River Navigation/planning w/ mappin GPS

Howdy all!

Just ordered a Garmin 60Scx and have 2008 US Topo. Downloaded the pdf manual and been trying to figure out if I set a waypoint say 30miles down a river and say navigate to, can you set the gps to navigate via water and not as the crow flies? Does anyone know if this is possible or if you just have to put a ton of waypoints in all the river bends to get it somewhat accurate?

Thanks in advance!

Yo han

if you set a waypoint and “go to” it the gps will give you bearing and distance, place a nav line straight to your target, and constantly adust to that target as you proceed. it will not take in to account the many twists and turns you’ll travel to get to that waypoint. if you want to know the “as the canoe twists” distance vs the “as the crow flies” distance you’ll still have to figure it out the old fashioned way on a map. however, the gps is guite accurate at getting you to the waypoint. -harry

Use multiple waypoints
That’s the way I do it with the same GPS. There’s no other way that I know of. At least with TOPO. Maybe Garmin has some different marine software.

Use the Route tool
It makes it easier.

Thanks all for the replies. I appreciate it. I guess one you’ve gone down a stretch of river it tracked it, then I guess you would know the true distance. Sounds like the best route would just to try to plot as many waypoints as possible. Gonna give Garmin a call, their customer support that I used in the past for my nuvi was top notch, was pleasantly surprised as I’ve come to have low standards for CS. If I find out anything different i will post. Thanks again!

Yo Han

Distance tool
Use the distance tool to pre-measure trips. It’s accurate.

add a track?

– Last Updated: Jul-24-08 8:52 PM EST –

If you want to measure the distance before you do it, you should be able to draw a track in Topo and it will tell you the distance.

You should also be able to upload the track to the GPS, and then have it appear on the screen. You can then follow this track on the GPS' map. I do this with a much older and less featured Garmin, so you should be able to do it on the map version.

Only problem with pre-tracking…
…is that many of the smaller rivers aren’t represented very accurately in Topo. Well, maybe they’ve improved that in the '08 version - mine is '05. But you should be able to put together a reasonably usable route.

Thanks all!
Thanks for the tracking option, that sounds much better to me then setting a bunch of waypoints. Got a response from Garmin Tech Support and there is nothing out that works as so and there was no mention of the tracking options;) Their response below. So it looks like just use Topo and pre-track it. Thanks again!

Yo Han

Garmin’s response:

Dear Yo Han,

Thank you for contacting Garmin International. I will be happy to answer your questions. Topo 2008 is the program used most for canoeing. Some customers prefer Bluechart as it will show depth detail for the major rivers. Please note that Bluechart only has detail for rivers with commercial shipping. Please verify if it will cover the rivers you want before purchasing the product. The only maps that have routing abilities are road maps. We currently do not have a

product for the 60CSx that will calculate a route on rivers.

With Best Regards,


Product Support Specialist

Garmin Mobile Team