill will toward Garmin, I certainly would not have purchased the MAP76; a unit that is COMPLETELY waterproof and floats.

The basic yellow Etrex is a fine, economical unit, but it’s not waterproof and therefore not a very good unit for use in a kayak. I can’t comment on the Legend. Never owned one.

I don’t think we’re going to change one another’s minds. I think using the word ‘waterproof’ when describing a unit that allows water into it’s battery compartment is deceptive. You think it’s not.

(I certainly would never want a ‘waterproof’ watch that allowed water to get to the battery.)