Jump to content

GPS for Canoeing in Boundry Waters


skiptothefuture
Followers 1

Recommended Posts

Good Morning:

 

I am planning on spending time in the Boundry Water Canoe Area in northern Minnesota this summer. Here is the issue that I will need to overcome. For my first trip I purchased a Delorme PN20 and just could not get this unit to work. I am sure a great part of the problem was me however, it now sits on the shelve. My only purpose of purchasing a GPS is for use in backpacking and wilderness canoe trips. The use in the BWCA will be to pre-mark portage's and campsites. For those not familiar with this area, portages and campsites are not marked at all. Campsites are located away from the water and in many cases not easy to locate. More so with many portages.

 

What i would like to purchase is a handheld GPS that is capable of holding a few maps with Portages and campsites being advanced marked my me. Also a unit that has easy instructions for setting up by a non-technical user. Also hopefully one that is not full of bugs. My Delorme PN20 was dead on arrival and it took me some time to figure out the problem was not me, but the unit software.(also me) The only other use I can think of is the ability to mark a campsite where I stayed for future return.

 

Price range I am thinking of,at this point is, $200-$300 and I don't know if a touch screen is necessary or not. Again, consider that I know how to use a compass but am not a techie. I figure a GPS in my shirt pocket will be useful while paddling solo in windy conditions. Open to any and all suggestion and thoughts, even why I should consider purchasing out of my price range. Also suggestions on how difficult to setup and use.

 

thank you

Skip

Link to comment

I am planning on spending time in the Boundry Water Canoe Area in northern Minnesota this summer. Here is the issue that I will need to overcome. For my first trip I purchased a Delorme PN20 and just could not get this unit to work. I am sure a great part of the problem was me however, it now sits on the shelve.

The Delorme user forums have had some recent posts on Boundary Waters canoeing with maps, waypoints, and routes for the PN-40/60 devices. There is really no reason why the PN-20 could not also be used for this purpose if you can get it working. However the experience will be much more satisfying with the newer PN-60 and Topo9 North America maps which include Canada.

 

Suggest that you post your problems on the PN-20 thread of the Delorme forums for some user input. Good luck.

 

http://forum.delorme.com/viewforum.php?f=90

Edited by 39_Steps
Link to comment

Get a garmin. www.gpsfiledepot.com has free (donations are appriciated) topo maps that cover everywhere in the US including the boundary waters. My Trails also on ww.gpsfiledepot.com (there is a link on the main page under most popular downloads). It has all the campsites and portages. Multiple people have told me the campsites and potages are extremely accurate.

Link to comment

thanks so far for you thoughts and replies; however, I would really appreciate your suggestions on specific make and model GPS's which would meet my needs. I don't plan on going back to Delorme GPS's, simply because of my bad experience. Everyone should realize the problem may be me and not the PN-20 but it's just my time to try another mfg. :rolleyes:

Link to comment

I would go with a garmin gpsmap 78s, it has long battery life and it floats. Garmin does have a map set just for the boundary water available here. As already mentioned already, www.gpsfiledepot.com does contain many free maps for mn, including a BWCA map of all the portages and campsites. Free maps are worth trying before you fork out 100 dollars for the garmin maps.

Link to comment

I would go with a garmin gpsmap 78s, it has long battery life and it floats. Garmin does have a map set just for the boundary water available here. As already mentioned already, www.gpsfiledepot.com does contain many free maps for mn, including a BWCA map of all the portages and campsites. Free maps are worth trying before you fork out 100 dollars for the garmin maps.

Or if you can find one a 76CSx it might save you a few dollars. It will do what you want and like the 78s is waterproof and will float.

Link to comment

thanks so far for you thoughts and replies; however, I would really appreciate your suggestions on specific make and model GPS's which would meet my needs. I don't plan on going back to Delorme GPS's, simply because of my bad experience. Everyone should realize the problem may be me and not the PN-20 but it's just my time to try another mfg. :rolleyes:

Understood. The original Topo6PN software bundled with the first Delorme PN-20s in 2007 had a rather inconvenient way for users to cut detailed maps of specific regions. However, to put the 5 year old PN-20 bundle in perspective, it was a breakthrough mapping device that was far ahead of the Garmin units at the time.

 

The learning curve for transferring maps and data from computer to gps device with the Delorme Topo6PN/PN-20 bundle was too steep for many new users, although the devices as standalone gps units were rather reliable.

 

Inevitably the Garmin users by sheer numbers will overwhelm any Delorme user comments on easily using 3rd party waypoint, track, and trail gpx files as well as the "free" topo maps of the US/Canada in current Delorme PN-60 devices and/or Garmin devices.

 

Disclosure: I have no experience with the off-road Garmin devices, am not a fan of touch screens, and was a Delorme mapping customer/Magellan unconnectable gps device user before becoming a Delorme PN-20 GPS device customer.:D

Link to comment

I figure a GPS in my shirt pocket will be useful while paddling solo in windy conditions.

 

Don't count on units being waterproof and being able to float.

 

Put the gps on a lanyard, put that around your neck, and the gps in your pocket.

 

Or come up with some system to tether it to the thwart, so you can see it without having to fiddle it out of your pocket.

 

 

B.

Link to comment

First of all, handheld GPS receivers are by their very nature quite complex. Whatever you get, plan on using it extensively to get used to it and learn its functions before heading off into the wilderness.

 

Second, I agree that Garmins, especially the newer models, are quite user friendly. Even so, expect quite the learning curve.

 

You might want to consider a model that allows the use of BirdsEye aerial imagery, which could come in handy in an area with many coves, etc. The 78s is likely to be out of your price range. The 62s would be good, but still over $300 unless you find it on sale. Otherwise, I think I'd look at at the eTrex 20 or 30.

Link to comment

I have used my Garmin 60csx a lot for kayaking because I was able to find free maps with water features.

 

That being said, I'm sure you know that you need a good water proof map and a compass for back up. I did the BWCA before GPSs.

 

Have you considered a solar charger and rechargeable batteries? There ain't no stores up there. :rolleyes:

 

I wish could go back there with a GPS sometime. Have fun.

Link to comment

It's interesting to note that I just recently visited stores in the Miami area, 5 of them, trying to find a knowledgeable person to talk about, show and demonstrate any of the handheld garmin's, like 62, 78's or the oregon 550. Most stores had these models in stock; however, none of the sales persons were knowledgeable or able to help in any way other then what they could read out of their book. I guess my fallback plan will be this. The latter part of June I will be traveling to Michigan then to Vermont for a couple of months. While in Vermont I will visit some of the backpacking stores and start my search there plus I will have time to fool around with the unit.

 

By chance does anyone have a link or contact person in the Vermont area that I could contact. I will be spending time in the Windsor/Ascutney Vermont area and then move on to Burlington, Vermont.

 

Thanks again for all the information. All is welcomed and appreciated

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 1
×
×
  • Create New...