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Messages - dsa

Good information to digest there Boyd. I appreciate the thorough answer!
General Discussion / GPS questions for noob paddler
March 06, 2016, 02:55:46 PM
Hello everyone, I am looking to learn more about GPS and this looks like the perfect site!
I am a paddler who lives in SW Florida and would like a handheld GPS to help me navigate the many, many tangled webs of mangroves we have here. I can use free apps on my iPhone like Wikiloc, and honestly it does the job fine. But what worries me are two things: losing reception and running out of batteries. Thus I feel it in my best interest to buy a GPS.

I'm looking at buying an entry level GPS like the Garmin eTrex 20x. After that I guess I would need to find myself some maps. I just have a few questions before I even consider buying something. This is where I hope to get some help from you guys!

1) My biggest concern is the quality of the map. When I kayak, I use Google Earth to chart a course, print several screen shots, then use landmarks to navigate myself. While paddling I reference the maps and also use Wikiloc and/or Routie to help me keep my "real time"  bearings. If I buy an eTrex 20x, are there maps that are comparable to Google Earth (not Google Maps  ;)) that will show me every single creek, bay, river, mangrove tunnel, etc. in my area? I don't want Google Earth type satellite imagery, just a map--like Google Earth--that will show me everything.

2) The second question is probably a dumb one. Does the GPS track you in real time, showing you where you are and where you came from? This would be useful because you can reference where you are, look at the map, then decide where you'd like to go.

3) Before I purchase a GPS I would kind of like to have an idea of what map(s) I need to get and where to get them. Obviously this site has a lot of free maps and that is awesome, but what type of maps do I need for my needs? If there are some fellow paddlers on this site that know from experience I would greatly appreciate you sharing your knowledge with me!

I'm sure you guys tire of answering questions like these over and over, but I would greatly appreciate any insight you are willing to give. Thanks for your help in anticipation!