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Thread: GPS, necessity or luxury?

  1. #1
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    Default GPS, necessity or luxury?

    I was wondering how much those who own and use a GPS regard it as a necessity for navigation as opposed to a luxury. I'm not disputing the desirability of a GPS (I desire one myself ) or it's relevance but I'm still a map and compass guy at heart. I'm just curious whether owners regard their GPS as a must have navigation tool or a very interesting gadget that happens to have some valuable navigation features (or where on a sliding scale between those two points they see a GPS fitting)?

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    Interesting question. I use one as an additional tool to support the map or chart and act as a cross reference in much the same way I use more than one feature to confirm my progress and position. I can't remember a situation when I relied on a GPS due to poor Vis etc.Features such as speed, time to destination or velocity made good are interesting and help in passage (re)planning on the move.My latest (I'm on my 4th!) allows me to download the track onto a map - nice to review effects of tide or tacking angles.

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    I did suspect that would be your answer Keith and that pretty much confirms my own ideas. I have played with GPS in the past (I used one to measure the length of tracks I was laying on a dog course I was running a couple of years ago to ensure all the students had fairly equal tracks to deal with). That was one of the original yellow brick Etrex's and while it was handy for that particular usage I struggled to see where I'd use one in my activities so GPS slipped right down my wishlist. The newer models that incorporate maps look far more useful (although the cost of buying the maps puts me off somewhat). I do think that sailing in particular suits GPS, being able to plot where you've been and download that for a blog appeals to me (as well as the sensible navigation features obviously).

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    Kind of both, actually.

    I can do without a GPS, but I prefer to use it more than paper charts/maps. Easier to carry, you can do searches and you can see your tracks and waypoints afterwards. I do carry a compass, and often a chart or two, but no detailed charts or maps for me.

    Also, I have come to the realisation that I want a "Coxmate" to get speed-through-water and cadence. Now, that's a luxury, but somehow equally useful to a GPS in its own right (i.e. over longer distances, speed through water is quite useful to go at it with a somewhat level amount of effort).

    Edit: You can get the Coxmate without the seat sensor and in that incarnation it's better for kayaks and canoes.
    Last edited by Oarsnpaddle; 6th-December-2011 at 01:52 PM.
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    I do not own a GPS, and I have no intention of buying one. Two reasons: 1. Too many anecdotes of failure & incorrect information - I have one friend who relied completely on her GPS, until one trip when she ended up going in completely the opposite direction from what she thought & took an entire day to extricate herself. 2. Anything that uses batteries is totally off my list of tools in the bush- even my Shortwave is wind-up. (I do carry 2 tiny Mag-Lites, but rely on candle lanterns).

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    GPS - interesting gadget and useful back up. I mainly use mine to log my canoe trips, though I did use a OS 50,000 map and the GPS to drive in London once.

    No substitute for good skills with map and compass, especially in the hills.

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    Luxury!

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    Thanks for the comments folks. I think the consensus so far is that GPS is an interesting gadget that is useful for navigating. I think a lot of older generation folks (like me) are fully conversant with map and compass navigation anyway so I don't see over reliance on GPS as a problem. I can't envisage a situation where I'd set off on a trip without a map and compass if I do ever buy a GPS.
    Oarsnpaddle, the Coxmate looks good. I used to be really into cycling and did a lot of time trial racing, I always used a cycle computer with a cadence read out in combination with a heart rate monitor to gauge my effort, speed alone wasn't always a good indicator as wind and elevation would affect it. I imagine that rowing would be the same (wind and tide rather than wind and elevation though).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jurassic View Post
    Oarsnpaddle, the Coxmate looks good. I used to be really into cycling and did a lot of time trial racing, I always used a cycle computer with a cadence read out in combination with a heart rate monitor to gauge my effort, speed alone wasn't always a good indicator as wind and elevation would affect it. I imagine that rowing would be the same (wind and tide rather than wind and elevation though).
    Yup, that's my thinking
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    Two uses for GPS:
    1. Absolute certainty where you are on the hills/river/sea when something goes badly wrong,
    2. Logging of walking or paddling tracks to see for downloading later to analyse/share routes taken - nothing better than being able to share a novice paddler's first white water trip with them on Google Earth!

    Map always carried whatever activity I am doing plus Power Monkey to recharge GPS on multi-day trips.

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    GPS is useful for navigating in fog. I wish I had one five years ago when a sudden fog bank (not uncommon here) moved in while we were in the middle of a five mile crossing with a cross current. We knew our safety bearing that would get us to land but just where? Dead reckoning with a current is tough. We were grateful to find Nun Buoy Number 2. Looking at our chart to recalculate our bearing..we were dismayed to find there were TWO Nun Number 2's about a mile apart. We did the common sense thing and figured we were at the outer one and adjusted our compass course to bring us into Stonington Harbor right under the nose of an old four masted coastal schooner.

    I use it for wandering logging roads around home. There is always something new to find and I know I can get back to go even if the woods prevents triangulation. With the maps you know you are on the trail (trails are never marked or blazed around here)

    I use GPS extensively in the Everglades where there are mangroves with maze like dead ends and only one way out. A map is a good backup but using the map you must keep track of every turn. And turns are about a boat length apart in some places. I find the combination of chart or map and GPS very useful. The map gives you the big picture. The GPS the detail.

    However in some canoeing parks like Temagami and Algonquin the GPS really is a toy.
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    I guess luxury, but you are never shore. over here fog and sailing do not combine in out weather system. But I know places at shore/sea that those things can combine. If they with some currents and perhaps traffic lane. I think it is not a luxury anymore. in those conditiona a radar reflector and vhf radio, should be added to the basics as well.
    it is fun to see on the gps what happens wirth speed and angly if you are looking for the best trim.

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    in the uk, inland, totally not needed when we have os maps to hand.
    price of one could be better spent on something else
    nature is m X-box

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    I can't see it being a necessity, if you get caught out in fog maybe, but then you'd have most of the benefit from using a compass.
    And that won't stop you getting run over by a ship.
    what you'd really want is a radar...

    I still want one though, a GPS that is.....
    Last edited by unk tantor; 6th-December-2011 at 07:24 PM.

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    Depends what you mean by "GPS".

    If you mean something that will give you a 15meter accurate position fix almost anywhere on earth then:

    Offshore (out of sight of land) and in poor vis - necessary: not the kind of necessary that mean you absolutely must have one - but the kind that says "How do I explain its absence in the event of an MAIB enquiry?"

    Fogbound in hill country and especially in high featureless terrain, they can easily be a lifesaver - again If I am appearing infront of a coroner how do I explain the absence".....

    Quite good GPS systems come free inside every smartphone.

    If on the other hand you mean an electronic map repository with position fixing and rout planing facilities - then it can be a very useful tool but offers few real advantages over a good set of WATERPROOF maps.

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    I managed for many years without GPS on our Scottish expeditions and generally for coastal cruising in a very shallow draft craft an OS map and compass will work well enough most of the time. I have used a GPS for my last 3 trips though and they are useful and interesting to play with. Once you put tides and fog into the mix then they really come into their own in in a big way. We did a 3 mile crossing in light winds across a variable tidal stream in very thick fog, where it was difficult keeping in sight of the other canoes with us, and made the landing on the beach on the other side with total accuracy. Playing with the GPS on easy days when it isnt really necessary gives you the confidence when you come across really challenging conditions. Without GPS we would have spent the whole day on the beach waiting in vain for the fog to lift

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jurassic View Post
    I was wondering how much those who own and use a GPS regard it as a necessity for navigation as opposed to a luxury. I'm not disputing the desirability of a GPS (I desire one myself ) or it's relevance but I'm still a map and compass guy at heart. I'm just curious whether owners regard their GPS as a must have navigation tool or a very interesting gadget that happens to have some valuable navigation features (or where on a sliding scale between those two points they see a GPS fitting)?
    Total necessity here! I plot a lot of information on the GPS and use it as the main navigation tool on all my trips. On longer trips I have the course on a km by km basis, emergency exit points, farms with landing strips, etc etc Night paddles are safer with a gps on too.... specially when the moon suddenly disapears behind heavy clouds and you can´t see anything but the gps dots being connected.... Yes, I always take two GPSs, extra batteries and there are always a few more on the group (one or two per canoe). My backup is a 10 years old Etrex and it works perfectly until today. Cant´s say I don´t trust the thing.... never had a single faillure in many many years. Batteries??? I can run the GPS in a single pair for a 15 to 30 days trip. No need to keep it on for more than 10 minutes per day. In true, I usually turn it on just one time....to mark the day´s campsite and check the day´s total distance. It´s part of the conversation around the campfire... nothing more.

    There is no way to get lost with a gps.... unless you don´t know how to use it and/or where you´re going. You must have a good set of waypoints loaded on it, otherwise it can´t tell you where to go. Some people get the little thing and go on a trip imagining it will work as a street navigator, with a detailed map in it and a nice voice telling where to turn next.....

    The GPS (in a wild trip in Brazil) is as good as your pre-work on filling it with details.
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    I have an Etrex that resides in my barrel when canoeing, it comes out when I want to know how fast the current and my paddling are getting along. It is used for the same reason at sea in my kayak.

    The best use I have had of this device was when I used to check up on students whereabouts when they were out "getting lost". It would speed my progress through forest tracks where navigational clues were either non-existant or totally confusing. Concentration in those circumstances was usually focused on cycling safely.

    Most of the time it is not used.

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  19. #19
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    In my view an invaluable accessory. However, I always carry a map and compass because a GPS is a navigation aid and relying on it as your only means of navigation is risky (batteries and all that).

    I have one and almost always carry it. But is is a reasonably simple one (no map) and so provides position, speed etc information. The problem with the map versions is that the screens are so small that it is hard to get a perspective of the country around you - the great thing about a paper map is that you can look at the terrain and related it to the map and that really helps navigation.

    I was taught to navigate the old way (map, compass, dead reckoning etc) and have practised lots and then started sailing and got into marine navigation as well. But despite all that there are times, especially with work, when I need to know exactly where I am instantly and to great accuracy - so a GPS is a must in that situation.

    Like others I also like to be able to plot where I have been.

    So, ignoring my work requirement, for me they are much more than a luxury but the trick is to ensure you don't allow it to become an essential because you can't read a real map and use a compass.

    Hugh

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    If the screen is too small, consider one of these (I know I am, to combine with my gpsmap 62s):

    https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?pID=75228

    It has a 4" screen: Huge for a "handheld" GPS.
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    Right so we seem to have established that these things are desirable if not essential. Next question to users would be which model do you have, do you like it, if so why? I know Keith has the Garmin GPS Map 78 which is marine specific, is there any other advantage with the marine models other than the fact that they float? I've done some comparison on Garmin's website and there seems to be quite a lot of over lap between the different ranges. The more expensive models seem to be loaded with features that I regard as irrelevant (I'd rather spend the money on maps or put it towards an EPIRB).

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    Colour and good screen resolution is a must I think..... I have the Garmin Vista HCx that I really like. Small and with the new antenna that will get signal even under heavy folliage, inside the car etc. This IS important to me!
    Extra features are nice to play with, but the basic information that you really need is available on all models.
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  23. #23
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    Mine is the GPSMAP 62s, which doesn't float, but can be used with all kinds of maps - including charts. I'm quite happy with it, but I'd like a Montana 650T to be my in-boat, semi-installed thingy. THe reason I'd like a bigger screen is that I'd like to be able to view the screen from further away (I'm sliding back and forth) than what I'm able to with the GPSMAP 62s.

    The 62s (and other in that series/shape) uses AA batteries (single-use or rechargeables), and the Montana 650T comes with a battery holder for the compartment, so it can use both Li-Ion and AA.


    I recently learned the 62s can also be used as a heartrate monitor, but haven't tried that function yet.

    If and when I get a 650T the 62s is destined to be the one I carry. In the boat, it'll be relegated to back-up eve if it's quite an upmarket backup.


    The 650T does have some superfluous features to me, such as a camera (Wtf!?).
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    I have the Garmin Dakota 20 which is a touchscreen. Sometimes a touchscreen is annoying. I wear it on a lanyard but if it bumps something I sometimes find it on a screen other than what I want. Its kind of funny me in a solo canoe cursing the gadget.

    Also my hands are sometimes muddy. That makes the map interesting. TonyBR brought up the other use (I forgot); night paddling. In Florida in the Everglades the winds are often fierce during the day and the best paddling is at night.

    Combined with mangrove tunnels I need to know exactly where I am. I don't want to be studying a map and guessing as a python lands on my head.
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    I use a very simple little lowrance Ifinder Go
    I have just replaced it as I think I dropped the last one in a carpark with a pair of sunglasses.
    The replacement unit only cost £10 +pp.
    Battery life is a couple of days as it doesnt have colour high res screens etc
    If I could have a more simple device I would take it.

    I have only ever once relied on a gps for navigation, and that was indeed on an open crossing in heavy fog and large swell with a strong tide.
    We did 30 min spot checks using the gps to show our grid reference to check we were roughly where expected and were able to alter our course to match.

    It's a great tool, but i tend to only use it as a reassuring 'you are here' arrow for my map and compass.
    or to mark an exact location of a useful cove or get out point etc.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowcanoe View Post
    I don't want to be studying a map and guessing as a python lands on my head.
    I can fully empathise with that desire yellowcanoe! Hopefully it'd be less of an issue here in Scotland though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jurassic View Post
    I can fully empathise with that desire yellowcanoe! Hopefully it'd be less of an issue here in Scotland though.
    Rest assured it has not yet happened . The Burmese python is an invasive and it is big though..
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    I have a GPS function on my Sat phone. The only use it gets is to log the distance travelled on expeditions. I prefer to rely on a map and compass.

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    Luxury. I have a Magellan which just eats batteries and will lose power at the most inopportune moment so I use good old map, compass and gut feeling.

    Blott

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jurassic View Post
    Right so we seem to have established that these things are desirable if not essential. Next question to users would be which model do you have, do you like it, if so why? I know Keith has the Garmin GPS Map 78 which is marine specific, is there any other advantage with the marine models other than the fact that they float? I've done some comparison on Garmin's website and there seems to be quite a lot of over lap between the different ranges. The more expensive models seem to be loaded with features that I regard as irrelevant (I'd rather spend the money on maps or put it towards an EPIRB).
    I've been using GPS for over fifteen years - and before that Deccanav - so I own a selection of different GPS sets with differeing facilities.

    Magellan GPS300 - Old Black and White text only device - gives almost any map reference type and a wide choice of datums - but no trace of a map. Runs on AA batteries which give about 12 hours continuous use - you have to program the waypoints manually - no computer interface - can take an external power lead. This one actually has saved lives.

    Magellan Triton - Colour hand held - primitive low res maps - runs on AA batteries and gives about 12 hours per set - wide choice of information formats - OS map refs or Lat/Long and a variety of chart datums - interacts with a computer for route planning and log analysis.
    But its magic trick is that it supports NMEA183 over USB - so once plugged into a computer, your nav software (eg Multimap) has position and speed data - until you have seen what this can do you will have no idea of its power.

    Garmin Car and Truck Sat Nav systems - Good in the car - fair in the truck - theoretically capable of being loaded with OS maps - you get between two and four hours use if disconnected from the external power - will not give you OS map references - Lat/long displays are in Degrees and Decimal parts thereof ONLY (mutter grumble...).

    Android Smartphone - Away from cell coverage I can still use "GPS Test" - to give a hand held equivalent of the GPS300 - with additional downloaded map data and software it is a competent nav tool - with cell coverage a multitude of different map choices are available.
    BUT and it's a big but - the gps chipset in mine flattens the battery in under an hour of continuous use.

    --------------------It All Depends on What YOU Want---------------------------------------------

    If you are going the paper (plastic) map route asnd intend to use the GPS simply as a "position comfirmation device" then I would still pick the basic hand-held and a spare set of fresh batteries or a twelve volt external supply and the adapter.

    If you want to use a computer for planning and for post-trip track analysis - Then a hand-held with position logging - such as the Triton.

    If you plan to cross a sea loch nad then climb a hill (Helensburgh has both of these things) then I'd want displays in both OS map and Lat/long.

    If you just want an emergency position fix - smartphone and an emergency power supply for it.

    If you want the Full Monty - then it's a netbook with external power supply, your choice of software and a USB GPS dongle.
    Last edited by DougR; 7th-December-2011 at 09:53 AM.

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    Doug - you are so right about battery life, especially re smartphones. They are great when plugged into the car - but I still use my dedicated TomTom for that purpose, when I need it. My most recent Garmin 78 is very good on batteries and can take NiMH versions - provide more than a good day out but I tend to put freshly charged ones for each day on a trip and top up the used ones from a small 12v 2Ah sealed lead acid battery - taken to charge camera, phone,radio as well.

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    I'm assuming we're talking for serious coastal canoeing here... as for most UK walking, paddling, canoe sailing, etc... neither a map nor a GPS could really said to be necessary. Rivers don't tend to offer many route-options: upstream and downstream. Most UK rivers pass dwellings at regular intervals, and have signposted roads running pretty much alongside them. Most folk paddle day trips, or occasionally overnight... and rarely cover sufficient distance to make recalling the key landmarks a problem. Even the classic Scottish rivers like the Spey could be handled perfectly well without a map. Most UK lakes are overgrown puddles: Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake) is the "largest natural body of water in Wales" and is just 4 miles long and a mile wide... with a road up and down each side. Windermere's bigger... but hardly merits carrying a map / GPS. Even traversing the Caledonian Canal could be undertaken quite responsibly without map or GPS.

    We've a GPS on the phone... and it's linked to very basic mapping: doesn't harm... and occasional consultation (a couple of times a day) gave us a bit of feedback during a couple of 3 day trips in Germany this past year, but it was never essential. We had no map, and no dedicated GPS: that would just have been more to carry when portaging the locks. On the other hand, for what Keith does... the GPS and waterproof chart (and an understanding of how to use them) strike me as a LOT higher on the priority list: as up there with the first aid kit, emergency clothing, group shelter, VHF and the like - but he's routinely venturing into the realms of the serious sea-kayaker and coastal skipper. I suspect you'll find that most sea kayakers and sailing folk venturing up the west coast of Scotland would have a rather different take on GPS technology to most inland paddlers...

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    Yes, I posted this in the canoe sailing section for that very reason Greg (although I note that quite a few replies are from folks who don't normally reply to threads in this section). No matter, everyone who has responded has added to my knowledge base and I appreciate their input greatly. I never really held with the opinion that a GPS was necessary in this country for the activities I've done (otherwise I would already own one for my other outdoor exploits). When you take into account the navigational features plus the enjoyment and interest of being able to plot your trip on a map when you get home and also speed data though then I feel they do start to become desirable. The whole coastal cruising thing takes me into new territory as well and although I've done some sea kayaking I was only starting to get seriously interested in it when canoe sailing stole my heart. I now find myself contemplating buying the same gizmos for canoe sailing that I was planning to buy for sea paddling two years ago (VHF, GPS & EPIRB)One more question for everyone, do people find that buying the extra mapping is vital? All the reviews that I've read online have stated that the base maps that many devices come with are very limited, what's the consensus about buying the extra maps?
    Last edited by Jurassic; 7th-December-2011 at 02:29 PM.

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    I only have 2 uses for a GPS.

    1. When Sea kayaking/powerboating/sailing or hill walking just to say "See, I bloody told you we were here!"
    2. When driving - If I am on my own, I need a woman's voice telling me which way to go!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jurassic View Post
    All the reviews that I've read online have stated that the base maps that many devices come with are very limited, what's the consensus about buying the extra maps?
    The chart I have of the Scottish west coast is very good, but I would struggle to justify paying full price for it - about £180, so nearly as much as the gizmo itself! I got lucky and it was bundled in with the unit as a boat show promotion.

    If you have an iphone or android phone then consider Navionics scaleable charting software that is very good value. For example I have the package for UK and Holland at a cost of about £20 for android (about £15 for iphone) - you still have the battery life issues, but good for planning and prep in the pub!

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    How can anybody consider a GPS essential? We have been navigating for eons without them.
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

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    We've also been traveling around for years without cars but quite a lot of people regard them as essential.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tenboats1 View Post
    How can anybody consider a GPS essential? We have been navigating for eons without them.
    I consider my inflatable lifevest, (carbon) oars and sliding seat essential too.

    Oh, and the same goes for an actual watch (or other "modern" ways of telling time).

    I take it your boat is dugout wooden thingy and you use a homemade, not-glued, paddle for propulsion? Oh, and lest I forget, you always make a fire without a fire striker, matches or lighter, nor wear any modern fabrics to protect you from the weather?
    ----------------
    “When one rows, it is not the rowing which moves the ship: rowing is only a magical ceremony by means of which one compels a demon to move the ship.” - Nietzsche

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by tenboats1 View Post
    How can anybody consider a GPS essential? We have been navigating for eons without them.
    Sadly I have lost my sextant skills. Show me how.
    "Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing." WS-prophecy about internet postings.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by tenboats1 View Post
    How can anybody consider a GPS essential? We have been navigating for eons without them.
    I bet you ride a horse to go to work, right????

    Essential??? Well, not really.... a dugout canoe, bow and arrows to hunt, spear to kill leopards, and some sharp rocks were more important an eon ago for sure..... But today I have to go back to work at sometime, so, being "lost" in the Amazon Basin for 12 years is not a real possibility anymore....

    Love maps.....even more when I can use them better with my gps in a canoe trip.
    Tony BR
    www.companhiadecanoagem.com.br
    www.canoacanadense.com.br/english.htm
    Past 20 years teaching Biology!
    Next 20 building Canoes!!!

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by tenboats1 View Post
    How can anybody consider a GPS essential? We have been navigating for eons without them.
    All aids to navigation (including printed maps) would have been new at some time or another. The question for us today is which of the many options available to us make most sense.

    Some folk have already got a GPS in their phone or for walking: makes sense to use it in some coastal-canoeing situations! Keith's mentioned the Navionics app: an excellent buy at £15-£20 for someone who happens to have (and to be planning to carry) a compatible device, and well worth taking along. If you happen to have waterproof maps or charts, you might well take those along.

    Spending lots of money is another matter entirely, and I can identify with Chris' opening post: we looked into getting paper charts, PC-based charts, electronic chartplotters and all sorts when we started sailing our old Pandora (1970s trailer sailer)... and were glad to put decisions on hold when we saw how much we COULD spend!

    I'm not sure there's an easy answer, especially if you have the whole of the west coast of scotland as your local playground: the proper paper charts for the whole coast would cost stacks (and be vulnerable to water-damage)... so electronic would be the way to go... but then you've got the dilemma of planning on a big screen at home, and printing out plans... and/or having a small device with a tiny screen.. or limiting yourself to one of the few options offering maps that work on both.

    Having put off our decision long enough... I'll follow the rest of the discussion with interest!

  42. #42
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    One thing I have considered is buying a map package for my PC (enabling me to print out the relevant maps/charts for a particular trip) and maybe buying the most basic GPS to use as and when necessary.
    As you say it's so easy to get carried away with all this techy stuff (especially when you're housebound convalescing and the only alternatives to dreaming about future trips and equipment is daytime TV!) I've ordered a few books from Amazon today which will hopefully keep me more gainfully employed over the coming weeks. Other than that I have a conference call with Occupational Health to look forwards to on Tuesday.

  43. #43
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    As for using GPS in a phone, I really don't like that. The problem is that if you lose one, you lose them all. In the case of a cell phone, you not only lose the GPS and therefore the ability to pinpoint your position, but you also lose a means of communication. Add to that, that most phones aren't as rugged as dedicated GPS's, and you might run into problems sooner than later. Also, when the batteries run down, you have also lost both abilities, and - again - this will happen sooner, rather than later in such a product.

    Yes, I'm talking coastal tripping mostly.


    I don't get the "You don't need a map because every other street has a sign for you to see". Surely you need a map of some sort (physical or electronic) for planning (and progress) and to check where on the map that particular road is?
    ----------------
    “When one rows, it is not the rowing which moves the ship: rowing is only a magical ceremony by means of which one compels a demon to move the ship.” - Nietzsche

  44. #44
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    Google Earth was a major change on our way to plan a trip..... I remember, in the begining, looking on the computer and the topo charts at the same time to produce the waypoints to upload to the GPS. It was really fun! The trip was already hapenning night after night, weeks in advance.... So many details to find, compare and check..... Then we came to the conclusion that the old charts were not as "clear" and easy as the sat images provided. The joy of finding the risky parts, waterfalls etc based on level curves was replaced with the zoom funtion at GE.... Now, most times, we can even plan on what path to follow on the white water section..... The open ears kilometers ahead and question marks on my GPS were replaced with exclamation marks! It is there, I saw it!!!!

    Planning a long trip and filling the gps with all the data you think is worth still a great source of joy and adventure! Of course I always take the topo charts with me! Looking at them during the night in the tent under the led headlamp still fun! And I still use the back of them to write my trip notes....
    Tony BR
    www.companhiadecanoagem.com.br
    www.canoacanadense.com.br/english.htm
    Past 20 years teaching Biology!
    Next 20 building Canoes!!!

  45. #45
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    I'm a huge fan of Mapyx Quo for my mapping.
    The software, unfortunately for a mac user is PC only,
    But I can print out A4 copies at whatever scale I want of whatever maps/charts I bought.
    I know they have a new online rental deal going, whereby for a yearly or monthly subscription you can have access to everything, as long as you have internet access.....

    They also integrate into the Lowrance Endura range of handheld gps units running the quo software.

    I have all the Northern Ireland OS maps 1:50 000 and the selected 1:25 000 activity maps
    as well as the republic of Ireland Tiles for areas I use
    and the icing on the cake were marine charts for the whole of the UK/Ireland for £49.99 +VAT

    I do indulge myself by using waterproof map paper in the printer for any maps i use regularly.

    Owen

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyBR View Post
    I bet you ride a horse to go to work, right????
    .
    Not right now, but I'm seriously thinking about it. How did you know?
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by tenboats1 View Post
    Not right now, but I'm seriously thinking about it. How did you know?
    One horse might not be enough. Surely you'd need a few different ones for different conditions?

  48. #48
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    If you can get access to Digimaps then you can simply make up your own maps at whatever scale you want.
    All in the course of relevant studies naturally...

  49. #49
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    [QUOTE=Jurassic;372127]One thing I have considered is buying a map package for my PC (enabling me to print out the relevant maps/charts for a particular trip) and maybe buying the most basic GPS to use as and when necessary.
    QUOTE]

    Map packages for PC or more are expensive.

    The Ordnance Survey's "Get a Map" is well worth subscribing to. It costs £30 per year for unlimited map printouts in 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 scales. I've used it for recent trips and I am now saving money from not having to buy new map sheets. The River Tweed took 8 x A4 sheets at 1:50,000 scale or 4 landranger series maps at £6.99 each.

    Of course I took my GPS with me on the Tweed but it never saw the light of day or night.

    Doug
    When there's trouble on shore, there's peace on the wave,
    Afloat in the White Canoe.
    Alan Sullivan


  50. #50
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    I have Memory Map digital mapping on my PC and all the UK Charts. They are great for planning trips and also for putting on lots of waypoints which can easily and quickly be transferred to my GPS. I particularly look out for potential stop off points for getting out of trouble, and good looking campsites. I print out maps with numbered waypoints on water proof A4 paper of all possible routes that i may make on the trip and use my gps to give me lots of detail about direction, speed, speed made good, distance to next waypoint, moving average etc. When i get back i can download the track back onto the PC.

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